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New year ushers in changes at Colorful Harvest

Colorful Harvest, a Salinas, CA-based grower and marketer of heirloom style vegetables and strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, announced several personnel changes coinciding with the start of 2014.

Doug Ranno, a founding member and chief operating officer, has left the company to pursue other opportunities, according to a Jan. 2 press release issued by Colorful Harvest.

“Doug’s talent and energy will be missed, and we wish him well, Steffanie Smith, who assumed the position of chief executive officer following an ownership change at Colorful Harvest in October, said in the press release. “We look forward to building on the foundation that has been laid, and taking the company to new heights in 2014.”

In the Southeast region, Lee Cobb has been promoted to vice president of business development for blueberries. Cobb, a former blueberry grower and marketer, has been instrumental in helping grow the size and scope of Colorful Harvest’s blueberry program in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, according to the press release, which added that Colorful Harvest will be looking forward to further expansion around the country.

Additionally, Rick Michels was named business development manager and will be based in Plant City, FL. Michels brings a solid background in produce sales and will add depth to Colorful Harvest’s regional marketing efforts, said the press release.

In October, Colorful Harvest founding members Ranno, Tom Remick, David Knudsen and Art Davis, who jointly owned 60 percent of the company, sold their shares to the Salinas-based Andrew Smith Co. and the remaining Colorful Harvest founding member, Jeffrey Sholl, giving each a 50 percent interest in the company.

In addition to being a founding member of Colorful Harvest, Sholl is CEO of Potandon Produce LLC and The Vista Institute, and is currently a partner with Andy Smith and Steffanie Smith in California Sprouts LLC.