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Audrey Dunne of Curation Foods: Extreme exercise makes her day
When Audrey Dunne was a senior in high school in Dana Point, CA, she went on a little biking trip with her dad and sister. Over a four-day period, they rode about 300 miles from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, along California’s coast. “My dad was a long-distance cyclist and thought it would be a great trip for us,” she said. Turned out it was. The trip connected several dots that have proved pivotal in the 33-year-old Dunne’s life. She ended up going to California... Read more
SunWest Fruit Co., based in Parlier, CA, has promoted Brett Britz to vice president of sales and marketing. Britz who had joined the family-owned citrus and stone fruit company in 2010, has been serving an increasingly strategic and prominent role within the company for nearly a decade.  He now will assume increased responsibility within SunWest sales and marketing department.   “This is an exciting time for our family.  I am encouraged by Brett’s... Read more
Oppy names Canadian sales managers for east coast expansion
In a move to grow Canadian sales, Oppy has promoted David Wazny to sales manager of the team based in the company’s Vancouver headquarters and Colbert Rahal to a newly created role of sales manager of eastern Canada. The pair has followed a parallel career path at Oppy, both being promoted to senior sales representative early last year. Their experience has situated them aptly for their new managerial roles which will bring a fresh perspective to the sales strategy,... Read more
Mountain View Fruit promotes Rob Brett
Mountain View Fruit Sales in Reedley, CA, has promoted Rob Brett to director of sales and marketing. Brett has over 18 years of experience within the stone fruit industry. His previous experience includes growing, packing, shipping, sales and marketing. “His fundamental knowledge of the commodities and his passion will be pivotal as we continue to grow our partnerships from tree to table," said Mike Thurlow, owner of Mountain View Fruit Sales. "We are very fortunate... Read more
Vision Import Group hires Tony Mitchell as VP of sales and business development
Tony Mitchell has joined Vision Import Group as the company's vice president of sales and business development. He previously worked for Caito Foods and SpartanNash for 27 years in various roles, but most recently as vice president of produce and floral merchandising. Mitchell will oversee all aspects of sales, product development and new business for Vision Import Group. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help the Vision Import Group cultivate their business... Read more
Mission makes sales department changes to support company growth
Mission Produce Inc. expanded its sales department to support the company’s rapid growth. Mission created a business-development sector, hired a new senior director of sales, and increased its foodservice division. “We expanded and restructured our sales team to better serve our customer base,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ross Wileman. “Mission Produce added foodservice sales staff and created a business development sector... Read more
PBH hires new director of communications
Produce for Better Health Foundation, whose mission is to increase consumers’ consumption of fruits and vegetables for better health, has hired Katie Toulouse as the new director of communications. “As part of PBH’s strategic transformation to help consumers enjoy happier, healthier lives by eating more fruits and vegetables, it is critical to have a strong person to execute our new comprehensive communications strategy,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, PBH president... Read more
Dan Stark joins PMA as chief content officer
To amplify and enhance the value of content and education that the Produce Marketing Association provides the produce and floral industries, PMA has named the organization’s first chief content officer. Dan Stark joins PMA in January 2019 and will be responsible for providing leadership to the organization’s marketing, communications and education efforts. “We are thrilled to have Dan join our team,” said PMA Chief Executive Officer Cathy Burns.  “His experience... Read more
Colorado Department of Agriculture names new commissioner
Kate Greenberg was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Jared Polis in December 2018. As commissioner, Greenberg will lead the department’s daily operations, direct its 300 employees and oversee the agency’s eight divisions: animal health, brand inspection, Colorado State Fair, conservation services, inspection and consumer services, laboratory services, markets, and plant industry. Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg“For... Read more
Generation Next: Garrett Stolz born and bred for citrus career
There might not be a millennial better suited for his career than Garrett Stolz, marketing and communications specialist for Sunkist Growers Inc., based in Valencia, CA. Stolz grew up in Exeter, CA, a small citrus farming town located in the foothills of the Central Valley in Tulare County. It is as close to the epicenter of the California citrus industry as one can get. His knowledge of the industry was ingrained at an early age on the family farm and it appears... Read more
Seismic shift coming to National Onion Association with Mininger's retirement
A seismic shift is about to occur at the National Onion Association as an era comes to a close. Come April, former onion grower Wayne Mininger, who hast spent the better part of his professional career at the helm of the National Onion Association, will move to Texas and headlong into retirement.Wayne Mininger His replacement, Greg Yielding, has officially assumed the executive vice president role at the NOA. Yielding spent the past 14 years traveling the world... Read more
Food Safety expert joins the California LGMA staff
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hired Greg Komar as the organization’s new technical director. Mike Villaneva, the LGMA’s current technical director, is retiring in May of 2019. Komar will report directly to Scott Horsfall, LGMA's chief executive officer. With over 20 years of experience in technical aspects of production agriculture, Komar has served in a wide variety of roles.   Early in his career Komar worked in areas including laboratory... Read more
USApple selects 2019 Young Apple Leaders
The U.S. Apple Association announced its class of 2019 Young Apple Leaders. Twenty-two accomplished and aspiring young women and men were selected by the organization to join with, and learn from, USApple leaders as they advocate on important issues impacting growers and the $15 billion per year apple industry. The 2019 Young Apple Leaders include: Toni Lynn Adams, Washington Apple Commission, East Wenatchee, WA Chester Allen, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA Julie... Read more
Management promotions at J&J Family of Farms
J&J Family of Farms has recently announced some changes that will create new opportunities and new responsibilities for several key members of the J&J team. Dick Bowman will become the vice president of farming and grower development, and will lead the management and development of all of our grower partner relationships. “Dick, who has been Director of Farming since 2015, will continue to lead the growth of our farming operations, and develop new farming... Read more
Kwik Lok adds new regional sales director
Xiuming Bai, a Chinese American, is joining Kwik Lok Corp.’s global sales team and will head up Kwik Lok’s Shanghai-based Chinese office, which oversees sales in China.  Bai comes to Kwik Lok from Bysun Global Management LLC headquartered in Gretna, NE, where he co-owned the business which exported non-hormone treated beef to China.  Prior to his work with Bysun, Bai was a consulting advisor and international business manager for Nature’s Variety, a high-quality... Read more
Jim Allen receives New York Society Foundation Distinguished Service Award
In mid-January, the New York Society Foundation bestowed Jim Allen, a long-time New York apple professional, with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award. Those who are familiar with Allen’s background would agree that the award is duly appropriate given his unabashed enthusiasm throughout his decades of service and leadership to the New York — and beyond — apple industry.Jim Allen, center, received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the New York Agricultural... Read more
New Jersey Department of Agriculture names 2019 Outstanding Young Farmer
James Abma Jr., a Wyckoff vegetable producer, has been chosen as New Jersey’s 2019 Outstanding Young Farmer by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Abma and his wife, Anna, are one of 10 finalists for the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award. He will be recognized for the New Jersey honor at the 2019 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City, NJ, on Feb. 6.Jimmy and Anna Abma with their three children. “The Abmas have long been known for... Read more
Allen Lund promotes Piccola, Babiarz
Allen Lund Co. announced two key promotions in its Rochester, NY, and Charlotte, NC, offices, Todd Piccola and Greg Babiarz. Piccola has been promoted to manager of the Rochester office following his accomplishments as a transportation broker. He began his career at ALC Rochester in June 2010. Over the years he has spent time in the Los Angeles and Boston offices learning about the brokerage business and gaining experience in both dry and refrigerated goods. Throughout... Read more
Brent Scattini joins Seven Seas as West Coast VP
Seven Seas has brought on industry veteran Brent Scattini as vice president West Coast. Scattini will oversee California operations for both citrus and strawberry categories. Scattini brings 28 years of experience in the produce industry, where he focused on category management and program and marketing development. Prior to joining the Seven Seas team, Scattini served as vice president of sales and marketing at Mission Produce in Oxnard, CA. “We are thrilled... Read more
Raley’s names new corporate leader of human resources
Raley’s announced the promotion of Laura Croff to vice president of people. Croff most recently held the title senior director of human resources, leading Raley’s HR business partners and team member relations groups. In her expanded role, Croff will lead the human resources strategy for the company, including labor relations, team member relations, compensation, benefits and talent acquisition.   “We are fortunate to have Laura, a proven leader in building... Read more