Gray, who most recently worked as senior vice president of sales, marketing and categories for The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, founded Vancouver-based Dawn Gray Global Consulting.
The firm helps clients with strategic growth plans and advises them on communications, brand-building and executing sales and marketing plans.
“It isn’t a role that I necessarily saw myself in, but now that I’ve embraced the concept, and had some experience, it’s amazing how right it feels,” said Gray, who has worked in the produce industry for 36 years.
Gray said her experience on both the production and marketing sides of the industry should be a benefit to her clients.
Gray’s main client thus far has been Yakima, Wash.-based C.M. Holtzinger Fruit Co. LLC. She has helped the company on personnel, branding, product positioning and other issues.
John Anderson, Oppenheimer’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, praised Gray’s tenure at the company.
“During her time with us, Dawn contributed significantly to our organization, leading and evolving our marketing team and building our business with growers and customers alike,” Anderson said. “We’re confident that Dawn will be successful with her new consulting practice and we wish her the very best.”
Anderson said Gray’s duties would be divided among David Smith, Oppenheimer’s senior vice president for North American sales and categories; Doug Grant, senior vice president and chief operations officer; and James Milne, director of business development and marketing.
Before joining Oppenheimer in 2008, Gray was general manager of Auckland, N.Z.-based Enza International, a position she had for a year and a half.
Before joining Enza, Gray was the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Surrey, British Columbia-based BC Hot House Foods Inc.
She also has served as president of the Central California Orange Growers Cooperative, Visalia, and has had sales and marketing positions at Seattle-based Vanguard International; The Autenrieth Co., Los Angeles; Frieda’s Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif.; and Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, Calif.