Jin Ju Wilder, the former president of Coast Produce Co. in Los Angeles, announced the launch of a new multi-faceted business called Status Gro.
Status Gro, based in South Pasadena, CA, will develop and execute strategic plans, offer core story development, advertising and marketing, project management, team building, and bid and proposal writing for companies in the produce industry that want to stay vital and are looking for new ways to grow.
“With Status Gro, we hope to be of assistance in helping companies grow and develop, moving beyond status quo,” Ms. Wilder said in a March 11 press release. “Founding Status Gro fulfills a long-time dream of owningmy own business where I can pursue my passion to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by helping produce businesses grow through strategic planning, innovation, and teamwork.”
Status Gro, whose stated mission is to “Gro your business while treating you like we like being treated,” values respectful and empowering leadership, working as partners with its clientele to aid in creating new ideas, according to the press release. By leveraging significant executive management experience, branding and marketing expertise, industry knowledge and networking, Status Gro is able to move quickly and confidently toward innovative, tangible solutions.
As President of Coast Produce Co., Ms. Wilder led the firm’s transformation from a regional produce wholesaler to a supply chain solutions provider on a national level for clients such as Albertson’s, SuperValu and Kroger, as well as government agencies such as Defense Commissaries Agency and Defense Supply Center Philadelphia. Leading the company’s efforts to secure government contracts, she was responsible for successful bids that more than doubled the company’s sales volume and profits.
Ms. Wilder also led internal teams to explore business models that included worksite deliveries, outdoor fresh markets, fruit and vegetable kiosks in unconventional environments, and on the Internet. She currently serves
on the Produce Marketing Association’s board of directors and was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve on the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. She has been an industry speaker at the Australian Vegetable Industry Conference, Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association and Fresh Produce & Floral Council and continues to serve on various other industry committees.
In a separate announcement, Status Gro said that Emily Fragoso has joined the company as director of business development.
Mr. Fragoso was marketing manager at Coast Produce Co., where she created marketing programs like the Coast Snacking Line, Coast Organic and Farmer’s Select, and worked with existing programs such as Coast Asia and Coast Caliente.
Additionally, was in charge of brand management, new products, line extensions and packaging graphics.
“Working with smaller organizations has allowed me to take on responsibility of generating copy, writing articles, building relationships within the produce industry and trade media, taking on leadership roles, creating and conducting various presentations, and many other tasks,” Ms. Fragoso said in the press release. “I have also led cross-functional teams in developing new business. This experience has given me a wealth of knowledge in creating new marketing programs for product lines as well as developing existing programs.”
Prior to Coast, Ms. Fragoso worked at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council, having served in the positions of executive vice president, vice president, and membership development director and event coordinator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in American studies from California State University at Fullerton. She currently serves on the United Fresh Produce Association’s board of directors, and was awarded a position in United Fresh Produce Association’s 2010-2011 Leadership Program Class 16.