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People, week of May 23, 2011

Mann Packing in Salinas, CA, is expanding its staff with the addition of CHRISTINE KELLER as the new director of marketing and innovation and FERNANDO AZEVEDO as a national account manager.

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Christine Keller
In the newly created position of director of marketing and innovation, Ms. Keller is the
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Fernando Azevedo
primary manager of the entire portfolio of Mann products for both retail and foodservice. This includes new product development, an ongoing evaluation of the product portfolio and implementing necessary changes to drive growth. She will report to Lorri Koster, vice president of marketing.

Ms. Keller joined Mann Packing from Safeway Inc. in Pleasanton, CA, where she was a senior innovations manager for consumer brands. Prior to Safeway, she was with Chiquita Brands International/Fresh Express.

Mr. Azevedo joined the Mann Packing team with a strong background in consumer food packaged goods, having worked for Del Monte Foods, Chicken of the Sea International and the Quaker Oats Co.

In his role as national account manager, Mr. Azevedo will report to Greg Kurkjian, vice president of retail sales, and will be responsible for sales in the western region of the United States in addition to managing the Safeway corporate account.

Ms. Keller will be based in Mann’s Salinas headquarters and Mr. Azevedo will be in San Ramon, CA.

 

Supervalu Inc. in Eden Prairie, MN, announced May 12 that SANTIAGO ROCES will be the new chief executive officer and president for Save-A-Lot, a wholly owned subsidiary of Supervalu. Mr. Roces was named to the position after most recently serving as senior vice president and general manager of Walmart’s small-format division.

Mr. Roces, 48, replaces Bill Shaner, who has led Save-A-Lot since 2006. Under Mr. Shaner’s tenure, Save-A-Lot grew by 92 stores.

With more than 20 years of experience in the grocery and food industry, including experience in franchise development, Mr. Roces brings a proven track record of growing sales and driving new market development, according to a May 12 company press release.

Prior to becoming Walmart’s senior vice president of its small-format division, Mr. Roces held leadership positions at Walmart, including senior vice president of new business development and customer experience, president and CEO of Walmart Korea, and chief merchandising officer of Walmart Argentina. He has also held leadership positions at PepsiCo and Carrefour.

 

STEVE PROBSTFIELD, a produce industry veteran with more than 40 years of experience working with fresh fruits and vegetables, has joined greenhouse grower Clifford Produce, based in Ruthven, ON, as director of business development. He will be based in Springfield, MO.

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Steve Probstfield
Mr. Probstfield will be responsible for national account development, including building supply-chain partnerships with foodservice and retail operations. He will also help the company to identify and satisfy customer needs and to manage product quality.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steve to our team,” Chris Jacobs, president of Clifford Produce, said in a May 16 press release. “He will help us to ensure that Clifford continues to provide safe, consistently high-quality, and fully traceable greenhouse vegetables for our clients.”

Mr. Probstfield recently stepped down as chief operating officer of NationFresh LLC, where he was responsible for managing all sales and marketing and business development efforts for tomatoes and vegetables. Prior to his five-year stint at NationFresh, he spent 36 years with Sunkist Growers Inc. in various managerial roles, including director of foodservice sales.

“I look forward to helping Clifford develop relationships within the industry and providing the superior quality produce that people have come to expect from the Clifford name,” Mr. Probstfield said in the press release.

 

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.