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Pro*Act diversification strategy targets retail, Kelly Jacob joins as vice president of retail sales

Monterey, CA -- Pro*Act, one of America's leading distributors of fresh produce to the foodservice industry, announced Dec. 15 the addition of Kelly Jacob to the management team in the newly created position of vice president of retail sales. Pro*Act's strategic plan calls for diversification to many industry segments, including retail. The company plans to increase the focus on retail, and Ms. Jacob will be leading that charge, according to a company press release.

Ms. Jacob is a 25-year veteran of the retail industry and most recently director of sales with a focus on business development at New Star/Organicgirl in Salinas, CA. While there, she managed existing or created new business at both national and regional retailers across the United States. She held previous sales and business development positions at Fresh Express/Chiquita, M&M Mars and Fleming Foods. Ms. Jacob holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Texas A&M University.

"We've identified the retail sector as a major growth opportunity for our distributors and for the Pro*Act organization as a whole," Steve Grinstead, Pro*Act's chief executive officer, said in the press release. "Pro*Act has become a powerhouse in the foodservice industry, and we know that we have the core infrastructure and the ability to provide needed services to the retail sector. A major step in that direction was to hire a strong, experienced retail sales professional to help us evaluate the value proposition and shape a retail business model that fits our unique capabilities with retailer's needs in today's business environment. Our focus will include food-safety focused local-grower programs, forward availability services utilizing our extensive U.S and Canadian distribution network. Ms. Jacob knows the industry and has an impressive record of success in retail sales and business development. We are very proud that she has joined the Pro*Act team; her relationships and experience will be invaluable as we head down the fresh retail side of the aisle."