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People, week of August 8, 2011

JON GORMAN joined Steinbeck Country Produce in early March. In addition to handling sales and marketing for the company, Mr. Gorman manages the cauliflower program.

Jon Gorman

In his previous position, Mr. Gorman spent about five years as the senior district manager for central sales at Dole Fresh Vegetables in the Monterey, CA, office. Prior to that, he was a produce broker with Consolidated Fruit & Vegetable Co. in Salinas, CA, for 12 years.

Mr. Gorman’s produce industry experience goes beyond his 17 years in sales. “I’ve been steeped in this business since [I was] a young man. While I was still in school, I had many summer jobs in produce. I was an irrigator with Tamagni Farms in Salinas. I also worked on the artichoke packinglines for Associated in Castroville [CA],” said Mr. Gorman.

In 1994, he graduated from California State University-Sacramento with a major in strategic management.

Mr. Gorman currently lives in Salinas with his wife and two daughters.


RICK BURKETT has been named the director of sales for Greenpoint Distributing LLC. The Nogales, AZ-based grower-shipper has grown over the past five years, and the owners have been looking to add new commodities and expand the sales department’s staff and experience.

While he has been with Greenpoint since only July 5, Mr. Burkett is very familiar with the industry and area. He was born and raised in Nogales, and his first involvement with the produce industry was “stickering watermelons when [he] was 8.” Things became more official when, at the age of 17, he took an after-school job, bird-dogging for a Nogales broker.

Most recently, Mr. Burkett worked for J-C Distributing Inc. He was there for one season before joining Greenpoint. He also spent five years in a sales position at Farmer’s Best International LLC, and had been an office manager at Safeway Inc., before the company centralized to Phoenix.

Mr. Burkett said he enjoys the produce industry because it affords him the opportunity to “give customers what they want and treat people fairly.”

In addition to his job with Greenpoint, he is an executive committee member of the Western Watermelon Association, a chapter of the National Watermelon Association.

Mr. Burkett is also the proud father of three daughters, ages 13, 20 and 27.


Sarah Fritschie

SARAH FRITSCHIE joined Pacificpro Inc., located in Bellevue, WA, as a sales representative. Pacificpro deals primarily with apples, but “we are expanding into other commodities,” she said.

Prior to joining Pacificpro, Ms. Fritschie was employed for 10 years at Ben E. Keith Foods, and she has been involved with the produce industry for 15 years.

In addition to her membership with the Produce Marketing Association, Ms. Fritschie is a member of many local organizations: the American Heart Association, the THEA Foundation, the Little Rock Marathon Committee and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Executive Committee.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening, running and “herding cats and children.”

Ms. Fritschie lives in North Little Rock, AR, with Eric, her husband of 17 years, and her two daughters, Rebekah and Emma.


Scott Bese

SCOTT BESE joined Bravante Produce in Reedley, CA, in June.

“My current position and responsibilities include quality assurance and material inventory for the new Sunkist table grape venture and citrus,” Mr. Bese told The Produce News in a July 27 e-mail.

Mr. Bese previously worked in the grocery business for Vons in Costa Mesa, CA, and was also with Save Mart Supermarkets in Visalia, CA, where he worked in the produce department.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity to be a part of a respectable company such as Bravante/Sunkist, and look forward to helping the company in any way possible,” he said.

Mr. Bese is a resident of Visalia.


DIANA RIOS has rejoined Top Line Specialty Produce in Los Angeles. After three years away from the company, Ms. Rios returned in the final week of July, which coincided with her birthday.

She is Top Line’s purchasing and sales assistant, dealing primarily with specialty herbs and produce from Mexico.

Ms. Rios has most recently worked at Cardile Bros. Mushrooms, and prior to that she was working at Brostoff-Celle. She has been in the produce industry for the past six years.


Red Blossom Sales Inc. hired RACHELLE DIETZ in March 2011. Ms. Dietz handles strawberry sales at the company’s Oxnard, CA, branch.

Before joining Red Blossom, she worked at Safeway Corporate Produce for 14 years. Ms. Dietz is a graduate of the United Fresh Leadership Program’s Class 5 and has worked in the industry for 17 years.


To announce personnel changes at your company, please contact Assistant Editor Ryan Beckman at 201/986-7990, ext. 109, or Photos are encouraged.