New Leaf staff includes Dole veteran, Taylor Farms recruits

08/24/2010 01:03:21 PM
Ashley Bentley

Ashley Bentley

Tanya Mason, (from left), vice president of business development for Taylor Fresh Foods’ new subsidiary New Leaf Food Safety Solutions; Steven Swarts, eastern regional manager, and Angela Nunez, director of quality assurance and customer support, represent the company at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference & Exposition July 30-Aug. 1 in Monterey, Calif.

MONTEREY, Calif. — The new food safety subsidiary of Taylor Fresh Foods, New Leaf, is led by an ex-Dole executive and his staff of five, including Taylor Farms recruits.

The company launched this year to market SmartWash — a wash water additive designed to eliminate cross-contamination of pathogens to other fresh-cut salad and leafy green processors.

Taylor Farms’ processing facilities have been using SmartWash since its development three years ago.

New Leaf debuted SmartWash and introduced its staff to the industry at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference & Exposition July 31-Aug. 1.

Jim Brennan, president, came to New Leaf from Dole Food Co., where he spent 16 years, most recently as vice president of technical services.

He left produce for a year and a half in the late 1990s to work as vice president of engineering and development for E&J Gallo Winery before launching his own consulting company, Alliance of Technical Professionals, in 2000.

“One of my earliest clients was Taylor Farms due to my close association with Alec Leach from our work together in the early days of the Dole salad launch,” Brennan said. “Since that time I have worked closely with the Taylor Farms operation providing process development, quality and food safety mentoring for their staff across the country.”

Brennan has been involved in the development of SmartWash since 2006, when the project to develop the wash began.

New Leaf’s vice president of business development, Tanya Mason, held the same title at Taylor Farms.

She originally joined the company in 2003 as a product manager. Before joining Taylor she worked in operational roles with Dole Fresh Vegetables in Soledad, Calif., and with Coca-Cola in New York.

Steven Swarts also found his way to New Leaf through Taylor Farms. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined Taylor Farms Tennessee as quality assurance supervisor and microbiologist. His role at New Leaf began in February.

John Mazzei has been working on legal and financial aspects of the SmartWash project for more than a year, and is staying with the company as general counsel. Before joining New Leaf, Mazzei worked in private practice, specializing in venture capital financings and security law.

Danny Lindstrom is New Leaf’s director of operations and engineering. He has more than 19 years of experience in packaging and process engineering in the food industry, Mason said.

Angela Nunez is director of quality assurance and customer support, and has been instrumental in implementing, educating and managing SmartWash in Taylor Farms regional plants, Mason said. She has more than 15 years of experience in food safety and quality programs in the food industry, including time spent in frozen food and seafood.

Brennan said the company’s goal is to get SmartWash into every salad wash process in the industry. New Leaf has the blending capacity and the dosing equipment available already, he said.

“Our approach is to keep this simple, customer friendly and affordable to eliminate any reason for not taking advantage of this breakthrough wash aid technology,” Brennan said.



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