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Sun Pacific export program expands sales team
With more than 30 years of global exporting experience, Sun Pacific continues to build its overseas relationships with valued customers and has brought on Brian Auterieth as director of export sales to strengthen and expand the export program. Auterieth is no stranger to the perishable export business as he comes from a family spanning three generations in fresh fruit exports. He has returned to Sun Pacific after a brief stint with a startup air freight forwarding... Read more
Oppy names MacDonald and Gardner to new director roles
Oppy has promoted a pair of veterans to newly created leadership roles within its marketing team. On June 1, Marketing Development Manager Cathie MacDonald was elevated to director of marketing services, while Karin Gardner, previously marketing communications manager, was promoted to director of corporate communications.Cathie MacDonald “Cathie and Karin have contributed significantly toward our goals with a unique blend of thoughtfulness and passion for more... Read more
Whole Foods Market recently announced Kelly Landrieu as its global coordinator of local brands. Landrieu will work closely with Whole Foods Market’s local foragers and merchants throughout the organization to support and counsel local suppliers bringing innovative and trending products with the highest quality ingredients to customers. Located throughout the company’s 12 regions, Whole Foods Market’s local foragers and buyers are responsible for finding and incubating... Read more
AJ Consalo taking the reins at a young age at Consalo Family Farms
At age 14, AJ Consalo started working for his father at Consalo Family Farms in Vineland, NJ. Today, at age 23, he holds the title of vice president of farming operations for the company. “At the time I worked summers for my father,” said Consalo. “I used to go to the Vineland Produce Auction with him every day and write down the price of each product to help him follow the market.” In 2012, at age 17, he had started his first job away from the family business... Read more
Respected table grape grower, Andrew V. Zaninovich dies at 91
Andrew V. Zaninovich, beloved father, husband, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday June 1, in La Cañada, CA, surrounded by his family. Mr. Zaninovich, known as Uncle Andy by many nieces, nephews and extended family, was born to Vincent B. Zaninovich and Bonica Tomicic Zaninovich of Cutler, CA in 1926, one of four siblings with his brothers John and Antone and sister Mary. Mr. Zaninovich was a respected table grape grower,... Read more
Gretchen Kreidler Austin joins SunFed as director of marketing and business development
SunFed has hired Gretchen Kreidler Austin as its director of marketing and business development, effective June 11. She will expand the company’s portfolio of products and pioneer new business, among many other tasks, as well as orchestrate business development and oversee resource planning, reporting and communications. “I’ve known Gretchen for several years, back to her days at Rio Queen Citrus. She has always had a very positive spirt,... Read more
Family Tree Farms hires new marketing manager
Family Tree Farms has hired Kiah Ruvalcaba as its new marketing manager. As its international footprint continues to grow, Family Tree Farms is expanding their marketing department to fit the needs of growers and consumers. Ruvalcaba is the first hire of a strategic expansion at Family Tree Farms. She brings 10 years of expertise in marketing, communication and sales, with a specialty in agriculture marketing. "Great people, in the field, packinghouse and office... Read more
Save-A-Lot vet joins Pear Bureau Northwest as regional marketing manager
The Pear Bureau Northwest has hired Bryan Roberts as regional marketing manager. Roberts will be taking over the Midwest region and replacing Ed Chambers, who will be retiring from the Pear Bureau after 34 years. Roberts brings a wide range of experience having spent the past 22 years with Save-A-Lot, working a variety of positions within the produce department. In that time, Roberts has held positions such as fruit category manager, sourcing manager and buyer... Read more
NPPGA names new president
The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, based in East Grand Forks, MN, has hired Donavon Johnson to be its new president. Johnson started on June 4 and will be replacing Chuck Gunnerson who is retiring after leading the organization for the past 10 years. Johnson brings an extensive background in leading successful businesses and non-profit organizations across the United States and internationally, most recently working for the North Dakota Trade Office. NPPGA... Read more
Jessica Crowther new marketing admin assistant at CPAC/Colorado Potatoes
A familiar name in the San Luis Valley potato industry recently joined the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee/Colorado San Luis Valley Potatoes staff. Jessica Crowther, daughter of Lynette and the late Ron Crowther, started her new position May 7, bringing to the job not only a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing classroom experience but also a lifelong relationship to the region’s potato community. Her father was a longtime grower... Read more
Generation Next: From baking to farming, Chelsea Consalo has the recipe for success
Whether she’s baking a pie or running her family’s farm, 25-year-old Chelsea Consalo is constantly whipping up winning recipes. As a former bakery manager turned vice president of a family farming and produce distribution business, there is no doubt that Consalo has a strong passion for the food industry. “I’ve always had a passion for the food industry, but didn’t know I wanted to go into produce,” Consalo told The Produce News. “Then my dad approached me when... Read more
Market fresh welcomes Sherri Zintel to its growing company
Sherri Zintel has joined the Market Fresh Produce team. Zintel will be the manager of inventory systems at the Market Fresh Tampa, FL, facility. Her responsibilities will include monitoring production efficiency and product yields, ensuring that all activity is accurately documented in the system and coordinating with all production staff on the daily schedule monitor product from production to shipping. Given Zintel’s background, Steve Phipps, chief executive... Read more
Dave’s welcomes new hire as domestic operations expand
Dave’s Specialty Imports Inc. hired Tom Rawles to the team as an operations manager focused on grower relations. His extensive expertise across the berry categories is an excellent addition to the Dave’s team. With more than 12 years experience Rawles has touched nearly all aspects of the berry business, including farm development and management, blueberry packing, distribution facility operations, R&D and managing grower partnerships. “Tom’s experience in... Read more
Oppy promotes Audrey Desnoyers
With a new step in a career already marked with considerable distinction, Audrey Desnoyers has been promoted to the role of Seattle office sales manager. In recent years, Desnoyers has emerged as a trusted and effective leader within the full-service fresh produce sales, marketing and distribution company, and in the industry at large. Serving as Oppy’s national business development manager since 2015, Desnoyers carved out an impressive track record of driving... Read more
Industry veteran to help boost Idaho potato sales
The Idaho Potato Commission is preparing for an expanded sales push both in the United States and abroad with the addition of Ross Johnson as the new IPC international marketing director. “We know international opportunities to drive higher Idaho potato sales are exponential,” said Johnson, whose experience includes leading domestic and international marketing programs at Potatoes USA, along with management positions at Kraft and ConAgra. “There is a lot of opportunity... Read more
Coleman Agriculture names new president
Coleman Agriculture, based in Gervais, OR, has hired David Henze as its new president. Henze comes to Coleman Ag with over 20 years of experience in the food and agriculture industry in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Most recently, Henze was president of the Fourth Leaf Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA. Previous to​ Fourth Leaf he held leadership​ positions in sales and marketing for Idahoan Foods’ foodservice​ division and as general manager of Simmisco Foods — an avocado... Read more
American Pecan Council names new executive director
Alexander J. Ott, an agriculture industry leader with more than a decade of experience leading category organizations, will join the American Pecan Council as its new executive director beginning July 1. Ott currently serves as executive director of the California Apple Commission, the California Olive Committee and the California Blueberry Commission, and will relocate from California to Texas to lead the APC. The APC’s mission is to help build demand for pecans,... Read more
Rick Paul to retire from Sun World 

Sun World International LLC announced that its grape category director, Richard (Rick) Paul, will retire from the company, effective May 18. Paul’s departure marks the end of an era for Sun World and 26 years of impact that he has had both inside and outside of the company. “Through 26 years, and so much history, my time has come,” Paul said. “From my start at the Superior Farming Co. to the Sun World we have created, today we stand in our strongest position in... Read more
Tribute: From humble beginnings, Allen Lund built a $500M transportation company
Allen Lund, a longtime leader in the transportation of fresh produce, died on April 7. He died with the knowledge that the company he founded with just $5,000 in 1976 had just had its best quarter ever, surpassing $500 million in annual sales. Kenny Lund, Allen’s son and company vice president, speaking to The Produce News 10 days after his death, said his father could not have been more proud of the business he built.  Allen Lund “He always would say that... Read more
New York Apple Sales increasing executive staff to keep pace with company growth
It’s been an exciting past decade for Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales. The company has expanded to become one of the most diversified grower-marketers in New York state, and today NYAS also has strong import programs. To keep pace with its exponential growth, NYAS is also expanding its staff with new employees as well as promoting existing team members. “We are proud to announce that Chelsea Van Acker and Zach O’Keefe have joined the team at New York Apple... Read more