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NationFresh adds industry veterans

by | May 14, 2009
NationFresh LLC, based in Littleton, CO, has announced the hiring of two longtime industry veterans, Wesley Rust and Larry Narwold, to the sales and marketing staff of the company.

Mr. Rust, who spent the last five years as national marketing manager for Produce Alliance, headquartered in Nashville, TN, joined the company May 4 and will work from his home in Fort Worth, TX.

Prior to working for Produce Alliance, Mr. Rust was director of national accounts for Fresh Network in Salinas, CA, and also was vice president of national account sales for National Produce Consultants Inc. in Plano, TX. He also spent several years as an account executive for both Sysco Foods and Goodman Produce in Dallas.

Mr. Rust brings to NationFresh nearly 25 years of experience in the produce industry, and his background in contract negotiations, account management and innovative marketing strategies will be an asset to the long-range plans of the company, according to Steven Probstfield, chief operating officer of NationFresh.

"We are extremely pleased to have him join the company," Mr. Probstfield said in a press release.

Mr. Probstfield also said that the company was pleased to welcome Mr. Narwold, who also joined the company May 4, coming from Wayne E. Bailey/George Foods Cos. Mr. Narwold will work from his home in the Atlanta area.

"Larry will bring us the knowledge he has personally gained during his 36- plus years in the produce industry as well," Mr. Probstfield said in the press release.

In addition to his time with Wayne E. Bailey/George Foods Cos., Mr. Narwold's career includes five years as vice president of sales and partner relations with Green Giant Fresh/The Sholl Group in Eden Prairie, MN. Prior to that, he spent eight years in various regional retail and foodservice sales management positions with Tanimura & Antle Inc. in Salinas, CA.

Mr. Probstfield, who himself spent 36 years with Sunkist Growers Inc. in various retail, wholesale and foodservice upper management sales and marketing positions, also worked for the Tom Lange Co. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"When you add the fact that this is my 43rd year in the produce industry, the three of us have a combined total of at least 104 years knocking on doors within various segments of the produce arena," he said.

Mr. Probstfield left Sunkist in 2005 to join the NationFresh organization. He was named chief operating officer last September.

Mr. Probstfield said that in their dual roles as directors of business development, both Mr. Rust and Mr. Narwold will "focus their entire attention on all matters associated with expanding our sales, marketing, product line and business development model to local, regional and national levels at retail, wholesale and foodservice channels in the produce industry. While we primarily identify all of our NationFresh affiliates as professional tomato repack operations, a majority of our affiliates currently handle or have instant access to a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables that we can distribute on a national basis as well."