Andreasian has worked for the Salinas, Calif.-based company for more than 22 years and was previously vice president and general manager.
He succeeds Jamie Strachan in the president’s role. Strachan remains chief executive officer of both Growers Express and Growers Marketing. Woody Johnson is general manager of Growers Marketing.
“Now I oversee Green Giant Fresh brand management, which is run day to day by Woody, as well as produce operations, which are run day to day by Gary,” Strachan said. He also supervises financial, food safety and risk management functions.
The company acquired the Green Giant Fresh rights about two and a half years ago under the Growers Marketing name. Since then, Strachan said, he’s devoted increasing time to customer relationships, marketing and management for the brand. He coordinates with other companies, including Gourmet Trading Co., Bolthouse Farms, Modern Mushroom Farms and Potandon Produce — which also grow for Green Giant Fresh.
“I’ve needed to be able to restructure the organization to support these efforts,” he said.
Andreasian’s prior roles included general manager, vice president for sales, sales director, broccoli product manager and head lettuce manager. As president he’ll oversee planting, production, harvesting, cooling and distribution.
“We’ve got some new initiatives under way where we’re looking at some field automation and field tracking, coordinating harvesting and distribution more cohesively, and Gary’s going to provide that for us,” Strachan said.
Andreasian was the company’s fourth employee at its inception, known then as Growers Vegetable Express. He worked for San Miguel Produce, Oxnard, Calif., before joining Growers, and brought a mixed shipper philosophy with him.
“When I first started we only offered one type of lettuce — naked flat pack — and very limited mixed commodities,” he said in a news release. “We had three employees with two selling only lettuce, leaving mixed vegetables to me. I was responsible for building mixer business and managed all crops other than lettuce.”
“Gary represents the culture of the company,” Strachan said. “It’s a well deserved promotion. He was the only person considered for the job.”
“Gary is tough but fair and it has been a pleasure getting to know (him) over the past three years as we have worked closely to successfully transition Capurro Marketing into Growers Express and become active partners in the new business,” John Manfre of Capurro Farms said in the release.