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People, week of April 22, 2011

JOE CALENDA has joined Ciruli Bros. LLC in Nogales, AZ, as the company's director of foodservice and retail programs.

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Joe Calenda

Mr. Calenda, who began with Ciruli Bros. in late February, was previously with Grupo Coliman in Phoenix. He will be in charge of developing the company's foodservice and retail business.

A native of Vicenza, Italy, Mr. Calenda brings over 35 years of experience in the produce industry to his new position, having worked with companies such as Sysco Corp. and Dominick's stores in the Chicago area.

"Joe's vast experience in the foodservice and retail trades brings priceless information and know-how to our operation. We are honored and very excited to have him here," Chris Ciruli, chief operating officer of the company, said in an April 8 press release.

In the press release, Mr. Calenda commented on the Ciruli family's legacy in the produce industry. "I identify with Ciruli Bros.' commitment to quality and service and with the company's vision for the future," Mr. Calenda said.

 

Wishnatzki Farms, a Florida-based grower-shipper, has hired DARWIN REICH as director of California operations. He will oversee Misty Ranch, the company's joint venture with Berry Valley Farms in Salinas, CA. He will also recruit independent growers in California who want to sell their crops through Wishnatzki's marketing arm and look for opportunities for the company to own and operate acreage in California.

"Establishing operations in California and hiring Darwin to lead them shows our serious commitment to providing high-quality produce year round," Gary Wishnatzki, president of Wishnatzki Farms, said in a March 28 press release. "Initially, the Berry Valley deal will give us about 120 acres of produce to sell, but Darwin's operational expertise and understanding of the California growing industry should help us expand our California production well beyond that. We'd like to increase by 50 percent a year for the next few years."

Mr. Reich said in the release, "I'm looking forward to helping Wish Farms achieve its goals in California. It's no surprise that Florida's most successful grower-shipper would come to California in order to extend production beyond Florida's growing season. With California's large growers offering year-round berries, it is a competitive necessity."

Mr. Reich was previously operations manager for NorCal Harvesting in Salinas.

 

CLARA VIRGINIA ZADLO was born March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) in Waterbury, CT, to Rebecca and Tom Zadlo.

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Clara Virginia Zaldo
She weighed eight pounds, two ounces. This is the fourth grandchild — and first grand-daughter — for Greg Veneziano, who is vice president of perishables at wholesale grocer Bozzuto's Inc., headquartered in Cheshire, CT.

 

 

To announce personnel changes at your company, please contact Assistant Editor Terry Sokol at 201/986-7990, ext. 107, or sokol@theproducenews.com. Photos are encouraged.