John Oxford to lead 2016-2017 PMA Board of Directors
— The 2016-2017 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Board of Directors took office on Thurs., Oct. 13 during PMA’s 2016 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla., USA. Chair of the Board John Oxford, president/CEO, L&M Cos. Inc., Raleigh, N.C., is joined by the other officers and 29 directors.
The PMA Board of Directors provides strategic direction to help fulfill PMA’s mission to connect, inform and deliver industry solutions. The board identifies and prioritizes current and anticipated internal and external issues and encourages accountability for other PMA volunteer leadership groups working on identified issues to help businesses thrive.
Chair, John Oxford, president and CEO, L&M Cos. Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
As president and CEO of L&M Cos. Inc., Raleigh, N.C., John Oxford provides leadership in the expansion of this privately held business by clarifying the vision and developing strategic plans to support it, driving the execution of critical projects at the tactical level and by establishing scalable structure and sustainable management processes throughout the organization. He has been involved in the global fresh produce industry since 2001. Oxford has been an active PMA volunteer for many years. This includes working on PMA’s Marketing, Global Strategy, Membership Restructure, and Strategic Planning Task Forces and the Fresh Summit Committee in 2011 in Atlanta. He was also the Secretary/Treasurer for both PMA and the Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA).
Chair-Elect, Jin Ju Wilder, director of marketing, LA & SF Specialty Produce, Los Angeles
Jin Ju Wilder is responsible for marketing strategy and activities, brand management, and company communications for the wholesale produce, dairy, and speciality foods distributor serving California, Arizona, and Nevada. She also leads the customer relationship management systems and data discovery and reporting solutions. She served two terms on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. She has also served on the board of directors for the Fresh Produce & Floral Council. Wilder was a Produce Business 40 Under 40 Award recipient (2006) and The Packer 25 Award recipient (2009). She has been on the PMA Board of Directors twice and has served on PMA’s former Retail Board and the Government Affairs Committee. Wilder has also been an active speaker and Career Ambassador with CGTbyPMA for several years.
Secretary-Treasurer, April Porter, CFO, Noble Produce Imports Inc., Winter Haven, Fla.
In 2010, April Roe Porter pursued her dream to work for the family business (fresh citrus and blueberry agribusiness) after a career in corporate finance with Wendy’s Arby’s Group and investment banking with Houlihan Lokey. As CFO, she leads all finance, accounting and treasury functions, and coordinates budgeting and capital planning for the company. She works closely with strategic partners and evaluates new business ventures. Porter serves on PMA’s Budget and Finance Committee and has participated in CGTbyPMA’s Career Ambassador Program. She serves as Secretary/Treasurer on CGTbyPMA’s Board of Directors.
Immediate Past Chair, Russ Mounce, vice president & divisional merchandise manager of produce and floral, Sam's Club, Bentonville, Ark.
Russ Mounce has more than 18 years of experience in the produce industry. He joined Sam’s Club as an assistant buyer in the produce division in January 2000 and held numerous buying/sourcing roles within the produce and floral areas, allowing him to have responsibilities across all produce commodities the chain carries. In 2010, Mounce was promoted to his current position with responsibilities over merchandising for 632 Sam’s Clubs in the U.S., including 11 clubs in Puerto Rico. He is also Chair of the PMA Leadership Committee and has served on PMA’s Membership Committee and the Strategic Planning and Governance Task Forces.
Vice Chair, Elliott Grant, CEO, ShopWell Labs Inc., San Carlos, Calif.
Elliott Grant is CEO of Shopwell Labs. He previously founded YottaMark Inc., Redwood City, Calif., (also known as Infinity Coding Solutions Inc.) where he was responsible for all aspects of its marketing execution, product and solution definition, branding and user experience. Prior to YottaMark, Grant served as vice president, operations for Portola Packaging Inc., San Jose, Calif., where he was responsible for high-speed, high-volume production lines across six U.S.-based factories. Grant is PMA’s Science & Technology Committee Chair, and he has served on PMA’s Supply Chain Efficiencies Committee and the Strategic Planning and Membership Restructure Task Forces.
Vice Chair, Paul Kneeland, vice president of fresh merchandising, Fresh Formats LLC, Canton, Mass.
Paul Kneeland is a veteran of the food business and retail since 1981. He forged his way from bagging groceries part time to holding leadership positions in three supermarket chains. Currently he serves as vice president of fresh merchandising for Fresh Formats, a division of Ahold USA. Kneeland has served the produce industry on regional produce councils and on committees and the Board of Directors for PMA. He has chaired two regional produce shows with years of experience in strategic planning and operating each of those events profitably and successfully. Kneeland serves on PMA’s Fresh Summit Committee and has participated on the Dues Restructure Task Force and CGTbyPMA’s Career Ambassador Program.
New at-large board directors are:
Jim Corby, vice president of merchandising, produce, floral and gift centers, The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C.
Prior to joining this position, Jim Corby served as director of produce for Save Mart Supermarkets for two years. He formerly was vice president of produce merchandising for Delhaize America. He also previously led the produce department at ABCO in Phoenix. He has served on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee and the Produce Traceability Initiative’s leadership council.
Dwight Ferguson, president/CEO, Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla.
Dwight Ferguson is president/CEO of Naturipe Farms LLC, a partnership among four highly esteemed fresh berry growers: Hortifrut S.A., Michigan Blueberry Growers, Munger Farms, and Naturipe Berry Growers. He previously was president/CEO of Eurofresh Inc., Wilcox, Ariz., and president/CEO of Florimex Worldwide and Florimex International BV, a leading cut-flower distributor. Additionally, he has held various sales, marketing and operations positions for Chiquita Brands International, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble.
Bernadette Hamel, vice president, national procurement, produce, Metro Richelieu Inc., Montreal, Canada
Bernadette Hamel, has more than 30 years of experience in the produce industry. She was a co-owner of a fruit and vegetable store in her early 20s, and at 28 became a junior buyer for Metro Richelieu. She has served as president of the Quebec Produce Marketing Association and chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association in 2014 after serving on CPMA’s executive committee and as convention chair. As the CPMA chair, she was integral in implementing CPMA’s five-year strategy.
Andrew Kennedy, president, FoodLogiQ, Durham, N.C.
Andrew Kennedy is the product visionary behind FoodLogiQ Connect, recognized as one of the leading cloud-based solutions for Food Safety Modernization Act compliance, whole chain lot-level food traceability and sustainability data collection and reporting. Since 2010, he has co-chaired the Produce Traceability Initiative Technical Working Group and led several important industry pilots, including FoodLogiQ’s participation in the IFT-FDA FSMA Traceability Pilot in 2012 and the Chilean Table Grape farm to retail PTI pilot.
David Marguleas, executive vice president of Sun World International LLC and president of Sun World Innovations, Bakersfield, Calif.
David Marguleas oversees Sun World’s intellectual property, licensing and variety development activities as well as the company’s broader agriculture technology pursuits and international investments. Marguleas began his Sun World career in 1986 in retail merchandising and public relations. He has since overseen sales and marketing, packing and cold storage facilities and operations, farming, research and development, international licensing, grower relations and business development. Marguleas has been integral to the development of the Sun World brand and has driven the global development of its stone fruit and grape varietal brand strategy.
Jill Overdorf, director of business and culinary development and corporate executive chef, Coosemans L.A. Shipping Inc., Vernon, Calif.
Jill Overdorf has been with the company since 2007, working in business development, education, marketing, outreach, trend watching and brand management. She is a seasoned foodservice professional, having worked as an executive chef for 20 years. Overdorf attended UMass-Amherst and the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y. She also earned certification as an EMT-B at Front Range Community College, Westminster, Colo. She is one of the principle authors of Good Food Purchasing Guidelines for Foodservice Institutions, a national resource for food policy and procurement standards.
Kurt Vetter, president, Wonderful Sales, Los Angeles
Kurt Vetter has served as president of Wonderful Sales since 2011. The company’s 260 associates focus on sales and merchandising of Wonderful branded products throughout North America. The company is the sales and merchandising organization for The Wonderful Company, whose product divisions include FIJI water, POM Wonderful, and more. Previously, Vetter was senior vice president and general manager for POM Wonderful in North America responsible for growing its beverage business. Prior to the North American position, he was responsible for the expansion of POM Wonderful’s business throughout Asia and the Pacific.
Gary Wishnatzki, president/CEO, Wish Farms, Plant City, Fla.
Gary Wishnatzki has more than 42 years of experience in the produce industry and is the third-generation owner of berry grower-shipper Wish Farms. Most recently, he co-founded a start-up robotic company, Harvest CROO Robotics, to solve the problem of labor shortages through automation. The first goal is to build a robotic strawberry picker. Among Wish Farms’ innovations over the last decade are the invention of a patented traceability system, How’s My Picking™, development of a bloom count model to forecast strawberry production and leading in processed strawberry production in the Southeast region.
Joe Don Zetzsche, director of floral and blooms, H-E-B, San Antonio, Texas
Joe Don Zetzsche leads merchandising for H-E-B, working to create new experiences every day for floral customers. He has strong retail, marketing, buying and regional leadership experience and specializes in store operations, procurement, marketing, corporate business unit leadership and professional coaching. He was recognized as the PMA Floral Marketer of the Year in 2013 and recently led the association’s Floral Council.
Returning board members are:
- Manuel Alcaino, president, Decofrut, Vitacura, Chile
- Robby Barkley, CEO, Barkley Ag Enterprises LLP, Yuma, Ariz.
- Soren Bjorn, executive vice president, Driscoll's, Watsonville, Calif.
- Jim DiMenna, CEO, Red Sun Farms, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
- Robin Fisher, category manager SCM, P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Jose Antonio Gomez, chief commercial officer, Camposol S.A., Peru
- Ana Hooper, vice president total quality, Darden Restaurants Inc., Orlando, Fla.
- Derrick Jenkins, vice president produce/floral division, Wakefern Food Corporation, Keasbey, N.J.
- David Lake, CEO, 4Earth Farms, Commerce, Calif.
- Cathy Leffingwell, director, produce, Brinker International, Dallas
- Lam Lin, fresh foods sourcing & buying general manager, China Resources Vanguard LTD, Shenzhen, China
- Ines Masallach, marketing director, Serv. De Merc Imalinx, SA de CV, Mexico
- Irenke Meekma, managing director, Bakker Barendrecht BV, Ridderkerk, Netherlands
- Cynthia Nunes, vice president and co-general manager, fresh fruit North America, Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Parsippany, N.J.
- Jamie Peisach, president, Passion Growers LLC, Miami
- Jim Sarcletti, director of produce and floral, Supervalu, Eden Prairie, Minn.
- Kent Shoemaker, CEO, Lipman, Immokalee, Fla.
- Tara Smith-Vighetti, vice president, Smith Packing Inc., Hastings, Fla.
- Tommie van Zyl, CEO, ZZ2, Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa
- Max Yeater, president, Pro*Act LLC, Monterey, Calif.
Retiring from the PMA board are:
- Jeff Dunn, CEO, Bolthouse Farms Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.; President, Campbell Fresh, Camden, N.J.
- Howard Nager, former vice president of marketing, Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash.
- Oleen Smethurst, assistant vice president, general merchandise manager, Costco Wholesale, Ottawa, Canada
- Dan Sutton, vice president of produce procurement, Albertsons LLC, Boise, Idaho
- Thomas Wheeler, director of produce operations, Mollie Stone Markets, San Francisco
About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.