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Ian McLeod has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Southeastern Grocers. The company announced that Anthony Hucker, the company's chief operating officer, will assume the responsibilities of president and CEO on an interim basis. The company has initiated a search for McLeod's successor. Hucker will assume his interim responsibilities effective July 1, and McLeod will remain in his current role through June 30 to assist with the transition. "We... Read more
Sunripe Certified Brands hires Paul Hoker as CFO
Sunripe Certified Brands has hired fresh produce veteran Paul Hoker as its new chief financial officer. The company said Hoker’s vast experience in the tomato business and commitment to Sunripe Certified Brands’ values makes him the perfect addition to the team. Hoker’s passion for fresh produce began as a child, and after earning his CPA and master’s degree in accounting information systems and working for a big accounting firm, he was... Read more
Howard Marguleas: A true visionary
Visionary, Webster tells us, has to do with looking into the future with wisdom. It’s not enough to just plan for a time down the road, but you have to be right to be a true visionary. Synonyms include being creative, imaginative and innovative. It is those kinds of words and many like them that a handful of industry colleagues used to describe Howard Marguleas, the principal founder of Sun World International in 1975 and a true pioneer in the sales and marketing... Read more
Matt Brigotti joins IPC as foodservice promotions director
Matt Brigotti has joined the Idaho Potato Commission foodservice marketing team as foodservice promotions director for the Northeast and Midwest, based in Richfield, OH. Brigotti will work closely with Tod Schmidt, the current regional foodservice promotions director and 16-year veteran who will be retiring in October, and two other IPC foodservice promotion directors to transition to the IPC team. Matt Brigotti In his territory, Brigotti will lead marketing outreach... Read more
Ruth Campos-Martinez joins Curry & Co. as executive director of sales
Curry & Co. announced the hiring of Ruth Campos-Martinez to its sales and marketing team. Campos-Martinez is based out of the company's Los Angeles office. In her new role as executive director of sales, Campos-Martinez will help manage and develop key growth sales and procurement strategies primarily for Curry & Co.'s conventional and organic berry sales, as well as play a key role in the development of grape, cherry and apple exports. She brings a decade... Read more
Susan Waters retiring from Vidalia Onion Committee
The Vidalia Onion Committee announced that Executive Director Susan Waters is retiring from the organization that oversees marketing, promotion and research for the popular sweet onion grown in the mild climate and unique soil conditions surrounding this south Georgia community. She had served as VOC executive director since 2013. Bob Stafford, the director of the Vidalia Onion Business Council, has been named interim executive director while the VOC launches a... Read more
Duane Hood has joined Peak of the Market as the company's Calgary distribution center manager. The company also hired Bethany Alards as quality control manager. Hood comes to Peak of the Market with more than 25 years of warehouse, logistics and distribution management experience. Her career includes leading teams of four to 60 staff at warehouses, including Eleven Points Logistics (Target), Ultralite Doors and Coca-Cola. Peak of the Market said that Hood has... Read more
Conor Leach jump-starts a future produce career with Oakes Farms
Nearly three years ago, at age 21, Conor Leach, now a Midwest sales specialist for Immokalee, FL-based Oakes Farms, was having drinks with some friends in St. Louis, MO. That’s when a friend of his older brother, a produce professional with a highly successful career, suggested that he apply for a job with his own employer, Tom Lange Missouri, also located in St. Louis. “My brother’s friend said he felt I would be a good fit with the industry,”... Read more
Columbine Vineyards adds to sales team
Columbine Vineyards, a family grape grower, recently recruited Erasmo Marin, Michael Hatcher and Oliver Sill as sales representatives and Alexandra Cody as sales support. With Columbine Vineyards’ growing portfolios of both domestic and export accounts, Marin, Hatcher, Sill and Cody join a talented and tenured team to continue a tradition of excellence and innovation.Erasmo Marin, Alexandra Cody, Michael Hatcher and Oliver Sill. Marin comes with more than... Read more
Tanimura & Antle adds marketing and business development pro
Tanimura & Antle, a leading grower-shipper based in Salinas, CA, has hired Jessica Harris as senior manager of trade marketing and business development. Harris comes to this new role from her position as senior manager of customer marketing at Earthbound Farm, where she worked since 2007. In this new role, Harris will focus on expanding relationships with customers through the development of targeted strategic customer marketing partnerships, bringing her... Read more
Generation Next: Paul Jaffa out of his EOD suit and in the  produce business at S. Katzman Produce
Paul Jaffa’s path and now connection to the produce industry reads like a love story, but his attachment to it has evolved into produce passion. He began working for S. Katzman Produce Inc., located at the Hunts Point Terminal Market, in 2014 at age 28. He started in maintenance and food safety, but in 2016 he was moved into his current buying position. “I started buying kiwi in early 2016,” explained Jaffa. “We source from Italy, Chile,... Read more
Tanimura & Antle names director of organics
Tanimura & Antle, based in Salinas, CA, has hired Chris Glynn as director of organics. The move is a continuation of the company’s effort to build its team with leading organic veterans and lays the groundwork for a rollout of organic products. Glynn worked at Earthbound Farm since 2005, most recently as vice president of ag supply, playing a pivotal role in the development and coordination of their network of organic growers. “We worked closely... Read more
Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition and health at the United Fresh Produce Association, will be the honoree and featured speaker at the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Wednesday, June 14, at United Fresh 2017 in Chicago. Prior to her decade of service to the industry at United Fresh, DiSogra was the director of the National 5 A Day Program at the National Cancer Institute 2001-05, vice president of nutrition at Dole Food Co. 1991-2001, and the director... Read more
Kroger announces exec changes, hiring event
The Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Sukanya Madlinger, senior vice president of retail divisions, and the promotion of Calvin Kaufman to succeed her. Kaufman currently serves as president of Kroger's Louisville division. Ann Reed will succeed Kaufman as president of the Louisville division. Additionally, the company said it will hold open interviews in its stores nationwide on Saturday, May 20. The company announced earlier this year that it will add an... Read more
The United Fresh Produce Association will present its 2017 FreshTEC and FreshMKT Achievement awards to two leaders who have made their mark on the fresh produce industry. Receiving the FreshTEC award for outstanding technical achievements is Peter Quiring, owner and chief executive officer of NatureFresh Farms, whose leadership has helped advance the fresh produce industry through innovation in greenhouse technologies. Receiving the FreshMKT award for outstanding... Read more
Al Murray serving New Jersey again
Al Murray is again serving New Jersey agricultural interests. Both the New Jersey Farm Bureau and the New Jersey Agricultural Society have hired the state's former assistant secretary of agriculture to help their respective organizations, tapping into his experience and expertise during his decades of service with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The farm bureau hired Murray in early February as a consultant. He is representing that organization "at all... Read more
John Vena’s Emily Kohlhas has packed a lot of experiences into her 29 years
Emily Kohlhas’ first exposure to the produce industry was in 2009 when she worked at Whole Foods Market for a short stint after finishing college. Today she serves as sales and marketing coordinator for John Vena Inc., located in the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. “Technically, I was in customer service at Whole Foods, but I was most interested in the food, especially farmstead cheeses and fresh produce,” said Kohlhas. “I took advantage... Read more
Nick Pasculli receives Ag Tech Innovator Award
Nick Pasculli, owner of TMD Creative, an international marketing and design firm, was awarded the Ag Tech Innovator Award at the 2017 Salinas Valley Ag Tech Summit. The award, presented by the Hartnell College Agriculture Business & Technology Institute, was to honor Pasculli’s continued support of the ag industry, as well as his success in cultivating a deepening relationship between technology and agriculture. The event is hosted by the Agricultural... Read more
Florist Sammie Scott dies at 98
Sammie Scott, believed to be the oldest American florist, died March 29 in Amarillo, TX, at the age of 98. Mr. Scott worked in his shop from 1957 up until two weeks before his death, according to a news release. His daughter, Mary Ruth Albracht, said her father had arranged about 40,000 casket pieces and worked five generations of weddings during his long career. “He shared in that many lives,” Albracht said in the release. “He loved all flowers.... Read more
Stewart Precythe, president and CEO of Southern Produce Distributors, dies at age 68
David Stewart Precythe, president and chief executive officer of Southern Produce Distributors Inc. in Faison, NC, died Thursday, April 20, at his home, surrounded by family and friends. He was 68 years old. Mr. Precythe, a 50-year veteran of the produce industry, laid the foundation for Southern Produce Distributors’ ongoing and continuing success. A native of Duplin County, NC, Mr. Precythe was known as a man of great integrity, loyalty and dedication.... Read more