As Sutherland Produce Sales Inc. launches its first website and unveils a new brand, Chris Ford has been named vice president for the El Cajon, Calif., distributor.

The company also hired Cindy Platko as chief financial officer. She has been an independent financial contractor for the company for 16 years and has 30 years experience in accounting and financial operations, according to a news release.

“I am very excited to be expanding our management team with these two, very talented industry veterans,” president Bill Sutherland said in the release. “The addition of Chris and Cindy is yet another step in better serving our customers, our customers’ customers and the industry at large.”

Ford will be responsible for operations, marketing, strategic planning, program development and grower management, according to the release. He has 30 years experience in the industry and most recently was senior global produce buyer for Whole Foods Market.

Along with the new executives, Sutherland has a new logo and website at

“The site includes a historical perspective of Bill Sutherland’s role as one of the early industry pioneers who helped define, shape and establish the standards and laws that govern organic farming today,” according to the release.

“It also includes a summary of the growers Sutherland serves and the company’s current lineup of organic fruits and vegetables.”