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People, week of July 11, 2011

JemD International in Kingsville, ON, has appointed ADRIAN ABBOTT as director of operations.

Adrian Abbott, director of operations for JemD International.
Mr. Abbott, who has more than 20 years of experience in the trade, came to JemD International following his tenure with B.C. Tree Fruits Ltd., where he was director of marketing and industry relations.

In his new position, Mr. Abbott will oversee the day-to-day operations of the greenhouse grower’s distribution center and facility. He will be responsible for occupational health and safety initiatives, food-safety programs, audits and PTI milestones in addition to industry relations.

“Adrian joining our team is truly an achievement for our company,” Jim DiMenna, president of JemD International, said in a July 4 press release. “With his knowledge and vast experience in produce operations, Adrian will positively contribute to the growth of our company as we continue our expansions throughout North America.”

“I am pleased to become part of such a reputable company like JemD International,” Mr. Abbott said in the release. “[Its] commitment to service excellence, passion for the industry and company philosophy on continuous growth and staff development is what I admire most about the organization. I look forward to being a member of the highly skilled team at JemD International.”


Gail Gill, sales coordinator and food safety manager for Jakov Dulcich & Sons.
Jakov Dulcich & Sons in Delano, CA, named GAIL GILL sales coordinator and food safety manager in June. Ms. Gill originally joined the company in September 2008.

“My responsibilities include preparing all domestic and export documents and invoicing,” Ms. Gill said in a June 30 e-mail to The Produce News. “As food safety manager, my responsibility is to make sure that we are compliant with all food-safety regulations through a third-party certification program.

Before joining Dulcich & Sons, Ms. Gill worked as a director for the Phoenix Schools in Folsom, CA.

She graduated from Sacramento State University in California in 2004 with a bachelor of arts degree in child development.

“I currently live in Porterville, California, where I grew up and am happy to be back in the valley,” Ms. Gill said. “I live close to family and lifelong friends and am blessed with all that I have. As far as activities, my boyfriend is teaching me to ride quads, and since the summer is here, we love to have friends over for swimming and barbecues.”


Grow My Profits appoints Ernst director of research

Produce consultancy company Grow My Profits LLC, based in Lee’s Summit, MO, has named Matthew Ernst its director of research. Mr. Ernst will conduct industry research projects and provide business analysis and grant writing services for Grow My Profits’ clients.

Matthew Ernst
“We are so pleased to welcome Matthew to the Grow My Profits team,” Anthony Totta, founder and chief executive officer of the firm, said in a July 1 press release. “Matthew is a skilled writer and communicator who also understands agriculture. He will help our clients to identify and capture opportunities for business growth and development; prepare marketing collateral and educational materials; develop written reports; conduct in-depth research and analysis; and secure grants. We look forward to being able to offer our clients a greater level of service by equipping them with the information and assistance they need to take advantage of available business opportunities.”

Mr. Ernst, who grew up on a crop and livestock farm, has 10 years of experience in writing for the produce industry, including business report and proposal writing, horticultural crop enterprise analysis, and market outlook reporting. He has also ghostwritten and edited white papers, e-books and Internet copy, and he has numerous magazine and newspaper articles to his credit.

Additionally, Mr. Ernst has provided writing services, survey data analysis, and farm production budget research and development for several land-grant universities and non-profit centers. He was formerly an extension associate in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University and a master of divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is based near St. Louis, between Missouri’s wine country and the Ozarks.


Matlock appointed to USDA advisory committee on biotech, agriculture

Marty Matlock
Marty Matlock, area director of the Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, has been appointed to a U.S. Department of Agriculture advisory committee on biotechnology and 21st century agriculture. U.S. Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the committee appointment.

Mr. Matlock, who is also a professor of ecological engineering in the university’s department of biological and agricultural engineering, is one of 22 committee members from 16 states. The members represent the biotechnology industry, the organic food industry, farming communities, the seed industry, food manufacturers, state government, consumer and community development groups, the medical profession and academic researchers.

“I hope this committee will recommend workable solutions that will enhance the ability of all farmers to grow the crops they want in order to effectively meet the needs of their customers,” Mr. Vilsack said in a June 30 press release.

Mr. Matlock is an ecological engineer with 20 years of experience measuring and designing systems for enhancing ecosystem services. His work has focused on watershed ecosystem processes that affect water quantity and quality.

“We will share Earth with between 9 [billion] and 10 billion people in 40 years,” Mr. Matlock said in the release. “We currently use 43 percent of Earth’s surface for production of food, feed and fiber. Land available for growing food will also have to begin to provide fuel as demand for energy exceeds global petroleum resources. Preserving ecosystem services in the biosphere to meet these demands will require balancing a range of opportunities and costs. Over 70 percent of us already live in water-scarce areas; this is expected to get worse as populations increase. Availability of water will limit the prosperity of humanity; we must use every tool in our toolbox, and invent some new tools, if we are to enhance human prosperity and preserve a functioning biosphere.”


Edge Sales announces Safeway account manager

Pleasanton, CA-based retail broker Edge Sales & Marketing has hired Teresa Estrada as its Safeway account manager. In her position, Ms. Estrada will assist in managing the Safeway corporate business. Edge Sales specializes in the sales and marketing of value-added and commodity produce to Safeway as well as other retailers and distributors in the Northern California market.

Ms. Estrada’s addition to the company will enhance the business management, account management, analytics, marketing and retail merchandising portions of its business.

Her past experience includes working as a national account manager for Red Bull North America, corporate brands marketing manager for Safeway, retail accounts manager for AC Nielsen and most recently as a senior leadership manager for Nestle-Dryers.

Edge Sales founder and President Brad Raffanti said in a May 31 press release, “We are constantly seeking to improve our company and invest in additional resources, particularly in difficult economic times when our clients and customers need us most. When the opportunity came about to add a talented individual such as Teresa to our business management team, we needed to make the move.”