Southern California produce veteran dies - The Packer

Southern California produce veteran dies

01/03/2013 07:45:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Russell BoydBoydRussell Boyd, who had spent more than 40 years in the produce industry, most recently with Sunrise Produce Co., Commerce, Calif., died at his home in Fullerton, Calif., Dec. 28. He was 62.

Boyd attended California State University, Fullerton, said David Sapia, executive vice president and partner at Sunrise Produce.

During the 1970s, Boyd worked for Coco’s Bakery Restaurant and the Rusty Pelican, two Southern California restaurant chains.

He joined G&G Produce Co., Los Angeles, in 1981 and spent more than 10 years as a field merchandiser before moving onto JC Produce LLC, West Sacramento, Calif., as an account executive from 1993-2006.

Boyd began working for Sunrise Produce in 2006, but never lost sight of his commitment to education.

“(Teaching) is what he loved to do,” Sapia said. “He had all the patience in the world when it came to working with people and trying to help them.”

Boyd managed much of Sunrise Produce’s corporate business and mentored sales people.

He also was the go-to person when Sunrise Produce conducted seminars, such as a recent one on food safety handling and receiving in Pasadena, Calif., Sapia said.

“He literally was my right-hand man. Whatever I had going on, Russell was involved,” he said.

Because of his restaurant and teaching background, Boyd was involved in programs and seminars hosted by the Fresh Produce & Florida Council and United Fresh Produce Association.

In addition, he was active in the California School Nutrition Association and the California Restaurant Association, Sapia said.

Boyd is survived by his wife, Meryl, and five children.

Donations may be made in Boyd’s name to the American Heart Association or the Surfrider Foundation.



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Guillermo Andrade    
Los Angeles  |  January, 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM

Russell, you will be dearly missed. Thank you for the countless hours of training you provided me when I started my career in 1997 at JC Produce. Thank you showing me how sales should be done and how a customer should be treated. The days of TGIFridays and American Golf Corp were by far my most enjoyable moments in my produce career. "Keep your head down, use your shoulders to guide the ball into the hole" Golf tips from the Russell Boyd!

Jennifer McNeil    
Hemet, CA  |  January, 03, 2013 at 04:42 PM

Russell, you were such a great person and an awesome teacher! Thank you for spending time training our nutrition services staff on produce handling last year. They still talk about all the awesome fun facts you shared with them about fruits and veggies. It was so nice seeing you last month when we toured Sunrise and went to the United Fresh workshop. Your love of good food, fresh produce and good company will shine on in all of those who knew you. Thanks for teaching me how to order my filet minon, too! Medium Rare Charred will always make me think of you! Keep an eye on us up there! Cheers!

Cassie Young    
Nashville, TN  |  January, 03, 2013 at 08:23 PM

You will be greatly missed Uncle Russell

Ray Masters    
Denver, Co  |  January, 07, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Rarely do you come across such a passionate consummate in the food service industry. I did not know Russell on a personal level, only professional. Russell's passion, knowledge and enthusiasm were only surpassed by his integrity and love of life. He IS an honorable man that made me smarter. Huge

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