The Oppenheimer Group has named a new sales manager in its Chino Hills, Calif., office.

Ben Vallejo, a 15-year Oppy veteran, started his new job April 1, according to a news release from the Vancouver, B.C.-based company.

Vallejo, a sales representative since 2007, leads a seven-member staff which markets Oppy’s products in the southwestern U.S. and also handles national foodservice business development.

“Ben is uniquely qualified for the sales management role, thanks to his proven sales leadership, his expertise with category development and grower relations, and the unparalleled product knowledge that comes from his quality assurance experience,” Eric Coty, West Coast director of sales, said in the release. “He brings a full complement of very relevant skills into the role.”

Vallejo joined Oppy in 1998 as a quality control inspector. He became West Coast quality control manager in 2005.

As sales manager, Vallejo oversees two areas he covered before his promotion: category management of Oppy’s citrus and kiwifruit business for the western U.S.; and management of the company’s New Zealand apricot deal for the region.