(Dec. 15, 2:50 p.m.) Charlie Pigliacelli, partner and director of store operations for John Vena Inc., plans to retire Dec. 31.

Pigliacelli, who joined the Philadelphia-based specialties distributor in 1985, said he was proud to be a part of Vena’s growth and expansion and said he believes the company remains positioned to compete in today’s challenging economy.

Pigliacelli, who became partner in 1990, previously worked for banana distributor M. Levin & Co. and Ralph D. Hughes Inc., and has worked for 33 years on the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

“When Charlie came to work for John Vena, I knew that his background and training were a great fit for our company,” said John Vena Jr., president and chief executive officer. “I quickly realized that we shared the same values about how to treat customers and employees.

“He always did what was right for everyone, even if it wasn’t always profitable for us,” Vena said. “Together we took the long view of things, and it has worked out pretty well. Charlie has a great attitude and an ironic sense of humor, and I think I will miss those things the most.”

Founded in 1919, John Vena Inc., which occupies four market stalls, sells imported specialty produce to customers throughout the Northeast, from Virginia to upstate New York including the metropolitan New York area.

John Vena partner Pigliacelli to retire