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Castellini Group names Brian Kocher president and CEO

The Castellini Group of Companies., one of the largest fresh produce distributors in the United States, has announced the next phase of its multi-year, leadership succession plan. Brian Kocher will become president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Brian-KocherBrian Kocher

After 31 years with the Castellini Group of Companies, serving as president and chief executive officer for the past 17 years, Bill Schuler is retiring but will serve as an executive advisor during the transition period.

"We are grateful to Bill Schuler for his leadership, commitment and dedication to the Castellini Group of Companies and its many associates, customers and supply partners," Bob Castellini, chairman of the Castellini Group of Companies, said in a Dec. 13 news release. "Under Bill's leadership, the Castellini Group of Companies has enjoyed significant growth, especially in terms of expanding our distribution reach and growing our fresh-cut processing and logistics business. Bill has made many contributions to the produce industry over the past 30 years, including serving as chairman of the Produce Marketing Association in 2010."


As president and chief executive officer, Kocher will focus on continued growth, operational efficiencies and creating customer value. "We are excited to have Brian transition into the role of president and CEO," Castellini continued in the release. "Brian is a natural leader who has earned the respect of his team, his colleagues and the produce industry. Brian will lead the company as we continue to pursue new business opportunities and innovate to serve our customers' needs."

Kocher joined the Castellini Group in April 2015 and served as chief operating officer. Previously he was chief executive officer of Chiquita Brands International. Prior to his role as CEO, he held a variety of positions at Chiquita, including chief operating officer, chief financial officer, president of North American operations and president of Europe and the Middle East operations. Kocher is also the immediate past chairman of the United Fresh Produce Association.