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Rick Bella joins Columbia Fresh Produce

Columbia Fresh Produce, based in Walla Walla, WA, announced the hire of Rick Bella as director of business development and marketing on Jan. 16.

Rick BellaBella, who is the former produce program director of Chicago-based Feeding America, will now be assisting Columbia Fresh in the business development and marketing of its hunger relief fresh produce division. He will assist the sales team in developing fresh produce programs with hunger relief organizations across the country.

“We are excited to have Rick join our team,” said Dewight Hall, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Fresh Produce. “His extensive experience in fresh produce and hunger relief will be a great complement to our current efforts.”

Bella has been in the industry for over 30 years, with 12 years in hunger relief at both Feeding America and Oklahoma City-based, Feed The Children. His background positions include director of produce at the Midland Grocery in Westville, IN, and director of produce, deli, and bakery operations at Chicago-based supermarket chain, Fairplay Finer Foods.

“This position allows me to come full circle in the hunger relief fresh produce supply chain,” Bella said in a company press release. “I am looking forward to assisting the food bank network again, and hope my knowledge and experience in this area will allow me to expand fresh produce usage with those who need it most, our nation’s hungry.”

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