Hawk will start Aug. 1 at the Grand Junction, Mich.-based blueberry marketing cooperative, according to a news release.
He comes to the company after eight years at Indianapolis-based Weaver Popcorn Co. Inc., where he was vice president. Hawk has 35 years of experience in consumer products companies, including Crossmark Inc., Northland Cranberries Inc. and Regal Ware Inc.
The cooperative’s trademark is The Blueberry People. With Hortifrut S.A., Munger Farms and Naturipe Berry Growers, it’s one of four partners in Naturipe Farms.
“Bob’s experience in value-added new product development and plant operations are an excellent fit for our recently completed strategic plan,” Pat Goin, MBG board chairwoman, said in the release.
Hawk will oversee MBG’s plans to start up a value-added, instantly quick frozen berry processing plant in South Haven, Mich., next year.
“We will also introduce several new proprietary blueberry varieties that have been developed by our in-house plant breeders that have incredible flavor, size and improved vigor for better shelf life,” Goin said in the release.
Adding growers to MBG is another priority.
“I am … very impressed with the Naturipe organization and the collaborative nature of the four partner organizations,” Hawk said in the release. “This grower-owned, global sales and marketing organization which is focused on fresh and processed berries is truly unique and clearly has been a point of differentiation.”
Blueberries are the primary crop supplied by MBG growers in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
NOTE ON CORRECTION: The original article omitted Naturipe Berry Growers from the list of partners.