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VERO BEACH, FL -- Seald Sweet International announced July 9 a new placement of executive leadership to the company's chief financial officer position, which is soon to be vacated by a promotion within the organization's parent company, Belgium- based UNIVEG Group.

Gary J. Collins has been appointed as Seald Sweet's CFO, succeeding Vitor Figueiredo. In line with the company's strategy of promoting within, Mr. Figueiredo is slated to take over the helm as managing director of UNIVEG Portugal in October.

Mr. Figueiredo began his tenure with the group at UNIVEG Portugal, where he was finance manager from March 2006 to October 2007. He was promoted in 2007 to CFO over UNIVEG America, representing Seald Sweet, UNIVEG Logistics and Hot Cusine America.

"I am grateful for the wonderfull opportunities at Seald Sweet and now UNIVEG Portugal," Mr. Figueiredo said in a July 9 press release. "I am looking forward to my new role and its challenges."

Mr. Collins joins Seald Sweet with a high-level seasoned tenure at several multi- billion dollar companies around the world, supporting Seald Sweet's growth and global strategy. Mr. Collins has an MBA in finance from Baldwin Wallace College and has held executive positions in internationally positioned companies such as General Electric (Italy), Lincoln Electric (Shaghai/Asia Pacific region), Emerson Electric (Belgium) and most recently Synthes (Shaghai, China).

"I am delighted to join the Seald Sweet family -- the energy and enthusiasm is evident in everyone I have met," Mr. Collins said in the release. "I am also eager to learn more about this fascinating industry and contribute to its growth with my background in financial process improvement and controllership."

Mr. Collins will work closely with Mr. Figueiredo until his departure, enabling a seamless transition. Mr. Collins will also fill Mr. Figueiredo's position as a key member of Seald Sweet's executive leadership team and participate in overall corporate strategic planning. Like his successor, Mr. Collins will report to Mayda Sotomayor, Seald Sweet's chief Executive officer.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Collins to Seald Sweet's management team and the UNIVEG Group," Ms. Sotomayor said in the release. "He brings a broad base of diverse professional experience as well as high-caliber global financial expertise to our company. I am confident that he will continue to advance our financial growth, which was paramount under Mr. Figueiredo's leadership."

Ms. Sotomayor further stated, "As Seald Sweet's CFO, Mr. Figueiredo has done an excellent job of providing the financial leadership that contributed to the company's growth. It is refreshing to be part of an organization (UNIVEG) that recognizes dedication and talent within its current employee structure. We are very grateful for Mr. Figueiredo's years of service to our company. We congratulate him and his family in the new opportunities ahead and wish them the very best."