(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:30 p.m.) Columbia Marketing International Corp. has promoted longtime marketing executive Bob Mast to president.
Mast, former vice president of marketing, became president of the Wenatchee, Wash.-based tree fruit shipper on April 22.
He joined CMI in 2003 and has overseen CMI’s marketing department since 2008.
He succeeds Stuart McDougall, a CMI co-owner and chairman of the board.
Before joining CMI, Mast worked in a variety of management roles with Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.’s Fry’s in Arizona.
Mast said he is meeting with company department heads and staff to “create the vision we as a team see for moving CMI forward.”
Mast said he has learned from the company’s longtime tree fruit grower/owners, Nick Buak and the late Glady Bellamy and Bob McDougall, who along with CMI board member Jim Wade founded the company in 1989.
“I am honored that the CMI ownership is confident in my abilities to take an organization that’s been successful over the years and has a professional and committed staff ... ,” Mast said. “I’m honored to be the face of the company. Our growers as well as our warehouse partners are truly passionate and committed people. Everyone has done a tremendous job in pulling together since Glady’s passing the retirement of Nick.”
Company officials cited Mast’s communication skills, attention to detail and passion for the fruit industry.
Starting in bagging, Mast worked 18 of his 20 years at Fry’s in the produce department, and became the chain’s assistant director of produce.
Mast was the only candidate the company considered, former CMI chairman of the board Wade said in a news release.
“We are extremely fortunate Bob Mast was already in a key leadership role at CMI,” Wade said in the release. “Bob’s nine-year history at CMI will bring valuable continuity and perspective to his new role. To anyone who knows Bob, his dedication to both CMI and the tree fruit industry is unmatched.”
Mast said he plans to continue working on limited marketing projects as CMI seeks a successor.
In the release, Stuart McDougall said the company expects a seamless transition in management.
Mast graduated from Arizona State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in management.
One of Washington’s biggest apple, pear and cherry shippers and packers, CMI also distributes fruit internationally.