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Frieda’s Specialty Produce names director of procurement and sourcing
Frieda’s Specialty Produce has added Allen DeMo to its roster as director of procurement and sourcing. “We are excited to welcome Allen to the Frieda’s family,” Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s, said in a press release. “He will direct our buying and grower development team, nurturing our relationships with suppliers and growers around the world.” DeMo has more than 25 years of experience... Read more
Beaver named director of NJDA'S Division of Marketing & Development
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced Nov. 15 the appointment of Thomas Beaver of Mt. Laurel, NJ, as director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Division of Marketing & Development. He replaces Al Murray, who is retiring Nov. 30. "Tom Beaver has a wealth of experience, having spent much of his career working in the farm community, advancing the interests of agriculture in the Garden State," Fisher said in a press release.... Read more
Oppy builds Calgary sales team
Sales Representative Maryam Ahoo joined the Oppenheimer Group in late October, strengthening the full-service marketing and distribution company’s presence in western Canada. Ahoo comes to Oppy’s Alberta location with varied sales and marketing experience, including her prior role as a membership development representative with Farmers of North America, an agri-business trade association based in Saskatoon, SK.Maryam Ahoo As she recently completed... Read more
Jack H. Brown, Stater Bros. executive chairman, died surrounded by family Nov. 13, 2016. He was 78. A native of San Bernardino, CA, Mr. Brown began his supermarket career as a box boy at Berk’s Market Spot in San Bernardino at the age of 13, sparking a 65-year career in the grocery industry. Mr. Brown was passionate about the supermarket industry. He loved his “family” of employees and the loyal Stater Bros. customers who he proudly served since... Read more
Mann Packing bolsters staff with three new hires
Mann Packing has hired Tom Langell, Jennifer Lind and Dylan Eads, who recently joined the company as director of IT, sales operations manager and sales analyst, respectively. They will be working from the Mann Packing corporate headquarters in Salinas, CA.Tom Langell Langell will be responsible for the overall planning, organizing and execution of all Mann’s IT functions at the company’s various locations. This includes directing all IT operations as... Read more
EPC to honor Allen, Murray at dinner dance
The Eastern Produce Council will host an evening this spring honoring the careers of two longstanding EPC members who will be retiring from their positions of leadership in the produce industry. Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association, and Alfred Murray, an EPC board member and New Jersey’s assistant secretary of agriculture, will be honored at the council’s 51st annual John J. McAleavey Dinner Dance, scheduled to take place Saturday... Read more
She was known throughout the produce industry for her finely honed writing skills and commitment to accuracy and integrity, but perhaps the most important component of Lora Abcarian’s legacy is that of good humor and unflagging optimism. Lora refused to dwell on negativity, choosing to spend her last months living rather than dying. And in sharing memories of Lora, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Nov. 1, friends throughout the industry remember her... Read more
Roeder leaves Dole Fresh Vegetables
Howard Roeder has left his position as president of Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. in Monterey, CA. Both he and a spokesperson for the company confirmed the development to The Produce News on Nov. 7. “Johan Linden, Dole Food Company president and chief operating office, will be acting president of Dole Fresh Vegetables,” William Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole Food Co., wrote in an email to The Produce News. “Daniel Urbano,... Read more
PBH president and CEO announces retirement
Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of Produce for Better Health Foundation, has announced her retirement, effective Feb. 28, 2017. “This was a difficult decision, but my youngest is finishing college after winter session in February and I’d like to spend more time with her before she starts her first job on June 1. Having worked and traveled since she was seven weeks old, this is an opportunity I didn’t want to miss,”... Read more
Lora Abcarian, western editor for The Produce News, succumbs to pancreatic cancer
Lora Abcarian, a career journalist and longtime contributor to The Produce News, died Nov. 1 at home in Bailey, CO, following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Lora Abcarian Born in Berkeley, CA, in 1949, Ms. Abcarian graduated from Bowling Green High School in Ohio in 1967 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, in 1971. She earned a master’s degree in communications from FSU the following... Read more
Bill Baker of PennRose Farms dies at 46
William A. Baker, an employee at Wimauma, FL-based PennRose Farms, died Aug. 29 at the age of 46. Baker had worked at PennRose since 2008, first as a sourcing and sales coordinator and later as an administrative controller. The company credits him with being instrumental in the growth and development of PennRose Farms, saying he brought new ideas and experience in the areas of food safety, quality control and supply chain management. A company statement said he... Read more
Nager joins Sun Pacific as VP of business development
Sun Pacific, a leading fruit grower-packer-shipper, which markets Cuties brand clementines and Mighties brand kiwifruit, announced that industry veteran Howard Nager has joined the company as vice president of business development. Howard NagerNager will be based in the Pasadena, CA, office and will be responsible for securing domestic programs for the Sun Pacific portfolio of products, as well as positioning the brand for future growth. He will report directly... Read more
Byron Allumbaugh, longtime chief executive officer and chairman of Ralphs Grocery Co. and former Food Marketing Institute chairman, died Oct. 28. He was 84 years old. A longtime employee of Ralphs, Mr. Allumbaugh began his career with Los Angeles-based retailer in 1958 as a meat manager. He then worked his way up the corporate ladder taking on the roles of chief executive officer in 1971, president in 1973, and chairman and chief executive officer in 1975. He retired... Read more
Verloop resigns from Naturipe
Naturipe Farms LLC announced that Robert Verloop has resigned his position as executive vice president of marketing, effective Oct. 31. Verloop joined the grower-owned company in February 2008 as a member of the executive management team with responsibility for global brand management, all marketing functions, corporate communications, new product development and innovation, and strategic planning. More recently, he also served as the chief operating officer of... Read more
Procacci Bros. honors longtime employee
On a foggy morning in late-October of 1966, Noreen Sims reported for her first day of work at Procacci Bros. Sales Corp. Just 16 years old, Sims was a recent graduate of the St. Monica Business School in Philadelphia. The school offered gifted students an accelerated path to the business world. Its challenging program provided intensive business training and an opportunity to earn a high school diploma over just two years of secondary education. At a time when... Read more
Associated Wholesale Grocers has announced the retirement of Bob Pickerill, senior vice president and division manager of its Kansas City division. Pickerill will retire at the end of 2016, and effective Jan. 1, 2017, David Gates will assume the vacated position. Pickerill joined AWG in 1997 at the Springfield, MI, division.  Over the course of his career he has served in a variety of progressive positions, though he took on his current role in 2015. Gates... Read more
The Board of Directors of Empire Co. Ltd. announced the appointment of James M. Dickson as chair of the board of director on Oct. 12. Dickson replaced Robert P. Dexter who announced his intention to retire both as chair and as a member of the board at the company’s annual general meeting on Sept. 15. After a distinguished career at the law firm Stewart McKelvey where he practiced primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities... Read more
Michael Schrader, floral director for Schnuck Markets Inc., St. Louis, Mo., received Produce Marketing Association’s 2016 Floral Marketer of the Year award on Saturday evening, Oct. 15, at the annual floral reception, which took place during PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Orlando, FL. Established in 1981, this year marks the 36th anniversary of the Floral Marketer of the Year award. It recognizes a floral professional, outstanding in leadership... Read more
Marolda family welcomes new baby
Valentina Randall May MaroldaValentina Randall May Marolda was born Sept. 27 at Instira Hospital in Vineland, NJ. She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Parents are Lauren Marolda, a nurse at Atlantic Care Hospital in Galloway, NJ, and her husband, Rich Marolda Jr., production manager at Marolda Farms who also spearheads the company's organic program. This is the second child for the couple, who live in Minotola, NJ, and the second grandchild... Read more
Al Murray, a great friend to New Jersey
When officials and staff of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture go to work Thursday morning, Dec. 1, one of their longtime colleagues will not be there. That colleague, Alfred W. Murray, is set to retire Wednesday, Nov. 30, from the department he joined more than 33 years ago and where he has served with distinction ever since. As Murray previously told The Produce News, “I absolutely love this industry and I love what I do. I’ve accomplished all... Read more