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People, week of October 17, 2011

Dewayne-Harrell
Dewayne Harrell

Boskovich Farms, grower-shipper-processor of fresh produce, announced Sept. 26 that DEWAYNE HARRELL has joined the f.o.b. sales staff at the company’s headquarters in Oxnard, CA.

Mr. Harrell brings over nine years of produce industry experience and knowledge to Boskovich Farms, and most recently worked as sales specialist, commodity manager and Walmart account coordinator with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC. Mr. Harrell also worked as commodity manager and account manager for Bonipak Produce, located in Santa Maria, CA.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, CA, Mr. Harrell earned his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness with a concentration in sales and marketing.

Russ Widerburg, sales manager of Boskovich Farms, said, “We’re excited to have Dewayne join our sales staff. We’ve been fortunate enough to have grown our business in recent years and felt it was time to add another f.o.b. salesperson to help us work toward our goal of continued, profitable growth. Dewayne brings nine years of produce experience with him and a personality that we feel will be a great fit and asset for Boskovich Farms.”

Boskovich Farms is a family-owned-and-operated grower-shipper-processor of premium-quality produce items such as green onions, spinach, cilantro, radishes and other mixed vegetables.

 

Black-Andy
Andy Black

ANDY BLACK has been a part of the produce industry for 47 years. After nine months of semi-retirement, Mr. Black decided that, at the age of 70, he would fully retire on Oct. 1.

While his first job was with A&P’s produce-buying department, Mr. Black has spent his entire life around produce. He grew up on an orchard that produced peaches until a 1955 freeze, after which apples, pears, prunes and cherries were planted.

Mr. Black worked in a fruit warehouse as an adult before his five years with A&P. Following that, he dealt with buying, selling and shipping for Topco over the course of 12 years. While there, he bought for 36 major chains and got to know a lot of people on both ends of sales.

Afterward, he worked with Rainier Fruit, Central Washington and Apple Sales Inc.

The remaining 12 years of his time in the industry were spent at Sage Fruit, where his son currently works.

Mr. Black said that technology has made the biggest change in the industry. “There was no e-mail and no cell phones. We used teletype and telephones, and we loaded everything by hand. I remember the first day I saw fruit loaded by a forklift into a truck. Now, it’s unheard of to do anything else.” He also noted the merging and consolidation of grocery stores and shippers.

Mr. Black said that the hardest part about retiring was saying goodbye to the friends and customers that he had gotten to know over the years.

He plans to spend his time golfing, boating and keeping busy around the house. Additionally, Mr. Black works out about three times a week and will enjoy the extra time he gets to spend with his wife of 44 years.

“It’s been quite a ride for these 47 years,” he said. “I started out as one of the youngest and I’m leaving as one of the oldest.”

 

L&M Cos. Inc. in Nogales, AZ, hired NICK KASTIS, who is the company’s new sales manager, effective Sept. 6. In addition to his sales duties, Mr. Kastis handles grower relations.

The Nogales division of the company handles some fruit, but primarily a full line of vegetables and mangos.

Before joining L&M, he was at Tricar Sales Inc. for three years, handling sales and reporting directly to the company owner.

The son of a Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, grower of eggplant, Bell peppers and cucumbers, Mr. Kastis was involved in the growing side of the business before entering into sales.

In his free time, Mr. Kastis enjoys traveling.

 

KYLE BEDWAY, a broker for Southeast Farms, joined the company Sept. 1. In his new position, Mr. Bedway brokers “potatoes and onions nationwide, with some exporting. I also handle some miscellaneous fruit and vegetables,” he said.

While the produce industry is new for him, he has been in the sales field for the entirety of his professional career.

Mr. Bedway keeps very busy outside work. The Penn State University alumnus is a member of his local chamber of commerce and is active in his local church.

He currently lives in Jacksonville, FL, with his wife and baby girl, and he said that he enjoys camping, fishing, boating and “anything else outdoors with my family.”

 

Massruha-Randy-2011
Randy Massruha

RANDY MASSRUHA started working with Roland Marketing on Sept. 15. He is a sales associate running the company’s Racine, WI, office and specializing in cabbage, Napa, cucumbers, pepper, squash and beans.

Mr. Massruha has been a member of the produce business for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Roland Marketing, he ran his own company, Mass Produce Inc. in Sturtevant, WI. He had also been a partner with Harvey Kaiser at Harvey Kaiser Inc. located in Chicago.

Married to Jane, his wife of 41 years, Mr. Massruha has two children and two grandchildren.

 

In August, RYAN VALENTI joined the sales staff at PureFresh Sales Inc. in Selma, CA. Mr. Valenti currently handles grape sales.

While this is his first sales position, he had been transporting produce for the past 10 years. Mr. Valenti’s father had been in the transportation side of the industry as well. “I learned to drive in a truck,” he said.

Both of Mr. Valenti’s grandfathers were growers: one grew grapes, the other grew stone fruit and alfalfa.

In addition to his sales position, Mr. Valenti is currently attending California State University-Fresno and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

 

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