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Columbia Marketing International, a leader in the worldwide distribution of premium quality apples, pears and cherries, announced that Bob Mast, vice president of marketing of CMI, was promoted to president.

Mr. Mast assumed the position immediately and will continue to work on limited marketing projects as CMI posts and fills the vice president of marketing position.

Mike Wade, a board member and co-owner of CMI, said in a MastBob Mast, president of Columbia Marketing release, "We are extremely fortunate Bob Mast was already in a key leadership role at CMI. Bob is not only a great choice, he was the only candidate considered. Under Bob's leadership CMI will continue its tradition of a high level of customer service. Bob's nine-year history at CMI will bring valuable continuity and perspective to his new role. To anyone who knows Bob, his dedication to both CMI and the tree fruit industry is unmatched."

Mr. Mast has been with CMI, one of Washington state's larger apple, pear and cherry shippers, since 2003 as director of marketing, and has overseen the marketing department as vice president of marketing for the last six years. Prior to joining CMI he worked at Fry's (a division of Kroger) in various leadership roles for 20 years.

"Bob's communication skills, attention to detail and passion for the fruit industry made him an ideal fit for this key position," Stuart McDougall, chairman of the board and co-owner of CMI, added in the press release. "It is always gratifying to promote a person from within the company, particularly from our customers' perspective. We can expect a seamless transition in our management team and a continuation of CMI's dedication to distributing premium fruit throughout the U.S. and to international markets."

"It is with great honor that I accepted this position," Mr. Mast said in the press release. "Our past president, Glady Bellamy, was both a mentor and personal friend. I also have had the pleasure of being lead by Nick Buak, whom has had a very positive impact on my business philosophies. Both Glady and Nick assembled one of the finest teams in the industry by hiring very talented and committed professionals. CMI has always had a family atmosphere within our organization where all employees truly care about both the companies they serve as well as their co-workers, so I am very blessed to be taking this leadership role."

Mr. Mast graduated from Arizona State University in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in management. His extensive training in marketing and category/inventory management has been beneficial in working with retailers to grow CMI's fruit category.