(UPDATED CONTENT, 5 p.m.)
Six L’s and Custom Pak will soon have a Sysco foodservice industry veteran as its chief executive officer.
The Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman Family Cos., which owns Six L’s Packing Co. Inc. and Custom Pak, has brought in Sysco’s Kent Shoemaker as its new CEO.
Shoemaker, who has worked as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Sysco-owned FreshPoint, is scheduled to begin his new position on Sept. 20.
For the past 25 years, Shoemaker has worked in foodservice distribution through Red’s Market Inc., Orlando, Fla., which became FreshPoint, which in turn was later purchased by Houston-based Sysco.
Shoemaker succeeds Larry Lipman, Six L’s and Custom Pak’s former CEO, who retired in January.
In January, Toby Purse, chief financial officer and chief accounting officer, became interim CEO.
Shoemaker said he is enthusiastic about moving from the foodservice segment to the growing and shipping side.
“The Lipman family has been an industry leader for a long time,” he said. “They have accumulated a fantastic leadership team. It has literally been the greatest honor of my career working for the leadership team at FreshPoint. I have many close friends there and which was the hardest part of leaving.”
Shoemaker started in the produce industry in 1985 at Red’s Market, where he later became president.
In 1996, Shoemaker was part of an ownership group that created FreshPoint after buying the North American holdings of Albert Fisher Group PLC, Windsor, England, which owned Red’s Market.
Those owners in 2000 sold FreshPoint to Sysco, where Shoemaker worked for from FreshPoint’s Winter Park, Fla., corporate headquarters.
Lipman, who has remained chairman of the Lipman Family Cos. board of directors, welcomed Shoemaker’s addition.
“Kent’s track record of innovative leadership in the fresh produce industry complements our strategy and vision for growth,” he said in a news release. “We are excited to have him join our family of companies.”
Lipman officials credit Shoemaker with helping drive FreshPoint’s expansion.
At FreshPoint, Shoemaker worked in numerous leadership roles.
Shoemaker said he brings foodservice distribution and value-added processing skills to Lipman Family Cos.
He plans to reside in the Naples, Fla., area.
Lipman Family Cos. grows and packs tomatoes and vegetables through Six L’s and handles wholesale produce it repacks through Custom Pak.