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People, week of March 26, 2012

Cheryl Johannes

CHERYL JOHANNES, marketing manager at Awe Sum Organics, joined the company March 5.

Mrs. Johannes is new to the produce industry, having most previously worked for Canyon Communications in Phoenix, AZ. Prior to that, she worked in financial services and electronics.

In her new position at Awe Sum Organics, Mrs. Johannes will be handling a full line of products, including apples, pears, kiwifruit, blueberries and mango.

“I’m really excited to be here,” she said. “I’m passionate about organic produce and what we stand for.”

Mrs. Johannes currently resides in Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband and two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, running, reading and blogging.


WESLEY RUST joined Premier Produce March 5 as the company’s national foodservice account manager.

Mr. Rust has been in the produce industry for 25 years, first getting his start in street sales for Goodman Produce in Dallas. Before joining the team at Premier Produce, Mr. Rust worked for NationFresh for two years.

In his position at Premier Produce, Mr. Rust will be handling a full line of commodities, specializing in tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. He is also a member of the Produce Marketing Association and Southeast Produce Council.

Mr. Rust lives in Fort Worth, TX, with his wife Brentie. Outside of work, he enjoys a good round of golf and a fine glass of wine.


Jason Fuller

Los Angeles-based Stevco Inc. hired JASON FULLER as a sales manager at its Bakersfield, CA, branch in early March.

Mr. Fuller has been working in the produce industry on and off for the past 15 years. Before joining Stevco, he was an account manager at Castle Rock Vineyards in Delano, CA.

As a sales manager for Stevco, Mr. Fuller will be handling domestic and export sales of table grapes, which is the company’s specialty.

Mr. Fuller currently resides in Bakersfield with his wife and three children. When he is not busy chasing his kids around, he enjoys assistant coaching T-ball and sneaking in a round or two of golf when he can.


Luke Anderson

Washington State fruit packer, Holtzinger Fruit, announced LUKE ANDERSON as the newest member of its field team on March 16.

In his new position, Mr. Anderson will be responsible for driving returns for independent fruit growers throughout the state.

“To qualify as a member of the Holtzinger field staff, a person must possess a unique set of skills, common sense and over-the-top dedication for growers,” said President David Lawrence in a company press release. “Luke [Anderson] brings all of these attributes.”

Mr. Anderson grew up farming and brings firsthand knowledge of the needs of independent fruit growers with him to Holtzinger, Mr. Lawrence added.

Mr. Anderson will be working at Holtzinger’s main office in Yakima, WA.



Monterey Mushrooms recently welcomed SANDY MALOUFF-QUINTANA to its Madisonville, TX-based office as Rocky Mountain sales manager.

She has over 18 years of mushroom sales experience, including many years at Colorado-based Rakhra Mushroom Farm.

Ms. Malouff-Quintana believes in the importance of maintaining close relationships with customers, growers and professionals within the produce industry, stated a company press release.


Immokalee FL-based, Lipman Repacking hired MARY MONTES on Feb. 6 as a sales assistant.

Ms. Montes has 23 years of experience working in the produce industry, specifically with potatoes. She first got her start “by chance,” she said, responding to an ad in the newspaper.

Ms. Montes is excited about her new position in sales. “I never got to do sales before,” she said. “So that’s kind of exciting.”

In addition to working in sales, Ms. Montes will be helping with quality control.


ROY GARCIA joined Edinburg, TX-based Don Hugo Produce Feb. 13.

As a salesman, Mr. Garcia is responsible for selling and promoting all company products, including Mexican fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Following in his parents’ footsteps, Mr. Garcia has been in the produce industry for 31 years, first gaining interest as a young child. Before joining Don Hugo Produce, he worked for Anderson Produce, also based in Edinburg, for seven years.

Outside of work, Mr. Garcia keeps busy by spending time with his wife Norma and their five daughters, ranging in ages 15 to 30 years old.


OSCAR ROJAS was promoted to the sales team at Pharr, TX-based Agroexport LLC in February.

Mr. Rojas first joined the company in March 2011, working in shipping and receiving as the warehouse manager. He has been involved in the produce industry for the past 10 years.

In his new position at Agroexport, Mr. Rojas will be handling the sales of Hass Avocadoes, specifically the La Villita and La Huerta brands.

Mr. Rojas currently resides in Hidalgo, TX, with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he enjoys breeding and showing Pit Bulls.


Laurie Mitchell

Schaumburg, IL-based Distribution Market Advantage hired LAURIE MITCHELL as a director of customer solutions, ERIC ARTHUR as a director of customer solutions and NANCY WILLUWEIT as a national account coordinator.

Ms. Mitchell joined DMA with over eight years of distribution and customer experience, having most previously worked for Shamrock Foods Co. in Phoenix as a customer satisfaction manager.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master of business administration from the University of Arizona. She has also achieved her project management professional credentials credentials.

Before entering the produce industry, Ms. Mitchell served in the United States Air Force.

Nancy Willuweit

Ms. Willuweit is a veteran of the foodservice distribution industry, with over 20 years experience in both supply chain and national account management.

Prior to joining DMA, Ms. Willuweit held various roles in the national account division of the Martin-Brower Co. and was an account representative for I.J. Co. (now a division of DMA member Reinhart FoodService).

Ms. Willuweit most recently worked outside the foodservice industry, as a provider of global sourcing and supply chain services to the marine, RV and aviation industries at Spradling International Marine.

Eric Arthur

She is a graduate of Illinois State University, with a degree in marketing.

Mr. Arthur has over 20 years experience in foodservice management, most recently working as a team leader for Marketplace Management Group LLC, a company he founded.

He also has experience working in the multi-unit restaurant industry. Prior to his job at Marketplace, Mr. Arthur was a senior regional director of multi unit sales at Sysco.

Mr. Arthur earned his MBA from Union University in Jackson, TN.


Michael Muehlbauer

MICHAEL MUEHLBAUER has joined Princeton, IL-based Monterey Mushrooms as Midwest region sales manager.

Mr. Muehlbauer has been in the produce industry for the past 23 years, most recently working as sales manager for Jennaro produce. During his time at Jennaro, Mr. Muehlbauer was responsible for the company’s sales, purchasing and food-safety initiatives.

In his new position at Monterey Mushrooms, Mr. Muehlbauer will be handling retail and foodservice customers in the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana markets.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mike to Monterey,” the company stated in a press release.


To announce personnel changes at your company, please contact Assistant Editor Maggie Giuffrida at 201/986-7990 or Photos are encouraged.