Rick Bella
Rick Bella

Industry veteran Rick Bella has joined Walla Walla, Wash.-based Columbia Fresh.

Bella, former produce program director of Chicago based Feeding America, will join Columbia Fresh as director of business development and marketing. Dewight Hall, president and chief executive officer, said Bella will focus on business development and marketing of their hunger relief fresh produce division.

“We are excited to have Rick join our team,” Hall said in a news release. “His extensive experience in fresh produce and hunger relief will be a great complement to our current efforts.”

Bella is based in Chicago and assists the sales staff in developing fresh produce programs with hunger relief organizations across the country. Bella said Columbia Fresh supplies 50 or 60 food banks on a regular basis.

“I’m excited to help out the hunger industry and also working on marketing and strategy,” Bella said.

Bella has been in the industry for more than 30 years, with 12 years in hunger relief at Feeding America and Oklahoma City-based Feed The Children, according to the release.

Previous to those positions, Bella had been a produce executive at Midland Grocery, Westville, Ind., and with Fairplay Finer Foods in Chicago.