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People, week of August 29, 2011

JENNIFER FANCHER is the new director of marketing for Growers Express, the farmer-owned and integrated grower-packer-shipper of premium-quality fresh fruits and vegetables, including those marketed under the “Green Giant Fresh” label.

Jennifer-Fancher
Jennifer Fancher

“This is a new position that was created at Growers Express. Our company is growing its category-management services, and Jennifer will be overseeing all category management and marketing,” said Mishalin Modena, marketing manager for Green Giant Fresh.

An experienced account and project manager, Ms. Fancher has an extensive background in both marketing and product sales analysis.

Before Growers Express, Ms. Fancher was category manager for Driscoll Strawberry Associates in Watsonville, CA, where she increased category sales through campaign analysis, planning and strategy implementation. Prior to that, as an account manager for the market research firm Perishables Group, Ms. Fancher was responsible for category-management consulting, consumer-research projects, making policy recommendations and presenting to a diverse set of grocery and mass merchandise retailers on behalf of produce and deli clients.

Ms. Fancher, a native Californian with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Azusa Pacific University, lives in Salinas, CA, with her husband and three children.

 

GLENN STEWART has brought his more than 30 years of experience to Center, CO-based Skyline Potato Co.

In a phone interview, Mr. Stewart exuded passion for the industry to which he has devoted so much of his time. “People ask me when I’m going to retire, but I’ll probably tip over first,” he said.

Mr. Stewart became a sales representative for Skyline as of Aug. 8.

After starting out at Pepper Potato Farm Inc. in the 1960s, he opened Stewart Sales, his own potato brokerage company. That was followed by 20 years with Aspen Produce LLC and two years at Apex Produce Co. LLC.

When asked what has kept him involved in the industry for so long, he said, “I enjoy doing this — the camaraderie, the relationships you build talking to people for 20 years.”

Mr. Stewart was born in 1935 and said that he may be one of the last natives of Center, CO. He is currently a member of the planning commission and lives with his wife, Joann.

 

CESAR MARTINEZ is an account executive at Van Groningen & Sons Inc. While he has been with the company since 2009, Mr. Martinez joined the sales team in May and now works with Los Angeles-area accounts and local stores. He deals seedless, seeded and miniature watermelons, as well as sweet corn, cantaloupe and honeydew. “It’s my first season. I’m still green,” he said before adding, “I’m looking to see what is out there. I want to learn as much as I can about the industry because the more I know, the better I’ll do my job.” Mr. Martinez is also starting to sell pumpkins and squash.

He lives with Madel, his wife of nine years, and their two children, Xol and Zia. He is an active parent who is involved with his daughter’s cheerleading team.

 

NICK THOMPSON said that he is happy to be a sales representative for Atlantic Fresh Trading LLC in Visalia, CA. He handles citrus, melons and apples and is particularly drawn to the fast pace of the job.

In an e-mail, Mr. Thompson said, “I am 18 years old and just recently started working produce. I am taking night-school classes here in Visalia and looking forward to furthering my education in produce.”

While he may be young, Mr. Thompson comes to Atlantic Fresh with years of produce-industry experience. “My father has been in this business for 30 years and teaching it to me since I was a young kid,” he said. “My grandfather was in the retail side of the produce business for 45 years.” His uncles also work in various facets of the industry.

 

As of Aug. 15, JACK SEAMANS is a member of Sunterra Produce Traders East LLC in Chicago. Mr. Seamans is a sales representative and handles various produce commodities for the company.

During his 18 years in the produce industry, Mr. Seamans has been employed at a number of Chicago-based companies, including a short stint at Produce Plus Inc. prior to joining Sunterra. Before that, he worked at C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. for 15 years and General Produce for one year. He also owned Fresh Choice Produce for two years. Mr. Seamans currently lives in Wood Dale, IL, and is married with three sons. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf.

 

Potandon Produce LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, hired TRAVIS HESS as a sales representative. He joined the company Aug. 15 and primarily handles potatoes and onions.

Mr. Hess has been in the produce industry for 16 years. Before joining Potandon, he worked at Kingston & Associates Marketing LLC, which is also based in Idaho Falls.

Mr. Hess is a Utah State alumnus.

 

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