Great West Produce Co., based in Los Angeles, named Ken Ewalt vice president of new business development.
Ewalt has worked in the food industry for more than 30 years. He started his career as a bag boy for Jewel food stores in Chicago, and over the next 13 years took on other responsibilities and gained experiences by working in every department of the store.
After a three-year break from his job at Jewel to serve in the U.S. Navy, he moved to California at age 30. He worked in warehouse distribution, procurement, sales and operations at a variety of Southern California food companies.
Ewalt joined Ready Pac in 1997 as purchasing/operations manager in the Retail Specialties Division, and was eventually promoted to vice president and general manager of the Retail Specialties Division, with direct responsibility for the financial results of the division including procurement, sales management, operations and logistics.
Ewalt has also been active in the Fresh Produce Floral Council, serving as chairman of the board in 2009.
Commenting on his experience at Ready Pac, Ewalt said, "What gives me great pleasure was the ability to pass the baton on to Rick Montoya. "It's a good feeling knowing that the division is in good hands, and I am confident Rick and his team will take the division to new heights. Great West was one of the first companies that I purchased from over 20 years ago. As a new buyer, what I remember most is the time they took to work with me. I was not buying much, but they took care of me like I was a major account. I look forward to working with the team here and keeping that tradition of great customer service and satisfaction."
"I have followed Ken's career over the years and am very excited to have him join our team," Paul Villa, chief executive officer of Great West Produce, added in the press release. "He has a proven track record in developing business around Retail specific needs and satisfaction that will further grow our business."