In addition to his work at the family business, Perez was on the Western Growers Board of Directors, Irvine, Calif., for the past 12 years.
Perez was also chairman of the board for San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Crows Landing, Calif. In the past, he was on the boards of California Tomato Farmers, California Angus Association and Fresno Madera Farm Credit.
Perez earned a bachelor’s degree at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. After graduation he returned to the family business, joining father Thomas Perez in the melon packing and sales divisions of Perez Packing.
William Moore, a longtime produce buyer for Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc., died in his home April 16. He was 52.
Moore worked for nearly 30 years for Publix, finishing as produce buyer.
Chuck Hodges, a founder and managing member of Prime Time International, died April 19 at his Palm Springs, Calif., home after a 16-month bout with cancer. He was 70.
“Chuck was a guy who came into a room with a commanding presence,” said Mike Aiton, marketing director of Prime Time International.
With Mark Nickerson, Carl Sam Maggio and Javier “Skippy” Tostada, Hodges 25 years ago launched the Coachella, Calif.-based company now known as Prime Time International.
In 1987, the quartet opened Sun & Sands Enterprises with seven employees and 400 acres of fruits and vegetables. Hodges founded CH Sales in 1992 as Sun & Sands’ sales and marketing arm. In 1998, Sun & Sands and CH Sales merged to form Prime Time.
Previously, Hodges was vice president of sales for Sun World International for nearly 12 years.
Herbert Abrash, 79, of Andrews Bros. Inc., Detroit, died May 13 after complications related to kidney disease.
Jeff Abrash, his son, now operates the family produce business started by Herbert’s grandfather in 1899, according to the obituary from A.J. Desmond & Sons funeral home.
Herbert Abrash was involved in the local restaurant industry as well, investing in several local venues.
Strawberry industry veteran John German died May 5 at age 75 in Santa Cruz County, Calif.
Based in Watsonville, Calif., German was director of berry operations for Dole Fresh Vegetables from 1988 until his retirement in 2002.
Earlier he was vice president of pre-cool and quality assurance at Driscoll’s, where he worked from 1970-87.