Courtesy Church Bros.Vince Ballesteros has been named director of business development and logistics. Jeff Church is now director of daily sales and customer service. Jason Lathos is now manager of commodities.SALINAS, Calif. — Church Bros. LLC has shifted management roles in its sales office to help support the sales growth of up to 20% it’s enjoyed in each of the last four years, said Ernst Van Eeghen, director of marketing and product development.
Vince Ballesteros, former director of sales, has been named director of business development and logistics. Among other duties, he will oversee outside sales and the company’s representatives nationwide and in Canada.
Jeff Church, who was director of commodities, is now director of daily sales and customer service, managing the inside sales group.
Jason Lathos is now manager of commodities at Church Bros., the liaison between field operations and sales. He had been a sales manager.
“Jason manages a group of commodity manager to assure we’re getting maximum returns back to the ranch,” Van Eeghen said.
The changes were effective July 1.
“Because we’re looking to really further and continue the profitable growth that we’ve seen over the last several years, we want to fine tune some of our resources,” Van Eeghen said.
“This will optimize our sales channels and profitability and increase our customer service.”
About 70% of the sales growth at Church Bros. LLC over the last four years has come through existing customers.
“It’s an important indicator because that’s the type of growth that can be considered a reward from our customers for meeting and sometime exceeding their expectations,” he said.
Church Bros. held onto those clients through some tight times.
Brian Church heads the farming operation. “The last couple years there have been some major gaps in supplies during certain times of the year, and we’ve been able to fulfill all our contracts despite that,” Van Eeghen said.
The other 30% of growth has been through new accounts and new products, many of them for leafy greens. Product introductions in the last few years have included Teen Green sandwich leaves, wasabi arugula and a red heirloom spinach, among others.
Also on July 1, Katie Cook joined Church Bros. as marketing coordinator. She assists Van Eeghen in the company’s marketing initiatives. Cook graduated in June from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in agribusiness.