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For the eighth consecutive year, Vancouver, BC-based The Oppenheimer Group has been named among Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, and 2009 also marks the second consecutive year the produce marketer has been awarded Platinum Club member status by the judging panel.

Overseen by sponsors Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, The National Post and Queen's School of Business, the award selection entails a detailed assessment process, and each year's recognition reflects the previous year's performance.

Oppenheimer President, Chairman and CEO John Anderson said that this year's honor comes with propitious timing.

"We are particularly happy to be recognized this time, considering the complex economic landscape and the unique set of challenges it has brought to companies everywhere, and the fact that we were celebrating our 150th year in business in 2008," Mr. Anderson said in a press release.

Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies program, established in 1993, recognizes Canadian organizations that have implemented world-class business practices and created value in innovative ways. Each application is reviewed by an independent judging panel that evaluates how the company addresses various business challenges, including new technologies, globalization, brand management, leadership, leveraging and developing core competencies, designing information systems, and hiring the right talent to facilitate growth.

Singling out Executive Vice President Greg Sheldon and Senior Vice President Bob Dunlop, who both retired in January, Mr. Anderson said, "Greg and Bob contributed significantly over the years, especially in the areas of grower relations, technology, sales and operations. They helped direct our overall strategy, and their commitment and expertise played a huge part in Oppenheimer becoming the solid organization it is today."

Mr. Sheldon had been with Oppenheimer for 17 years. His duties will be shared by Nigel Fripp, who came to Oppenheimer in October 2007 as vice president of finance, and Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Doug Grant, whose 14-year tenure has included various leadership roles.

Mr. Dunlop, who was a 24-year veteran of the organization, has passed his responsibilities to Dawn Gray and David Smith. Ms. Gray, senior vice president of sales, marketing and categories, officially joined Oppenheimer in January after a two-year stint as general manager at Oppenheimer's grower-partner ENZA. Mr. Smith, who is vice president of sales, will celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company this year.

Additionally, Jerry Smirniotis, vice president for the East Coast, will continue to provide strategic guidance to Oppenheimer's sales and operations in the eastern United States and eastern Canada. Mr. Smirniotis also directs the organization's stone fruit category and has been part of Oppenheimer's management team since he joined the company in 1990.