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The Produce News has learned that Rick Eastes, who was named vice president of sales and marketing for Fruit Patch Sales LLC in Dinuba, CA, Dec. 8, 2008, the exclusive sales agent for Fruit Patch Inc., is no longer with the company.

It is the third change in management at the Fruit Patch sales organization in two years.

The change comes just six weeks after the naming of Scott Wallace as president and chief executive officer of Fruit Patch, replacing Glen McClaren who had been named president in August 2007 and who had shortly thereafter brought in John Forry and Dewey Forry Jr. to head the Fruit Patch sales organization.

Mike Crookshanks, a salesperson with Fruit Patch, confirmed that Mr. Eastes was no longer with the company and said that Fruit Patch would be looking for a new sales manager. He referred all other inquiries to Mr. Wallace who was not immediately available for comment.

Mr. Eastes told The Produce News Aug. 26 that he had no comments "at this time."

A long-time industry veteran, Mr. Eastes started his produce career at Heggblade Marguleas and subsequently spent many years with The DiMare Co. and then with David Oppenheimer Co. He also worked with Sunkist Growers Inc. and, most recently, with Ballantine Produce Co. Inc. in Reedley, CA, before joining the Fruit Patch organization.