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Erik Carrillo joins Exp Group as director of foreign affairs
North Bergen, NJ-based Exp Group LLC continues to evolve along with the strong and growing demand for tropical produce. The growth phenomenon is obvious in produce aisles and on foodservice menus across the nation. Anthony Serafino, vice president of public relations, and a second-generation family member, said, “We absolutely feel that tropical items have and continue to become regular within the typical A to Z produce items.” Exp Group’s newly... Read more
Two key sales hires at J&J Family of Farms
J&J Family of Farms recently hired David Guzi as senior vice president of sales and Mike Strickland as director of sales for its Western division. Guzi brings 35 years of experience in the produce industry to J&J Family of Farms. He has been the senior leader of sales teams at Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., Central American Produce and at Rosemont Farms. His most recent role in his career provided him the opportunity to be the general manager, responsible... Read more
Brothers Produce Houston makes executive changes
Brent Erenwert of Brothers Produce Houston has stepped away from his role as president of the company to become its chief innovation officer. Rick Sanders is now the president and general manager and Don Governale is the vice president of sales and operations. Erenwert is a 19-year produce industry veteran. In his new role he will focus on the future avenues of growth for the company. One of the early projects he has created is a new procurement division focusing... Read more
Procacci promotes three employees
Procacci Holdings LLC has announced the promotions of George Binck to chief operating officer, John Hagan to chief financial officer and Lou Struble to director of business development and special projects. Binck was hired by Procacci Bros. in 1993 as a human resources manager. The company said Binck has driven operational excellence throughout Procacci’s vertically integrated businesses during his career with Procacci in roles that have included special... Read more
SEPC appoints two to board of governors
Within the past six months, the Southeast Produce Council has appointed two industry veterans — Garry Bergstrom and Gordon M. Hochberg — to serve on its advisory panel known as the board of governors. Each recently appointed member brings a unique background and fresh perspective to provide guidance to the SEPC’s board of directors.Garry Bergstrom Bergstrom joined Publix in 1972 as a part-time produce clerk. He was then promoted to produce... Read more
Oppy names new sales and procurement managers
Effective Oct. 1, The Oppenheimer Group announced staff moves designed to strengthen western Canadian sales efforts while applying proven expertise to the procurement of produce from Mexico. Calgary, AB-based Sales Manager Todd Plaxton is returning to Nogales, AZ, in the newly created role of procurement manager. Plaxton joined Oppy as a sales representative in June 2015, bringing with him a successful record of extensive procurement responsibilities in Nogales... Read more
Nash Produce names director of marketing
Tom Joyner, chief executive officer or Nash Produce, based in Nashville, NC, announced that Tami Long has been hired as director of marketing and business development. Long succeeds Laura Hearn, who left recently to pursue other interests in the produce industry after eight years with Nash Produce. “Tami will be responsible for all of our marketing needs as well as building and maintaining lasting relationships with our vendors,” Joyner told The Produce... Read more
Fusion Marketing president selected as BrandStorm Marketing panelist
Steven Muro, founder and president of Fusion Marketing, a firm specializing in the produce industry providing customized marketing and sales solutions for a wide range of clients, will serve as a BrandStorm panel member Nov. 14 in San Francisco. BrandStorm is a project of the United Fresh Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council developed to encourage the members of the produce industry to share and exchange marketing ideas and concepts. “I’m excited... Read more
Steven Markenson to oversee research for FMI
Food Marketing Institute has appointed Steven Markenson to lead its research efforts. Markenson is a market research executive with a progressive track record of conducting quantitative and qualitative market research in a range of industries for many respected, well-known clients through his tenures at Opinion Research Corp., Snyder Communications and WBA Research. David Fikes, vice president of communications and consumer/community affairs at FMI, said Markenson’s... Read more
Hronis adds sales veteran to its team
Hronis Inc., a family-owned grower, packer and shipper of both table grapes and citrus in California’s San Joaquin Valley, announced that Jennifer LoBue has joined its sales team. “I'm excited to join the Hronis team,” LoBue said. “Their reputation precedes them. [They place] emphasis in family values, innovative marketing and sustainable farming practices attracted me instantly. I am excited to begin this next chapter of my career.” Pete... Read more
Steve Koran joins Bengard Ranch as general manager
Bengard Ranch, a leading grower-shipper of vegetables providing a year-round supply from California and Arizona, with extensive operations in Mexico and Florida, announced that industry veteran Steve Koran has joined the company as general manager. Koran has held a number of executive positions in sales during his career. Most recently, he was vice president of sales and customer service at Earthbound Farm in San Juan Batista, CA. Prior to that, he worked at Martori... Read more
IGA names president and CEO
John Ross, current president of Inmar Promotion Network, has been named president and chief executive officer of IGA Inc., succeeding current IGA Chairman, President and CEO Mark Batenic. Ross will begin his tenure mid-October, working closely with Batenic during the transition. Batenic will remain chairman of the board until his retirement Dec. 31, 2018, transitioning in January of 2019 to non-executive chairman. As president and CEO of IGA Inc., Ross... Read more
Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers expands organic, marketing staff
To keep pace with its expanding product line and volume increases, Wenatchee, WA-based Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers has expanded its staff in two key areas. Joining the company as organic category manager earlier in the season, Dan Davis brings a strong background in organic Washington tree fruit farming. Brent Shammo has added his expertise in retail marketing, produce analysis and procurement as national marketing representative.Dan Davis Davis is a Washington... Read more
FPAA names policy analyst/communications coordinator
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, based in Nogales, AZ, has named Erika Dominguez as its new policy analyst/communications coordinator. Dominguez has previous experience at the association, having served as a membership programs coordinator. Dominguez, a native of Nogales, AZ, and a Nogales High School alumna, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2015. Since graduating, she has worked as a... Read more
Coast Tropical expands team with three new hires
Coast Tropical has announced the addition of Monica Izaguirre, Lindelly Rajo and Edgard Torres to its sales and procurement team. Izaquirre will be joining the Texas team. She was most recently with CABE Fruit Produce, where she spent 10 years in sales, including sales manager roles. She will provide sales direction as well as share her knowledge to the sales team, while staying in contact and servicing numerous customer friends and growers she has cultivated... Read more
Trish Lovell returns to Curry & Co. as onion sales manager
With more than three decades in fresh market onion and potato sales and marketing, Trish Lovell has returned to Curry & Co. in Brooks, OR. Lovell, who had been with Agri-Pack in Pasco, WA, for three years, told The Produce News her return to the Oregon operation on Sept. 11 is a good fit. “I worked here for seven years before going to Pasco,” she said, saying she’s happy to work with the company’s owners, Aaron and Holly Ensign. “[Former... Read more
Emily Kohlhas takes director of marketing role at John Vena
John Vena Inc. announced last week that Emily Kohlhas will assume the position of director of marketing effective immediately. In this new role, Kohlhas is responsible for managing the John Vena Inc. brand across channels, business development and coordinating the strategic growth of products and services to enhance client relationships in foodservice, retail, meal kitting and processing. Kohlhas has been with the company since 2015 as sales and marketing coordinator,... Read more
Terra Exports has added Joe Cardenas to its leadership team as the West Coast sales director. Cardenas holds 24 years of professional experience in the industry, but has been involved with produce since the age of 12, when he would pick fruit in the fields with his parents. As a part of Terra Exports continuing growth plans, Cardenas (who is fluent in Spanish) will dedicate his focus on domestic sales. Cardenas will also be building and leading Terra Exports’... Read more
Terry Sokol retiring from The Produce News
Terry Sokol, associate editor for The Produce News, is retiring after 13 distinguished years with the publication. Her last day at the office was Aug. 30. "While we are certainly happy for Terry as she enters this new phase of her life, we (and I especially) will miss her steady hand on the editorial desk and her dedication to making our editorial product the best it can be," John Groh, editor and publisher of The Produce News, said in a recent memo to the staff.... Read more
Industry veteran retiring from Tom Lange Co.
After 28 years of service, Account Manager Tony Machi is retiring from Tom Lange Co., effective Aug. 31. Machi began his career at an early age at a produce company founded by his grandfather, Machi Produce, while also working alongside his father. After several years spent on the Pittsburgh wholesale market, he joined Tom Lange Co.’s Pittsburgh office in 1989, where he flourished and developed into the company’s top account manager for 15 years.  Greg... Read more