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Azzule Systems, a leading provider of global data management solutions throughout all levels of the supply chain based in Santa Maria, CA, announced that Bruce Knobeloch has joined the company as senior vice president of business development.

In this newly created role, Mr. Knobeloch will drive the understanding, coordination and communication of Azzule Systems' supply chain solutions within the fresh produce and fresh foods industries. Bruce-KnobelochBruce KnobelochHis immediate focus will involve interaction with current and future customers, gaining their insight regarding the complex compliance issues faced by buyers and sellers throughout the supply chain.

Mr. Knobeloch was most recently president of River Ranch Fresh Foods, following the acquisition of River Ranch by Taylor Fresh Foods in August 2010. He previously held marketing and operations roles at River Ranch since joining the company in 2002.

Ken Adams has been named president of River Ranch Fresh Foods, according to industry sources.

"I am incredibly excited to be joining the Azzule team," Mr. Knobeloch said in a press release. "Their mission of providing simple solutions to complex issues in the food supply chain directly applies to the immediate and long-term needs of the fresh produce industry. I believe my understanding and experience on both sides of the supply chain will be beneficial to the company and our customers moving forward. This is an incredible team, which is very focused on delivering the best in class tools to support our customers' needs."

Mr. Knobeloch has over 35 years of experience in the produce and supermarket industries. In addition to his tenure at River Ranch, he has held various positions on the supply side, including senior vice president of sales and marketing at Apio Inc., chief operating officer at Apio Inc., and vice president of retail sales at e-commerce provider Buyproduce.com.

Mr. Knobeloch began his career at Schnuck Markets in St. Louis, where he worked for 26 years, starting as a bagger and produce clerk and advancing to produce buyer and category manager, and ultimately to director of produce and floral.

During his career, Mr. Knobeloch has served on the boards of directors for the United Fresh Produce Association, the Produce Marketing Association and the Alliance for Food & Farming.

"One of my personal goals has been to use my skills and knowledge to help bridge interaction within the industry, which is the core component of the overall mission and vision of Azzule," Mr. Knobeloch said in a press release. "I believe Azzule, which has a strong history of supporting its customers, and is uniquely positioned to help address the challenges our industry faces now and into the future. The overall supply chain continues to become more complex, and systems that enable all parties to interact easily and effectively are paramount to sustainable, profitable growth."

Nadia Pasco, chief executive officer of Azzule Systems, added in the press release, "Bruce's considerable experience working on both sides of the supply chain offers our team of developers, analysts, and food-safety specialists a perspective of the fresh produce industry only gained after over three decades of focused attention. The fresh produce industry's complexity necessitates the communication gifts that Bruce brings to Azzule. We look forward to a better understanding of expectations and capabilities between Azzule and each and every one of our supporters in the industry."