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LOS ANGELES -- John Corsaro, executive vice president of the Giumarra Cos., announced July 12 that Giumarra will be opening a new division, Giumarra Southeast, to focus on marketing vegetables and melons from the southeastern region of the United States. This new division will also be responsible for imports from South America for shipment to the eastern United States.

Giumarra Southeast will be based in Boca Raton, FL, and will be headed by Gary Sargent.

Mr. Sargent noted that he was returning to a company that he both knows and respects. He previously worked for Giumarra with the West Coast Chilean division. He was also a buyer with Kroger and more recently was employed with Southern Specialties.

"We already offer a line of quality vegetables and melons from Mexico, and we are looking forward to expanding our product line with items from domestic growers," Mr. Corsaro said in a July 12 press release. "Given Gary's previous experience with us, he is also very familiar with our growers and exporters in South America."

Mr. Sargent will also assist with the development of the Giumarra Borquez sales team and procurement of its off-shore green asparagus, primarily from Peru. Giumarra Borquez is a year-round supplier of imported asparagus. He will work closely with the East Coast and West Coast sales teams to coordinate and implement programs with customers.

"I'm excited about these new opportunities and delighted to be offered the opportunity to work for Giumarra again. I'm looking forward to taking the lead on building grower and customer relationships with these new ventures," Mr. Sargent said in the release.

"Gary will be responsible for managing the flow of product from our international partners to the U.S. and Canadian markets," Bruce Dowhan, general manager of Giumarra Borquez, said in the release. "Providing a consistent supply of high-quality 'Nature's Partner' asparagus will be the foundation for programs with our customers."

Giumarra is also adding Ben Reilly as Midwest business development manager to its marketing department. Mr. Reilly has a bachelor's degree in agricultural business from the University of Queensland in Australia. He came to Giumarra from the PMA FIT program, and he most recently worked with the company's Giumarra VBM berry division. He will begin his new position July 19 and will initially be based in Nogales, AZ.

"We are eager to continue expanding our business in the Midwest region," Hillary Brick, Giumarra’s senior vice president of marketing, said in the release. "Ben has a very good understanding of the supply chain, and with his degree in agricultural business, he will be an asset to our team."