Jolly returns to the industry after a skiing injury forced her to take a hiatus in 2011, according to a news release. She was honored by The Packer in 2010 as a Top 15 Women in Produce recipient.
A foodservice distribution executive and the founder of Premier Produce Inc., Jolly has more than 30 years of produce, grocery and broadline distribution experience. In 2006, she became vice president of national sales at Markon Cooperative. Earlier, she was senior director of multi-unit accounts at Sysco Corp.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Produce Alliance’s new Salinas office is at 60 West Market Street in the city’s historic Granary Towers.
The management services company specializes in foodservice procurement and distribution of fresh produce. It has independent distributors in 39 states, and more than $300 million in annual purchases.
“This past year gave me a new perspective on life,” Jolly said in the release. “I am excited to apply my knowledge, passion and expertise to help bring Produce Alliance to the next level of success.”
George Melshenker, president, and co-founders Rob Feldgreber, Mike Williams and Joe Collier informed staff and clients of Jolly’s hire last week. Her task is to expand sales and enhance relationships with grower-shippers. She plans to meet customers, distributors and colleagues at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice conference in Monterey, Calif., July 20-22.
“Melany brings excellent experience and leadership capabilities,” Melshenker said in the release. “She’s been an entrepreneur, which fits perfectly with our member distributors — the heritage family owned companies of the industry.”
It was Jolly who identified the new office location.
“We have outgrown our current facility and wanted something that could support our expansion,” Melshenker said.