United Fresh Past Chairman Reggie Griffin is announcing the slate of new officers and directors nominated to serve on the United Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors, effective at its May 14, 2013 meeting in San Diego.
Ascending to Chairman of the Board is Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc., Guadalupe, CA. Ron currently serves as Chairman-Elect of the Board. Prior to joining Apio in 2005, Ron held the position of Senior Vice President of Operations at Dole Fresh Vegetables. Ron received a degree in Food Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis and is an alumnus of Class 6 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.
Nominated as Chairman-Elect is Ron Carkoski, President & CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies, Ephrata, PA. Ron joined Four Seasons in 1994 as director of procurement, after almost 20 years in the produce business with Gateway Foods/Scrivner, Carpenter Cook Company, and Gamble Robinson Co. He progressed to vice president at Four Seasons, and was named President & CEO in 2001. He was nominated to his second term on the United Fresh Board in 2010, previously serving from 2003-2007 and most recently served as Chairman of the United Fresh Wholesaler-Distributor Board. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, recently completed his term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and the Susquehanna Valley, and served as a member of the Board of Advisors for Graystone Bank in Pennsylvania. Ron received his bachelor’s degree in music education from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI.
Nominated as Secretary-Treasurer is Lorri A. Koster, Chairman and CEO, Mann Packing Company. Lorri was raised in the agriculture industry and is a third generation family member to work in produce. She started her full-time career at Mann in 1990. In 2000 she joined ProduceOnline.com as vice president of marketing, and subsequently served as associate publisher with Produce Business magazine, and as owner/publisher of Coastal Grower magazine. She returned to her family business full-time in 2006. In 2000, Lorri served as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association, becoming the first woman to chair a U.S. national produce trade association. She served as Chairwoman of the Grower Shipper Association of Central California, and as a member of the PBH Executive Board, PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent board, and board alternate for the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
Current United Chairman of the Board David W. Krause, President, Paramount Citrus, will move to the position of Immediate Past Chairman and remain on the Board and the Executive Committee.
The following industry leaders have been nominated to serve as new members of the United Fresh Board for a two-year term beginning May 2013:
William L. (Bill) Brim, President, Lewis Taylor Farms, Inc., Tifton, GA, has more than 30 years of experience in the produce industry. In 1985, Bill and Ed Walker purchased Lewis Taylor Farms, which has become one of the largest diversified farm operations in Georgia. Bill has served on many boards and committees including the United Fresh Grower-Shipper Board, Government Relations Council, president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association, Chairman of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, GA Department of Labor chairman, charter member of the GA Agri Leaders, vice president of the GA Growers Association – H2A Labor Group and USA Farmers board. Bill has been called upon to advise the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia’s two U.S. Senators and the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. In 2008, American Vegetable Grower magazine presented Lewis Taylor Farms with its Grower Achievement award.
Bob Elliott, Director, Food Safety, Sunkist Growers, Inc., Fontana, CA, is nominated to serve as Chairman of the Food Safety and Technology Council. Elliott joined Sunkist in 1986, initially in Research & Technical Services. Currently he focuses on developing and implementing food safety programs for citrus growing, harvesting and packing. He is active in produce industry and citrus industry working groups to develop science and risk-based food safety standards and identify and prioritize research needs. He serves in an advisory capacity for two California Citrus Research Board committees and is Board Vice-Chairman of the California Citrus Quality Council. Bob has a B.S. degree in Plant Sciences and M.S in Plant Protection & Pest Management, both from the University of California at Davis.
Fred Heptinstall, President and General Manager, IFCO SYSTEMS RPC Management Services Division, NA, Tampa, FL. Prior to joining IFCO, Fred’s career experience included 13 years at Chiquita, where as Executive Vice President of Chiquita Fresh North America he was responsible for all fresh produce businesses. Heptinstall currently serves on the United Fresh Supply Chain Logistics Council and is a past Chairman of the United Board. He also has served as Chairman of the Reusable Packaging Association and the International Banana Association. Heptinstall has an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and did graduate studies at Frostburg State University.
Robert (Bob) Kirch, President & CEO, Caito Foods Service, Inc., Indianapolis, IN, is nominated to serve as Vice Chair of the Wholesaler-Distributor Board. Kirch has worked in many aspects of the business throughout his 18 years with Caito, including merchandising, operations, procurement, marketing, and business development. Kirch was recently promoted to President and CEO where he is challenged to find different platforms and channels for growth to deliver fresh, safe, quality products. Bob is an alumnus of Class 14 of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.
Joe Klare, Executive Vice President, Castellini Company, LLC, Wilder, KY, had the unique opportunity to spend the entirety of his career with one company. Originally hired by Robert Castellini, Chairman of Castellini Co., in 1971 as a salesman shortly after finishing high school and a stint with the U.S. Army, Klare is now the executive vice president of the company. In 1995, he began heading up all sales for the Castellini group of companies. Since then, sales have nearly tripled with Klare at the lead. He was also a main driver of diversifying the company into many areas, such as processing, transportation and service wholesaling. Klare recently served on the United Fresh Wholesaler–Distributor Board and is on the Southeast Produce Council Advisory Board.
Gordon Robertson, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Sun World International, LLC, Bakersfield, CA. Before joining Sun World, Gordon spent 21 years at Campbell Soup Company where he worked across frozen and canned food divisions and all classes of trade in field sales and trade marketing. In his most recent role, he was Vice President of Joint Business and Trade Marketing. Now in his current role with Sun World, Gordon is the liaison between growers, customers, and consumers, managing all international and domestic sales and marketing activities for the company. He is active in the industry’s trade associations, and most recently served on the United Fresh Grower-Shipper Board. Gordon earned his bachelor of science in marketing from Oregon State University.
Michael Spinazzola, President, Diversified Restaurant Systems (DRS), San Diego, CA. Spinazzola graduated from Arizona State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness marketing. He began his career in the produce 1981 with Maggio Inc., working in the packing shed, harvesting, and sales departments. In 1998, he became a Partner and is now President of DRS, a consulting and marketing company specializing in supply chain management, procurement, and distribution functions as they relate to the quick-service food industry. DRS developed produce programs for several QSR’s in Southern California and soon after, began working with IPC, the SUBWAY® Purchasing Cooperative, in developing the SUBWAY® National Produce Program. DRS is now responsible for supplying over 28,000 restaurants with Gold Standard produce from approved vendors for SUBWAY® restaurants. Mike is a past PMA Board member and has served on numerous industry advisory boards.
Bob Swartwout, Vice President, Sales, R. S. Hanline Company, Inc., Shelby, OH is nominated to serve as Vice Chair of the Fresh-Cut Processor Board. Bob is a graduate of North Central Texas College with a degree in accounting and business management. He has a long career in produce serving in management roles throughout the industry beginning in 1994 for Graziano Produce Company, followed by Standard Fruit & Vegetable, Fresh Express, Gold Coast Packing, and VNS Sales. Now as the vice president of sales for R.S. Hanline, he provides value-added fresh produce to foodservice, retail grocery and manufacturing customers. Bob is a past Chairman of the International Fresh-Cut Produce Association, and has served on the United Fresh-Cut Processor Board for the past four years.
Current Board members nominated to new positions of service on Market Segment Boards and Councils include:
· Chairman, Fresh-Cut Processor Board – Tony Freytag, Crunch Pak Sliced Apples
· Chairman, Finance & Business Management Council – Scott Danner, Liberty Fruit Co., Inc.
· Chairman, Government Relations Council – John Keeling, National Potato Council
· Chairman, Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council – Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers, LLC
· Chairman, Wholesaler Distributor Board – Lisa Strube, Strube Celery & Vegetable Company
The following officers of Market Segment Boards and Councils will continue their service on the Board:
· Chairman, Grower-Shipper Board – Will Steele, Frontera Produce
· Vice Chairman, Grower-Shipper Board – Tom Deardorff, Deardorff Family Farms
· Chairman, Retail-Foodservice Board – Randy Scott, Delhaize America
· Vice Chairman, Retail-Foodservice Board – Sean Picquelle, Taco Bell
· Chairman, Global Advisory Council – Paddy Callaghan, Nature’s Best Ltd.
· Chairman, Nutrition & Health Council – Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
· Chairman, Supply Chain Logistics Council – Kenny Lund, Allen Lund Company, Inc.
· Chairman, United Fresh Foundation – Steve Grinstead, Grinstead Enterprises
The following current At-Large Board Members will continue their service on the Board: Bill Brooks, Westlake Produce Company; Steve Burnham, Safeway, Inc.; Jim Catchot, Renaissance Food Group; Greg Corrigan, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores; Aaron Fox, Fox Packaging; Emily Fragoso, Status Gro; David Hille, Cabbage, Inc.; Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms; Deverl Maserang, Chiquita Brands International, Inc.; Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises; Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau Northwest; Bob Morrissey, National Watermelon Association, Inc.; Angela Nardone, N2N Global; Dave Russell, Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc.; Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience; Ivan Tarriba, Farmer’s Best International, LLC; Greg Wohlleb, Bunzl, Inc.; Mike Wootton, Sunkist Growers, Inc.
“In total, the slate of nominees for our consolidated Board of Directors, together with our returning Board members and new officers, makes this a tremendously diverse and skilled set of leaders to represent our entire industry and guide our association in the year ahead,” said United President and CEO Tom Stenzel.
Board members concluding service at the May 14 meeting include:
Reggie Griffin, Reggie Griffin Strategies, who served as Chairman of the Board in 2011-2012, and this past year as Immediate Past Chariman; Barry Bedwell, California Grape & Tree Fruit League, who served as Chairman of the Government Relations Council; Jan Berk, San Miguel Produce, Inc., who served as the Chairman of the Fresh-Cut Processor Board; John Chrosniak, Dupont Crop Protection; Ana Hooper, Darden; Walter Ram, The Giumarra Companies, who served as the Chairman of the Food Safety & Technology Council; and Jackson Woodward, Horton Fruit Company.
“I’d like to personally thank those leaders who are concluding their service at this meeting,” said United Fresh President Tom Stenzel. “They have contributed greatly to our industry’s success in so many ways, and we appreciate the time and resources they have given to serve our industry. I’d also like to thank Reggie Griffin and Board Development Committee members Reggie Griffin, Chairman; David Krause, Ron Midyett, Lisa Strube, Tony Freytag, Sean Picquelle, Will Steele for their work this year in nominating an outstanding slate of officers and Board members. We recognize that the strength of our association comes from strong representation of our membership across the total supply chain, bringing together an exceptional group of leaders to serve our industry.”