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Brooks Tropicals names former Coca-Cola executive as its new CEO

by Christina DiMartino | March 21, 2011

Brooks Tropicals in Homestead, FL, announced that the company has appointed Greg Smith as its new chief executive officer.

Mr. Smith steps into the CEO position following the departure of Craig Wheeling, who retired in early

Greg Smith
February after serving as president of the company for 23 years.


In a March 17 press release issued by Brooks Tropicals, Mr. Smith said, "I like to think ahead and plan to make it happen. I'm seeing tremendous opportunities for this firm. We're not far from being 100 years old and I think we'll hit that benchmark with a widening footprint in papayas, Florida avocados, starfruit and more."

Mr. Smith comes to Brooks Tropicals after 37 years at Coca-Cola. With a background in operations, finance, auditing and procurement, he hopes to support the team by initially focusing most of his efforts on the financial side of the business, while the Brooks team gets him up to speed on the field and packing operations along with the sales and marketing side of the firm.

"Brooks Tropicals is a great operation with great people working for it," said Mr. Smith. "I see myself getting

passionate about both the business and the industry, but that will not be hard to do considering the Brooks name, the people and our position in the industry."

Neal (Pal) Brooks, president of the company added, "It's invigorating. The company's past has laid the foundation for a promising future. I believe Greg Smith can lead the company there."

Mr. Smith added, "Brooks Tropicals has the right people and the right products in place. Although the bar has been set high, I plan on making this a better company and a better place to work."

Mr. Smith and his wife Debbie have been married for more than 32 years. They have one son, Travis.

"This is a great opportunity to join a premier company in what I consider a fascinating business," Mr. Smith told The Produce News.