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Salinas, CA -- River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC recently expanded its senior management team to include two industry veterans, one in the area of sales and marketing and the other in the area of agricultural operations.

The company announced the addition of Rick Russo as vice president of sales and marketing. Mr. Russo brings over 20 years of experience in fresh produce sales and marketing with several Salinas Valley produce companies. He started his career with Sysco in foodservice procurement and merchandising, and has retail and foodservice experience with Tanimura & Antle, NewStar Fresh Foods and Church Brothers. He will be directing sales and marketing activities at River Ranch for value-added retail, foodservice and commodity products. He earned his bachelor of science degree in finance from Fresno State University.

"I am excited and proud to join a company with such a rich history as River Ranch," Mr Russo said in a Sept. 23 press release. "The company has a strong product line and an ongoing commitment to quality and service. I look forward to working both with the talented team and with valued customers to continue growing the business."

The company also announced the promotion of Ted Mills to vice president of agricultural operations. Mr. Mills has been with River Ranch for four years and was previously director of ag operations. In his new role, he will oversee and direct the company's farming and harvesting operations for the Salinas, Huron and Imperial valleys.

Prior to River Ranch, Mr. Mills was director and general manager of farming for Tanimura & Antle for over nine years. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in environmental economics from Sacramento State University.

"The ag ops department is committed to producing consistently high-quality products for our commodity and value-added programs," Mr. Mills said in the release. "Our customers expect the highest quality from the field, and we will consistently deliver and exceed their expectations."

John Bowman, president of River Ranch Fresh Foods, said in the release, "I am very pleased to add Rick and Ted to our senior management team at River Ranch. We look forward to building our business with Rick's fresh perspective and energized approach to meeting our customers' needs and Ted's knowledge and expertise in managing commodity programs and grower relations. These two talented individuals are important to our team as we move forward in these challenging times in the fresh produce industry."