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NMB's Buchsbaum will lead retail outreach in the Northeast
The National Mango Board welcomed Meg Buchsbaum as its new retail account manager for the Northeast. Buchsbaum comes to the NMB with more than 20 years of strong retail, wholesale, produce buying and product development expertise. Buchsbaum will work with retailers in the Northeast of the U.S. to set strategic programs and help retailers grow their mango category and increase year-round mango sales.  Most recently, Buchsbaum served as the national produce... Read more
Kasey Cronquist named as president of national blueberry groups
After an exhaustive search process, the North American Blueberry Council and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council have named Kasey Cronquist as its new president, effective July 29. The Council’s current executive director, Mark Villata, will retire at the end of the year. “After 25 exciting and rewarding years working for the NABC and USHBC, I’m pleased to be welcoming the next phase of leadership in Kasey,” said Mark Villata. “We’ve seen the blueberry industry grow... Read more
Pear industry elects new officers
The pear industry elected new officers during its annual meeting in Portland, OR. The newly elected officers to the Pear Bureau Northwest will lead the board, and the newly elected officers to the Fresh Pear Committee will lead the committee in accordance with Marketing Order 927: Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington. In the position of chair will be Mike Taylor of Wenatchee, WA, with Scott Martinez of Medford, OR, elected as first vice chair. In second and third... Read more
United Apple Sales opens West Coast division, hires industry veteran Frank Davis
United Apple Sales announced the opening of a new West Coast division based in Yakima, WA, and the hiring of Frank Davis as vice president of national business development.Frank Davis With more than 100 years as a grower-packer-shipper in upstate New York, United Apple has expanded its operations in Washington to help cover its growing national account customer base. Ward Dobbins, owner and chief executive officer, said its Washington presence began in 2016 with... Read more
Generation Next: For Grace Vilches, Internship leads to Produce for Kids position
Grace Vilches, a marketing coordinator for Florida-based Produce for Kids, is a living illustration that internships are a great way to introduce college students to the produce industry. Though Vilches has always felt an affinity for good food — she calls herself a “foodie” — and grew up in an agriculturally rich part of the country, she had no connection to the fresh produce industry until she took a random internship with her current employer in early 2016. ... Read more
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery hires Burgert Van Dyk
Burgert Van Dyk has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as regional director for South Africa, responsible for building the Fall Creek business in the region.  Under his supervision, Fall Creek will establish a new nursery in South Africa and recruit staff necessary to operate it and develop strong relationships with the company’s blueberry nursery and genetics customers in the region. Van Dyk will oversee the implementation and administration of new... Read more
Kimberly A Kropf and Caleb J. Coulter attended their first Michigan Apple Committee meeting on June 4. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed them to the Michigan Apple Committee board of directors on April 12. “Kimberly and Caleb’s experiences and knowledge are great assets to our board,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “I know they will succeed in representing their districts.” Whitmer appointed Kropf of Lowell to succeed Tony... Read more
Bob Whitaker to retire from PMA
Bob Whitaker, the Produce Marketing Association's chief science and technology officer, will retire from the association in January of 2020 after 11 years of dedication and diligence to bettering the produce industry and helping to grow a healthier world. "Bob has proven himself to be a true champion not only for our organization, but the industry at large," said Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of PMA. "His voice has been critical in times of challenge and... Read more
Coastline names Ryan Laughton VP of crop production and grower relations
Coastline Family Farms announced that Ryan Laughton has joined the company as the vice president of crop production and grower relations, a newly created position. “We are excited to bring Ryan to Coastline Family Farms and strengthen our programs in crop production, harvesting operations, and grower relations,” said Robert Verloop, chief operating officer and general manager of Coastline Family Farms. “Our client base continues to rapidly evolve as consumers have... Read more
Howard Nager leaves Sun Pacific
Effective May 31, Howard Nager has left Sun Pacific, owner of the Cuties and Mighties brands, to pursue other business opportunities. Nager joined Sun Pacific as vice president of business development in November 2016. During his tenure at Sun Pacific, he had also handled the top marketing role for an interim period. Nager has worked in a number of high-profile positions during his 36-year produce career. He held the top marketing roles at companies like Del Monte... Read more
Top performers move into key roles at Rainier Fruit
Rainier Fruit recently announced two major promotions at the company, naming Blake Belknap as vice president of sales and Blaine Markley as director of domestic sales. Belknap has been with Rainier Fruit Co. for 22 years, and was formerly the director of domestic sales. In his time with the company, Blake has become an invaluable source of knowledge and a leader on the sales team. “I’m blessed to work with an amazing team,” he remarked, “and in this new role, I’m... Read more
Giumarra's Hillary Brick announces her retirement
The Giumarra Cos. announced the retirement of Hillary Brick, senior vice president of marketing and long-time member of the company’s executive team. Brick has worked for Giumarra since 1992, when she was hired to spearhead the company’s trade and consumer marketing efforts. What began as a one-woman marketing department has since expanded to a dynamic marketing and business development team under her strategic vision and leadership.   A native of New Zealand,... Read more
USApple hires Matthew Hendrickson as manager of association services
The U.S. Apple Association announced that Matthew Hendrickson will join the organization in the newly created position of manager of association services. Hendrickson brings a wealth of experience in association and nonprofit management, including member development, program administration, business operations and board governance. Hendrickson, who joins USApple on June 10, comes to USApple from the association management consulting firm Interel Group US,... Read more
Recognition: Albert Grimaldi continues tour of industry careers
After almost 30 years of being both a buyer and the head of the produce division of C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. — which was preceded by stints growing and retailing — Albert Grimaldi has now opted for a position in a new segment of the industry with internationally-focused Fru-Veg Marketing Inc., based in Miami. Grimaldi was born in Venezuela in 1959 and moved to Connecticut when he was 2 years of age. “My dad was from Italy and my mom was from Venezuela. My... Read more
McDaniel & Chirico, a grower, packer, shipper, distributor and importer specializing in avocados, lemons, limes, pineapples and mangos, with offices in Southern California and Buffalo, NY, has announced two new additions to its sales team. George Uribe, who has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of the industry, from wholesale and retail to transportation and procurement, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team. Allan Napolitano,... Read more
Wendy Adan promoted to manager of Allen Lund Co. San Francisco
The Allen Lund Co. announced the promotion of Wendy Adan to manager of the Allen Lund Co. San Francisco office. Adan came to the Allen Lund Co. in April of 2007 and started as a transportation broker in training working exclusively with dry freight. Over the years she was promoted to a broker, operations manager, and assistant manager. She has established herself as a strong leader and has proved herself in becoming the new manager of the San Francisco office. "Wendy... Read more
Ed Treacy to take on leadership for PMA’s sustainability work
The Produce Marketing Association announced that PMA Vice President of Supply Chain and Sustainability Ed Treacy will take on leadership for PMA’s sustainability work in 2019. PMA announced in 2018 that it would be focusing on sustainability as a focus area for their work supporting the industry to grow a healthier world. The fresh produce and floral industry has need for a shared definition of sustainability, to help people understand trends, information, resources... Read more
Generation Next: Tenley Fitzgerald spreads her  reach for produce and for people
During college Tenley Fitzgerald had two internships. One was in Cuernavaca, Mexico, working with Grupo PM, and the other with the Food Marketing Institute in Washington, DC. While at FMI, she also worked with Red Jacket Orchards sampling its juices in Whole Foods and Wegmans. She later continued with Red Jacket sampling their juices in Western New York. In her very young years, Fitzgerald also worked as a customer operations manager for Giant Food Stores in the... Read more
Ocean Mist promotes Joe Angelo
Ocean Mist Farms announced the promotion of Joe Angelo from organic sales manager to sales manager for both Ocean Mist Farms and Ocean Mist Organic brands. In his new role, Angelo will be focused on both daily sales activities and account management. Angelo is a 12-year veteran of the fresh produce industry and joined Ocean Mist Farms in 2015, with prior experience as the district sales and commodity manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables and Dole Berry Co.  Over... Read more
Marc Kirby takes on executive role at Coastline
Coastline Family Farms announced that Marc Kirby has joined the company as the vice president of finance and accounting, a newly created position. “I am excited to have Marc join the Coastline Family Farms organization as we continue to expand our production base and explore new avenues to best serve our clients,” said Robert Verloop, chief operating officer and general manager. “We recently announced a new joint venture for dry onion production in Oregon, when... Read more