(Jan. 15) Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., has hired two new people and promoted one employee to further consolidate marketing capabilities for its fruit and vegetable groups.

“This is just one more move to better align all our resources to go in the same direction,” said Bil Goldfield, communications manager of Dole Foods.

Yvonne Rentmeester has been promoted to marketing services manager for Dole Fresh Fruit, Goldfield said.

“She has been the manager for some time of our technical services area in which she goes out to the customers’ sites and helps them with ripening rooms and making sure all of our bananas look the best they can,” he said. “Now she’ll head the merchandising area and will oversee the market representatives who, once the fruit is delivered, help make sure it looks as good as possible on the shelves. She’s taken over that area because she already has great relationships with our customers and it makes sense to leverage these areas together under her.”

Rentmeester joined Dole Fresh Fruit in 1997 as a technical service representative. Goldfield said David Bright, marketing director for Dole Fresh Fruit, was previously responsible for the merchandising duties.

“Yvonne reports to David anyway, so it made sense to transfer those duties now that he’s going to be doing much more of the general marketing over fresh fruit,” he said. “David was promoted a few months ago to his current position.”

Odalis Hawit-Rivera has joined the fresh fruit group as brand manager. Her focus will be on using market research, and leading Dole’s marketing efforts to develop long-term sales through message positioning and new product development.

“She started Jan. 7, and will be the brand manager for fresh fruit, also working for David, and will be looking at our market research and try to develop new products and commercialize them,” Goldfield said.

Before joining Dole, Hawit-Rivera held various positions at Pharmavite LLC, most recently as associate brand manager.

At the Dole Fresh Vegetables group in Monterey, Keith Kelley has been hired as brand manager.

“He will be looking at the line and trying to develop new products in the value-added area and support the sales division in growing sales,” Goldfield said.

Kelley started Jan.14.

“We have initiatives we’ve been working on and we want these people to step in and take them forward,” Goldfield said. “And we also encourage them to come up with new ideas.”

Kelley has packaged consumer goods experience in the areas of brand outreach, product development, strategic planning, sales support and forecasting analysis for products including Columbia Crest Winery and Eight O’Clock Coffee.