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People, week of January 16, 2012

The DJ Forry Co., based in Reedley, CA, announced RAY ENGLAND as its new vice president of marketing. Mr. England will work with the company management to develop go-to-market strategies geared to expand and enhance long-term strategic partnerships with the retail sector.

“I’ve known Ray for close to a decade, and I believe that Ray’s retail experience and reputation in the produce industry as a thoughtful and honest individual will add significant value to our company. I look forward to the future working with Ray,” said John Forry, principal at DJ Forry Co.

“I’ve spent a career working at virtually every level of the supermarket business, evaluating new items, trying to identify new trends, developing partnerships with suppliers and working to develop brand equities in the retail sector that serve customers’ needs,” said Mr. England. “The opportunity to work with a family-oriented company like DJ Forry to develop go-to-market strategies geared to work in today’s environment feels right as the logical next step for me, my family and my career.”


Megan Schulz

The Giumarra Cos. announced Jan. 3 the promotions of two marketing employees, MEGAN SCHULZ and ADRIANA LOPEZ.

Ms. Schulz has worked with Giumarra since 2007, most recently as communications and events manager. She has been promoted to West Coast business development manager.

Adriana Lopez

Ms. Schulz graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and technical communication. Her responsibilities will include supporting West Coast customer accounts, coordinating projects with company divisions and public relations.

Ms. Lopez has been promoted from marketing design associate to graphics, social media and events manager. She has worked with Giumarra on special projects since 2008 and became a full-time employee in 2011. She received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Art Center College of Design in Tucson, AZ.

Both women will remain based in Giumarra’s Los Angeles headquarters.


Kingston & Associates Marketing LLC, one of the larger distributors and marketers of fresh produce to the restaurant and cruise line industries, announced Dec. 5 that LYNDA GUZMAN is the new international procurement manager for its growing Florida division.

Ms. Guzman brings her knowledge of international programs and longstanding grower relationships to the Kingston team. Having started and grown her own company, Globalex, for the past 11 years, her procurement background will be utilized to continue Kingston’s growth in the import markets. Specifically, Ms. Guzman will focus on sourcing high-quality produce in Central America and South America and integrate these programs into the Kingston family of products.

Concurrent with the addition of Ms. Guzman to the team is the opening of a new import and sales office in Pompano, FL. This expansion, combined with the continued integration of its local warehouse facility, Kingston Cross Dock & Cold Storage, give Kingston a strong logistical presence in the Florida marketplace.


The California Table Grape Commission recently hired KAREN BRUX as vice president of marketing communications to handle domestic consumer communication and global brand management, according to a press release.

Karen Brux

“Karen has significant experience in the marketing of fresh fruit,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission. “She has worked in Asia, Canada and the U.S., and has experience in trade promotion, consumer education and outreach, as well as media management.”

Ms. Brux held senior executive positions within ZESPRI International, one of the world’s larger marketers of kiwifruit, for more than 15 years.

A Chinese major, she started with ZESPRI in Taiwan, leading sales and marketing programs throughout China. For the past 10 years, she managed the North America region for ZESPRI.

Ms. Brux joined the commission in October, jumping right into planning for the 2012 season. She said that she is looking forward to building and enhancing the marketing communications program for grapes from California.

“Karen brings a lot of energy and good ideas,” said Ms. Nave. “She is a terrific addition to the commission staff.”


John Battle

Traverse City, MI-based Great Lakes International Trading Inc. hired JOHN BATTLE as director of sales for its fresh division.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Battle had been the exclusive sales agent of OSO Sweet Onion for 21 years. He said that he was also “a founding member of the team that introduced the entire winter sweet onion category to both North America and Europe.”

Additionally, he has launched “¡Sweet Gusto!” a new brand of sweet onions that “aims to directly import a high-quality pack with a marketable brand,” he said. “I have intentions to pack avocado and mango under the same label. We will feature produce grown throughout Latin America and North America.”

Mr. Battle is the proud and devoted father of five children, saying, “I coach and pack lunches daily.”


BRENT BRYSON, a 12-year veteran of the produce industry, has joined the sales team at Hazlehurst, GA-based Roberson Onion Corp. Currently, Mr. Bryson handles sales of Vidalia onions, year-round sweet onions, apples and sweet potatoes.

Prior to joining Roberson Onion, he worked at Walmart for 23 years in six states.

Mr. Bryson is an alumnus of Missouri State University-Springfield, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in communications.


MATT JARDINA joined J. J. Jardina Co. Inc., located in Atlanta. As of Nov. 14, Mr. Jardina has focused primarily on inside sales and new business acquisition in addition to other duties, which include purchasing and strategy.

Before joining Jardina Co., he spent 21 years with TSYS Inc., a credit card transaction processing company located in Columbus, GA.

Prior to that, Mr. Jardina graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial management in 1990.

Mr. Jardina currently resides in Columbus, but will relocate to Atlanta this coming summer.

In his free time, Mr. Jardina is active in St. Anne Catholic Church in Columbus. He also enjoys playing golf, outdoor activities and spending time with his wife, Amy, and their two children, Mikayla (8) and Matthew (6).


To announce personnel changes at your company, please contact Assistant Editor Ryan Beckman at 201/986-7990, ext. 108, or Photos are encouraged.