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United Fresh announces nominations for board officers and directors

Tony Freytag, United Fresh immediate past chairman and executive vice president of Crunch Pak, 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 17 meeting in Santa Fe, NM.united

Ascending to chairman of the board is Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms. Jewell is responsible for strategic planning and developing and executing all marketing and communications programs for California Giant. Prior to joining California Giant, she served as executive vice president of the California Strawberry Commission, where she worked for 19 years. 

Nominated as chairman-elect is Greg Corrigan, senior director of produce and floral for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores. He has served on many boards and committees for the produce and floral industry, including the United Fresh Board from 2012 to 2016, PMA retail board, the Fresh Produce & Floral Council board and the United Fresh retail-foodservice board. Corrigan will assume the chairmanship of United Fresh in 2019.

Danny Dumas, vice president N.A. sales and product management for Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., will continue to serve in an ongoing term as secretary‐treasurer.

Current United Chairman of the Board Susan Reimer-Sifford of the Castellini Group of Cos. 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 2018:

  • Mason Arnold, known as the “Veggie Nerd” of Cece’s Veggie Noodle Co.
  • Luca Ascari, vice president of sales for ABL SPA
  • John Gates, president of Lancaster Foods Inc.
  • Richard Gonzales, vice president of global produce sourcing for Walmart Stores Inc.
  • Eric Halverson, chief executive officer of Black Gold Farms
  • Jeff Huckaby, president of Grimmway Enterprises Inc.
  • John Newell, chief operating officer of Windset Farms
  • Ramon Paz-Vega, chairman of Avocados From Mexico
  • Heather Shavey, assistant vice president and general merchandise manager at Costco Wholesale

“Our organization thrives on the strength and diversity of the leadership on the United Fresh board of directors,” said President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “This slate of new board members, along with those returning to the board, will provide a strong representation and leadership of our industry.”

Board members concluding service at the April 2018 meeting include Freytag, Crunch Pak; Mark Campion of Taylor Farms Inc.; Michael Cochran of Walmart Stores Inc.; Rudi Groppe of Heinzen Manufacturing International; Steve Jarzombek; Paul Mastronardi of Mastronardi Produce Ltd.; David McInerney of FreshDirect LLC; Bob Meek of Onions 52 Inc.; Ken Moynihan of Compac; Mike Orf of Hy-Vee Inc.; and Mario Steta of Driscoll's.

“I’d like to extend a personal thanks to all of the board members who are concluding their service at this upcoming meeting, including our Immediate Past Chairman Tony Freytag who provided exceptional leadership to our organization during his many years of service,” said Stenzel. “With an industry as diverse and complex as ours, we are grateful to the dedicated members of our Board who have helped navigate the challenges in our industry and further advance our organization. We appreciate the time and service they have dedicated to United Fresh and the industry.

“I’d also like to personally thank Tony and board development committee members Susan Reimer-Sifford, Cindy Jewell, Danny Dumas, John Jackson, Raina Nelson, Tom Brugato and Jeff Cady for their work this year in nominating an impressive slate of officers and board members. Their job was to help develop a strong and representative leadership on the board for the coming years to drive our association forward, and I commend them for developing this strong slate of industry leaders,” Stenzel said.