Some of the people making headlines in The Packer in 2009:
The board of directors of family-owned and operated Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., promoted Joe Pezzini to chief operating officer, a position held in the past by only family members.
Bruce Peterson, former senior vice president and general merchandise manager of perishables for Wal-Mart, stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Naturipe Farms LLC while Rich Amirsehhi was named interim CEO of the Naples, Fla.-based company.
Steve Junqueiro was named president of Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart Supermarkets.
Dean Florez became chairman for the newly named Food and Agriculture Committee after president pro-tem Darrell Steinberg overhauled the California State Senate’s agriculture committee.
Longtime New Jersey produce broker Bill Consalo died at 82.
Ken Silveira, former president of Tanimura & Antle, Salinas, Calif., joined Mastronardi Produce Ltd., as president of the company’s West Coast operations.
Tim Meissner took over as chief operating officer for Southern Specialties Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
The Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association elected Mike Browne as chairman.
President Obama named Margaret Hamburg, founding vice president for the biological program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore commissioner of health, as principal deputy commissioner at the FDA.
Ron McCormick, Wal-Mart’s former vice president and divisional merchandise manager for produce and floral, began to roll up his sleeves and tackle a new assignment, working and sustainability and locally grown initiatives, according to a letter McCormick sent suppliers April 29.
Eric Schwartz, president of Salyer American, gave his 30-day notice to the company at the end of April but was asked to leave before that, he said, and Lisa Crist, executive vice president of administration, assumed his responsibilities.
Heather Shavey, assistant general marketing manager for fresh foods and produce at Costco Wholesale Corp., was honored as the 2009 Women in Produce honoree by the United Fresh Produce Association.