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Coleman Agriculture names new president
Coleman Agriculture, based in Gervais, OR, has hired David Henze as its new president. Henze comes to Coleman Ag with over 20 years of experience in the food and agriculture industry in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Most recently, Henze was president of the Fourth Leaf Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA. Previous to​ Fourth Leaf he held leadership​ positions in sales and marketing for Idahoan Foods’ foodservice​ division and as general manager of Simmisco Foods — an avocado... Read more
American Pecan Council names new executive director
Alexander J. Ott, an agriculture industry leader with more than a decade of experience leading category organizations, will join the American Pecan Council as its new executive director beginning July 1. Ott currently serves as executive director of the California Apple Commission, the California Olive Committee and the California Blueberry Commission, and will relocate from California to Texas to lead the APC. The APC’s mission is to help build demand for pecans,... Read more
Rick Paul to retire from Sun World 

Sun World International LLC announced that its grape category director, Richard (Rick) Paul, will retire from the company, effective May 18. Paul’s departure marks the end of an era for Sun World and 26 years of impact that he has had both inside and outside of the company. “Through 26 years, and so much history, my time has come,” Paul said. “From my start at the Superior Farming Co. to the Sun World we have created, today we stand in our strongest position in... Read more
Tribute: From humble beginnings, Allen Lund built a $500M transportation company
Allen Lund, a longtime leader in the transportation of fresh produce, died on April 7. He died with the knowledge that the company he founded with just $5,000 in 1976 had just had its best quarter ever, surpassing $500 million in annual sales. Kenny Lund, Allen’s son and company vice president, speaking to The Produce News 10 days after his death, said his father could not have been more proud of the business he built.  Allen Lund “He always would say that... Read more
New York Apple Sales increasing executive staff to keep pace with company growth
It’s been an exciting past decade for Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales. The company has expanded to become one of the most diversified grower-marketers in New York state, and today NYAS also has strong import programs. To keep pace with its exponential growth, NYAS is also expanding its staff with new employees as well as promoting existing team members. “We are proud to announce that Chelsea Van Acker and Zach O’Keefe have joined the team at New York Apple... Read more
PCN adds two industry veterans to executive ranks
Pro Citrus Network, a global supplier of high-quality fresh citrus, based in Visalia, CA, announced the addition of two industry veterans as vice presidents. Kim Flores has joined the company as vice president of marketing and business development, effective May 8. Christine Raymer will join the team as vice president of sales, effective May 22.Kim Flores The new positions and addition of Flores and Raymer bring new depth to PCN’s team, further strengthening its... Read more
Severo Gutierrez has managed Culiacan’s  lifeblood for 28 years
It’s difficult to be elected to anything for 28 consecutive years. However, Severo Gutierrez has managed to do just that, having been elected president of the regional water district every three years since 1990. He served on the water district board for two years before first being elected as president.In the office of SERG Agricola, Severo Gutierrez, surrounded by his family, Roberto Gutierrez Jr. and Eduardo Gutierrez II and Eduardo Gutierrez III. Despite being... Read more
Erik Chikhani Carrillo dedicated to growing Exp Group
In 2011 in Peru, Erik Chikhani Carrillo partnered with some entrepreneurs to purchase asparagus for fresh and canning operations. It was the start of the evolution to where he is today — director of foreign affairs and SQF for Exp Group LLC, based in North Bergen, NJ. “I knew Peru had amazing potential for me to explore agribusiness,” said Chikhani Carrillo. “I always had a passion for sourcing and getting the best possible product, especially from companies that... Read more
Lifelong apple industry member Jody Pavero III dies at 61
Joseph G. (Jody) Pavero III, a lifelong member of the apple industry, died April 25. He was 61. Mr. Pavero spent his life working in the apple industry, where he was president of his family business, Pavero Cold Storage. He was extremely passionate about his work and could always be seen driving his forklift around at the cold storage. Mr. Pavero was born in Poughkeepsie, NY, to the late Mary Ellen and Joseph Pavero II on Feb. 25, 1957. He grew up in Highland,... Read more
Mission Produce taps Vincenzo Salento as sales operations manager for Europe
Oxnard, CA-based Mission Produce has hired Vincenzo Salento as its sales operations manager in Europe. In this role, Salento is responsible for formulating and executing sales plans as well as managing the sales support staff in the company’s Breda, The Netherlands, facility. According to Ben Barnard, Mission’s senior director of operations with oversight in Europe, adding Salento to the growing team in Breda will help to solidify the company’s efforts in the region:... Read more
Steve Young joins BCfresh as VP of sales
BCfresh has appointed Steve Young vice president of sales. Young joins the company with almost 15 years of produce experience, with the last seven years spent in senior sales management positions. Murray Driediger, president and chief executive officer for the company noted, “Bringing a talent of Steve’s caliber to our team is the logical next step in our company’s progression. His experience, leadership qualities and industry relationships make him the ideal candidate. “Our... Read more
Dan Vache, supply chain expert, retires… for now
Immediately after graduating from high school, Dan Vache secured a job with Ryan Instruments in his native Washington state. It was a job that he would keep through college and which ultimately propelled him into his produce industry career as a supply chain expert. Recently, after helping the transportation management firm Freight Flow launch, Vache retired to spend some time with his grandkids and to travel with his wife, Carolyn. “I started working in 1971 when... Read more
Reeb joins Sun Pacific as director of marketing
Sun Pacific, a leading fruit grower-packer-shipper, which markets Cuties brand clementines and Mighties brand kiwifruit, announced that industry veteran Kate Reeb has joined the company as the director of marketing. Reeb will be based in the Pasadena, CA, office and will be responsible for the marketing of the Sun Pacific portfolio of brands: Cuties, Mighties kiwifruit, Vintage Sweets navel oranges and Air Chief grapes. With over 30 years in the produce industry,... Read more
Pinkston joins Sunny Valley
Produce industry veteran Steve Pinkston has joined Sunny Valley International as director of business development. Pinkston, who started with the Glassboro, NJ-headquartered company on April 16, will be working from North Carolina. His primary responsibility will be to “build and strengthen Sunny Valley’s business in the eastern United States,” he told The Produce News Wednesday, April 25. Pinkston, 63, was with Walmart from 1994 to March 2018, where most recently... Read more
Hickman and Raybould to lead Potatoes USA domestic marketing committee
Phil Hickman of Horntown, VA, and Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, ID, were elected to the Potatoes USA executive committee at the organization’s 46th annual meeting in Denver last month. Hickman will be serving his fourth year on the board and his first year as a domestic marketing committee co-chair after serving the past three years as the finance committee chair. He previously served six years on the board 2003-09 during which time he served as on the domestic... Read more
Visalia native joins Keenan Farms sales team
Keenan Farms Inc. welcomed Tim Lamascus to its sales team. In his role, Lamascus will manage key domestic accounts and drive sales of Keenan pistachios. “Tim brings a diverse background to our team that will add a new dimension to our sales efforts and marketing agenda,” said Paul Huckabay, vice president of sales for Keenan Farms. “His experience developing new customer accounts will be important as we anticipate marketing larger pistachio crops in the coming... Read more
Brad Lukesh and Thorsten Rhode join Pacific Trellis Fruit/Dulcinea Farms
Pacific Trellis Fruit/Dulcinea Farms, headquartered just east of the downtown Los Angeles arts district, continue to add talent to its roster. “As 2018 got under way, we saw an opportunity to improve our logistics," said General Manager Josh Leichter. "At the same time, we also wanted to put renewed focus on our branding across all channels. We are happy to welcome Brad Lukesh and Thorsten (Thor) Rhode to our team — they will strengthen us in their respective fields... Read more
Moxxy adds Keith Soergel to creative team
Moxxy Marketing has hired graphic designer Keith Soergel. His extensive background includes expertise in publication design and layout, branding and identity, label and packaging design, advertising and collateral design, and creative concept development. "Keith’s design work is phenomenal. But equally important are his unique and refreshing creative perspective and his enthusiasm for our distinctive culture," said Karen Nardozza, president and chief executive... Read more
René Hardwick joins National Onion Association
René Hardwick has joined the National Onion Association as its director of public and industry relations. Hardwick replaces Kim Reddin, who served in that position for 13 years prior to moving to Colorado Corn in February. “On behalf of the association, we want to welcome René aboard,” said Doug Stanley, president of NOA. “We look forward to working hard and diligently together to move the association forward into new times and to face new challenges.” Hardwick... Read more
Dave Yeager new Schmieding SVP of business development
Produce industry veteran Dave Yeager has been named senior vice president of business development for Schmieding Produce, headquartered in Springdale, AR. Yeager, who for seven-and-a-half years was vice president of business development for grower-owned and Colorado-based Farm Fresh Direct and focused primarily on potatoes, officially started with Schmieding the second week of April. In his new role he oversees sales of the operation’s entire range of domestic... Read more