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United Fresh announces new board officer, director nominations for 2014-15

United Fresh Immediate Past Chairman David Krause of Paramount Citrus has announced the slate of new officers and directors nominated to serve on the United Fresh Produce Association board of directors, effective at its April 22 meeting in Santa Barbara, CA.

Ascending to chairman of the board is Ron Carkoski, president and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Family of Cos. in Ephrata, PA. Carkoski currently serves as chairman-elect of the board.

Nominated as chairman-elect is Brian W. Kocher, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Chiquita Brands International Inc. in Charlotte, NC. He will assume the chairmanship of United Fresh in 2015.

Lorri A. Koster, chairman and CEO of Mann Packing Co., will continue to serve in an ongoing term as secretary-treasurer.

Current United Chairman of the Board Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc., will move to the position of immediate past chairman and remain on the board and the executive committee.

The following industry leaders have been nominated to serve as new members of the United Fresh Board for a two-year term beginning April 2014:

  • Mark Campion, president of Taylor Farms Retail Inc.
  • Rudi Groppe, president and CEO of Heinzen Manufacturing Intl.
  • Steve Jarzombek, vice president of produce procurement and merchandising for Roundy's Supermarket
  • Carissa Mace, president of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council.
  • Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO of Mastronardi Produce Ltd.
  • Bob Meek, CEO of Wada Farms Marketing Group.
  • Mike Orf, assistant vice president of produce operations at Hy-Vee Inc.
  • Susan Reimer-Sifford, director of produce purchasing and distribution for Darden Restaurants.
  • Mario Steta, group vice president and general manager-Central Mexico for Driscoll's.

Nominated as the chairman of the United Fresh Foundation, which holds an ex-officio position on the United board, is Jim Lemke, senior vice president of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. in Eden Prairie, MN. He is a past chairman of the board of United Fresh, and has served as senior vice president at Robinson since December 2007. Prior to that time, Lemke served as vice president of sourcing and as manager of C.H. Robinson's corporate procurement and distribution services division.

As a member of the executive team, Lemke has network supervision across multiple branch office locations in North America, Europe and Latin America. In addition, he has global network oversight for Robinson Fresh product and services, Management Services/TMC, C.H. Robinson's Latin America business network and the corporate resources of warehouse/inventory solutions.

Current board members nominated to new positions of service on Market Segment boards and councils include:

  • Chairman of the Grower-Shipper Board: Tom Deardorff of Deardorff Family Farms.
  • Chairman of the Retail-Foodservice Board: Sean Picquelle of Taco Bell.
  • Vice Chairman of the Retail-Foodservice Board: Greg Corrigan of Raley's Family of Fine Stores.
  • Chairman of the Produce Marketing and Merchandising Council: Cindy Jewell of California Giant Berry Farms.

"I'd like to personally thank those board members who are concluding their service at this upcoming meeting," United President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a press release. "Their contributions have greatly impacted our industry's success in so many positive ways, and we appreciate the time and dedication they have given to serving our industry. I'd also like to thank David Krause and Board Development Committee members Ron Carkoski, Ron Midyett, Lorri Koster, Tom Deardorff, Bob Kirch, Sean Picquelle and Bob Swartwout, for their work this year in nominating an impressive slate of officers and board members. Our association's strength comes from the diversity of leaders, coming together from all sectors of the produce supply chain under the United umbrella to drive our industry forward."