Awards

Best Independent Retailer 2024 — Chicagoland’s Caputo’s: The Heartbeat of The Community Posted in: Awards, Cover Stories, Independent Retailer, Proofing - Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets meets customers where they are, literally and figuratively, to increase produce consumption. Originally printed in the February 2024 issue of Produce Business. When a juggernaut conventional chain supermarket opens across the street, it is just an opportunity for Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets to redirect traffic and… ... Read More
GLOBAL MARKETING INITIATIVES AWARD 2024 Posted in: Awards, Global Marketing Innovation - As part of our mission to help the industry increase fresh produce consumption, Produce Business wants to honor trailblazing organizations, companies, and people who brilliantly market and sell fresh produce to increase overall produce consumption globally. Please use the following questions to guide your nomination for why this global marketing Initiative should… ... Read More
2024 Award Nominations Underway for Innovators at Increasing Produce Consumption Posted in: Awards, Global Marketing Innovation - Seeking Industry Picks for Best Retailers, Dining Outlets and Global Marketing Initiatives  There may be no greater honor or feat than earning a groundbreaking, innovation award predicated on buying and selling produce to increase overall consumption and affect staid eating behaviors long term.  More so, being nominated and celebrated by… ... Read More
Innovation Award Winners Take Center Stage at NY Produce Show Keynote Breakfast December 6 at the Javits Center Posted in: Awards, Innovation, New York Produce Show - We are thrilled to honor the inaugural winners in a pivotal Produce Business award series we launched this year to renew our nearly four-decade mission to increase overall produce consumption.   Join industry leaders gathered from around the world, as we present these, and other coveted awards to those who… ... Read More
Seventh Annual Innovation Awards: Healthy Convenience Posted in: Awards, Cover Stories, Innovation - From salad kits to juice shots, the Seventh Annual Produce Business Innovation Award winners brought their best to the table and store shelves. With a focus on Product, Packaging and Process, Produce Business presents the 10 top-scoring entrants and leaves it up to the industry to decide which item merits… ... Read More
The Class of 2020: 40-Under-Forty Winners Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - RISING STARS OF THE INDUSTRY Winners of the Produce Business annual 40-Under-Forty awards program should be truly honored because they were chosen by their fellow industry mentors. Our team conducted an extensive, widespread search to elicit nominations for top young leaders. The search involved communication with thousands of industry executives… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Jay Zimmerman Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 31Western and Mid-Western Regional Sales ManagerLove Beets USA LLCBala Cynwyd, PAZimmerman is recognized in the industry as a talented salesperson whose skills are only matched by his reliability and perseverance. After being graduated from the University of Idaho, and a short stint in the finance industry, he knew he… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Mackenzie Wortham Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 31Account DirectorDMA Solutions, Inc.Dallas, TXWortham joined DMA Solutions in 2011 and since has been instrumental in the launch of some of the most comprehensive and visually-compelling websites, blogs, and marketing promotions on behalf of DMA’s clients. Now as an account director, she leads the overall marketing strategy and planning… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Thomas Wheelus Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 30National Account ManagerTaylor FarmsSalinas, CAWheelus’ produce career started right out of high school when he was offered an opportunity to work in a quality assurance/quality control position with Custom Produce (Parlier, CA) while taking classes at the local junior college and online. His time in the cooler then transitioned… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Jeffrey Weisman Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 34Senior Vice PresidentThe Ruby CompanyBuffalo Grove, ILWeisman left screenwriting in Los Angeles and entered the world of produce nearly 10 years ago. He started as an entry level sales rep and has worked his way up the ranks all while demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities. He has helped to build… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Natalie Ramirez Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 34Retail Sales ManagerDriscoll’sWatsonville, CARamirez is known to be incredibly passionate about her work and dedicated to continuing to develop her skills as a leader. With Driscoll’s for nearly 13 years, she has taken on a variety of roles that helped her shape her knowledge and experience as she has… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Douglas Posthuma Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Buying ManagerAlsum Farms and Produce Inc.Friesland, WIPosthuma has been with Alsum for 17 years and has worked in nearly every aspect of the company from onion buying to potato and onion sales, to now building trusted relationships with growers and customers. His responsibilities have evolved to collaborate with farmers,… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Travis Phelps Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Key Account ManagerRobinson FreshEden Prairie, MNFor the past 15 years, Phelps has been helping his customers and his company consistently grow. In 2004, he started his journey in the produce business with C.H Robinson in Spokane, WA, where he spent his early years surrounded by industry veterans that helped… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Nadia Pasco Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Chief Executive OfficerAzzuleSanta Maria, CAPasco and Azzule play a crucial role in produce by assisting buyers in communicating expectations to suppliers and, in return, conveying supplier performance to buyers. She turns a series of complex tasks into easily reviewable results and seeks to make food safety transactions as transparent… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Maria D. Nunez Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 34President and Chief ExecutiveLinda Mar Imports Inc.Medley, FLNunez is a self-starter who has developed a successful woman-owned produce company over the past 10 years. She started in the produce industry in 2008 as chief executive of a produce transport company with 19 trucks and established strong relationships with customers.… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Joshua Noonan Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 35Senior Manager, Supply Chain ServicesRobinson FreshEden Prairie, MNNoonan started with C.H. Robinson/Robinson Fresh immediately after college on the produce transportation side of the business where he won several awards and participated as a panel speaker at industry events. He was promoted with the focus on managing strategy for the… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Christine Moseley Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Founder and Chief ExecutiveFull HarvestSan Francisco, CAMoseley, Full Harvest founder and chief executive, is on a mission to solve the world’s food waste problem. Full Harvest, the first business-to-business online marketplace connecting growers with brands that up-cycle “ugly” and surplus produce into innovative food and beverage products, was born… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Nicole Minnich-Zapata Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 34Marketing DirectorMisioneroMonterey, CAMinnich-Zapata started learning the produce game as a child in the sales office at Misionero Vegetables, where her father was a partner at the time. As she aged, she enjoyed learning from her father while he co-found and built Food Source (later acquired by CH Robinson). During… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Ryan Miller Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Buyer/SalesM. Levin and Company, Inc.Philadelphia, PAMiller entered the produce industry from a background in finance and immediately excelled in the fast-paced and ever-changing produce industry. While he has only been in the business for a few years, he has made an impact on M. Levin and Company, Inc., as… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Shannon Mikulskis Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 32Relationship and Project Lead, Produce DistributionChick-fil-A, Inc.Atlanta, GAMikulskis has been serving in the produce and distribution industries for 15 years. She is known for her ability to look out for the best solutions for industry partners across the supply chain and focus on building cohesive and mutually beneficial partnerships.… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Wyatt Meiggs Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 36PresidentWestern Sky Produce LLCSalinas, CAMeiggs is known for his leadership and critical thinking skills beyond his years and experience. His first full time job in the industry began in 2008 with FoodSource, a CH Robinson company, as an account manager. He spend 12 years with FoodSource/Robinson working in many… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Nathalie Marin-Gest Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 37Head of Fresh GoodsFair Trade USAOakland, CAMarin-Gest is considered a trailblazer and has worked tirelessly to elevate and grow the Fair Trade movement in produce through building strong partnerships with brands and retailers. Her work has impacted many throughout the world during years of ongoing travel to farms, participation… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Daniel Adam Malechuk Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Chief Executive OfficerKaleraOrlando, FLA food industry veteran, Malechuk has spent his career managing and growing several of the world’s leading food, grocery, and produce companies. As a leader in the industry, he has worked in all aspects of the businesses he has led including sales, operations, supply chain, and… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Kraig Loomis Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Sales and Marketing ManagerGreenFruit AvocadosNewport Beach, CALoomis has more than 20 years of produce experience, 15 of which were spent in retail as a produce clerk, produce manager, produce inspector, produce specialist, and produce buyer with companies including Kroger and Fresh & Easy. He transitioned to the grower/shipper side… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Angela Lavorato Salinas Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Manager of Sales Analysis and CreditD’Arrigo Bros. Co., of CaliforniaSalinas, CAThroughout her 13 years with D’Arrigo Bros Co. of California, Lavorato Salinas has assisted in the increase of revenue and efficiencies while working between and within multiple departments. As manager of sales analysis, she analyzes all aspects of revenue.… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Rob Kinsella Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 37Director – RetailCH Robinson/Robinson FreshEden Prairie, MNKinsella is considered a key leader within Robinson Fresh/C.H. Robinson, heading the company’s retail vertical offerings among other steering committees within the C.H. Robinson enterprise. Growing up in the operations of the fresh business, he has been instrumental to the growth of the… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Stefanie Katzman Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 37Executive Vice PresidentS. Katzman ProduceBronx, NYKatzman started her career in produce the day she was born. As a fourth generation executive of a family run business, she exudes confidence and demonstrates tremendous courage and caring for her employees and her business. Her positive can-do-all attitude motivates her team to… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Bianca Kaprielian Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 36CEO and Co-OwnerFruit World Company, Inc.Reedley, CAKaprielian’s family has been farming in California’s San Joaquin Valley for four generations. After a first career in documentary filmmaking, she was drawn back to agriculture and attended the UC Santa Cruz apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture and Sustainable Food Systems. Upon graduation, she… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Anny Jones Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Senior Operations ManagerSunrise Logistics Inc.Ephrata, PASince joining the Four Seasons Family of Companies in 2008, Jones has provided effective leadership and management in supply chain solutions to 3PL customers of Sunrise Logistics. Customers rely on her expertise in developing effective solutions to overcome complex supply chain challenges and she… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Nicole Elizabeth Hulstein Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Category ManagerFood LionSalisbury, NCHulstein began working at Food Lion straight out of college in 2004. She joined the produce category team as a category buying assistant. Hard work and tenacity earned her a promotion into a buying role roughly 18 months later. As a buyer for Food Lion, she… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Christopher Holden Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 35Director of Sales – NortheastNatureSweetSan Antonio, TXHolden began his career in August of 2006 at the Great A&P corporate headquarters as a clerk and was quickly promoted to buyer in the grocery department. At age 23, he was promoted to category manager in grocery in the non-perishable division and… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Tony Hinderer Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 36Retail Vertical Manager – Managed Procurement ServicesRobinson FreshEden Prairie, MNHinderer started with Robinson Fresh right out of college in 2007 as a business analyst. After significantly increasing service levels, helping to develop the replenishment software and generating additional case revenue, he was promoted into account management. His responsibilities grew… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Jeff Helseth Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 31Director of Sales & Field OperationsTwist-EaseMinneapolis, MNHelseth is a passionate, authentic, diligent industry leader. In less than seven years at Twist-Ease, he has continuously worked to quickly understand produce, retail, supply, and manufacturing industries, and now does the work of two positions. He began working with Twist-Ease during summer… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Amber Gray Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 33Digital Marketing ManagerProduce for KidsOrlando, FLAs the digital marketing manager at Produce for Kids, Gray oversees all digital marketing efforts for the company, including social media, website, content development, recipe photography and email marketing. Since beginning with Produce for Kids in 2010, she has organically grown the Produce for… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Robin Graham Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 36General ManagerStemilt Ag ServicesWenatchee, WAGraham is a rising star at Stemilt and in the industry. Recently promoted to run Stemilt Ag Services, the company’s orchard management division, he currently oversees orchard accounting, HR, project management and day-to-day operations as they all relate to growing a large percentage of Stemilt… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Justin Garibaldi Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Category DirectorLoblaw Companies LtdCambridge, Ontario, CanadaGaribaldi has 23 years of extensive experience within the Canadian produce industry including store level retail, quality assurance, supply chain, retail merchandising and wholesale procurement. He started his career in 1997 at Zehrs (now part of the Loblaw family) in Kitchener at 15 years… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Eric Frasse Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Vice President of SalesI Love Produce LLCWest Grove, PAFrasse started his career in produce in 2010 with I Love Produce as business development manager. He rose to his current position of vice president of sales through his tenacious drive and phenomenal interpersonal skills. His leadership of the sales and… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Nikki Ford Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 37Senior Director of NutritionAvocado Nutrition CenterHass Avocado BoardMission Viejo, CADr. Ford has been instrumental in creating and running the nutritional research program at the Hass Avocado Board, and has directed and led the research on the health benefits of avocados. This has turned a once maligned fruit into being… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Ricardo Echeverri Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Vice President of TropicalsFyffes North America Inc.Coral Gables, FLEcheverri has dedicated his professional career to developing the tropicals category within the U.S. market through programs with excellent quality and pricing. In his position at Fyffes (formerly Turbana Corporation), he manages the entire tropicals program from procurement to sales. In… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Andrew Casserly Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Director, East RegionRobinson FreshEden Prairie, MNCasserly began his produce career in December of 2003 at C.H. Robinson in Cleveland, OH, as an account manager. Early on in his career, incredible mentors invested in his development and taught him various aspects of the produce business and supply chains. He quickly… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Michael Brown Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 39Director, CategoryManagement – ProduceSysco CorporationHouston, TXBrown started in the industry in 2009, when he joined Sysco West Texas as a marketing associate, selling produce as one of 12 broadline categories. In 2011, he was transferred to FreshPoint Dallas, initially starting as a sales associate for the Produce Redistribution Center… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Brett Britz Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 29Vice President, Sales and MarketingSunwest Fruit Company, Inc.Parlier, CAComing from a third-generation farming family, Britz started working at Sunwest in 2011 after graduating from UC Irvine. He began in a sales assistant type role gathering samples, doing order entry, and monitoring inventories. About a year later, he moved into… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Chris Blanford Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38Senior Director, MarketingLitehouse, Inc.Sandpoint, IDSince joining Litehouse in 2017, Blanford has had an enormous impact on not just the marketing strategy but the overall business strategy for the company. His data-driven marketing approach has helped Litehouse explore new tactics with proven ROI, and contributed to the company’s market position.… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Sarah Alvernaz Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 38General Manager/SalesCalifornia Sweet Potato GrowersLivingston, CAAlvernaz is responsible for the sales, marketing and managing of the day-to-day activities at California Sweet Potato Growers, including the finances and food safety programs. She is credited with having extensive knowledge of the industry. She began in the industry at Famous Software in… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Brandon Bentley Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 36Category Business Manager–VegetablesTops MarketsWilliamsville, NYBentley started as a cart associate for Tops Markets in 2001 while in high school. After graduating, he continued to work full-time while attending college night classes. He was an assistant produce manager during one of the company’s largest remodels ever completed while staying open.… ... Read More
2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Christina B. Ward Posted in: 40 Under Forty, Awards - Age: 37 Director of Global Brand MarketingSunkist GrowersValencia, CA Hobbies: Going to the beach, playing vinyl, trying new restaurantsPersonal/Community: Married, 1 sonMotto in life: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Ward brings nearly 17 years of marketing and communications experience… ... Read More
35th Annual Marketing Excellence Award Winner: ZAG Technical Services Posted in: Awards, Marketing Excellence - Promotion Does Your Tech Keep Pace Strategy ZAG Technical Services developed new branding, highlighting a creative illustration style of animals in the ZAG branding and colors to create more interest and engagement in a technical brand. The company utilized a combination of PR, trade advertising and email marketing to build… ... Read More
35th Annual Marketing Excellence Award Winner: Texas International Produce Association/South Texas Onion Committee Posted in: Awards, Marketing Excellence - Promotion Texas 1015 Restaurant Week Strategy A special nine-day promotion was held April 29 through May 8, 2022. Each restaurant had to create a TX1015 Sweet Onion-inspired dish or drink. Dishes were shared on social media, and table tents with QR code for in-restaurant voting were displayed, as well as… ... Read More
35th Annual Marketing Excellence Award Winner: Stemilt Growers Posted in: Awards, Marketing Excellence - Promotion The Great American Rave Race Strategy When Stemilt increased its volume and availability of Rave apples in 2022, it created an opportunity to elevate the brand through a fun and engaging customer and consumer campaign strategy to boost Rave sales and create memorable experiences. Stemilt hit the road August… ... Read More
35th Annual Marketing Excellence Award Winner: Pure Flavor Posted in: Awards, Marketing Excellence - Promotion Cool As Cucumbers Strategy The Cool As Cucumbers campaign was developed as a five-week promotion to kick off on the first day of spring (March 20) through Earth Day (April 22), 2023. The objective was to reach the students in Pure Flavor’s Adopt-A-School (AAS) program, as well as consumers… ... Read More