After three decades in the fruit industry, Steve Terry, general sales manager
at Chelan Fresh Marketing, has retired.
According to a March 1 press release, Tom Riggan, former director of export
sales and assistant sales manager, has been named to succeed Mr. Terry.
Mr. Terry, who headed sales for the Chelan, WA-based company since 2005,
is counted among those who launched the fruit marketing operation in
He told The Produce News that his entire career in the fruit industry was
rewarding, but he said that being a part of Chelan Fresh's formative group
was especially gratifying.
The marketing company was formed through a series of mergers and
acquisitions. Today, Chelan Fresh Marketing handles sales and marketing for
Gebbers Farms, Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Gold Digger Apples and E. W.
Brandt & Sons. In all, the marketing efforts bring sales for more than 400
fresh fruit growers under one roof.
"Since 2004 I have had the opportunity to help put together a very successful
operation. I am only one person in a team of many people," he said, noting
that Chelan Fresh has come far due to the individuals committed to its
Of his 31 years in the fruit industry, Mr. Terry said, “I have a lot of very fond
memories. It’s the people associated with the business that have made it
most enjoyable for me.”
He added that while marketing techniques have evolved over the years, the
industry has always been dynamic.
“The business side changes every day, and certainly I’ve seen the industry
change a lot since I started,” he said.
Mr. Terry’s fruit sales career goes back to 1978, when he started with Gold
Digger Apples in Oroville, WA. He was named sales manager of that company
the following year and remained there until 1985, when he took the job of
sales manager with Beebe Orchard Co. in Chelan County. When Beebe was
acquired by Dole Food Co. in 1989, Mr. Terry signed on with the national
operation. In 1998 he became vice president of sales and marketing for Dole
Dole left the Washington tree fruit industry within three years of that move,
and Mr. Terry then began working for Trout-Blue Chelan in the city of Chelan
as sales manager.
Three years later Chelan Fresh was formed, with Mr. Terry overseeing the
And about his retirement, Mr. Terry laughed and said, “I am just looking
forward to enjoying the next 20 years.”