(April 7) Martori Farms, Scottsdale, Ariz., has hired Rick Russo as director of sales. He is expected to begin working there April 15.

Russo recently left Tanimura & Antle, Salinas, Calif., where he was vice president of crop management.

“He has quite a bit retail experience and our customer base is primarily retail,” said Steve Martori, president. “He understands the contracts and programs we have. His approach is very compatible, so we think he will be a very good fit with our type of operation.”

Martori said the company distributes its melons and broccoli throughout the U.S. through large, independent retailers and club stores.

“We’re coming up with a lot of specialty packs, and it takes a little more sophistication to execute this than a typical commodity program,” he said. “We knew Rick had become available just about the time that we needed somebody, and he’ll be moving to Scottsdale from Salinas.”

Russo’s departure at Tanimura & Antle came during a management reorganization triggered by declining sales. Rick Bravo, vice president of sales and marketing, and Ken Silveira, president, also left Tanimura & Antle at that time.