Mark Greenberg, 56, had every intention of continuing his legal career when he left his legal practice in Toronto to return to Montreal to give his wife the ability to join her fresh fruit family business.
But the fast-paced produce industry had other plans for his future.
Greenberg, president and chief executive officer of Capespan North America, learned quickly how his wife’s family business, Fisher Bros. — the predecessor to Capespan North America — worked.
“Living in such close proximity to the fresh produce business and seeing its fast pace, international connections, the interesting people engaged in the business and its fast-changing landscape, all proved to be too much to resist, and I joined what was then a family business,” Greenberg said. “It ceased to be a family business a number of years ago, but I remained.”
When Greenberg started at the St. Laurent, Quebec-based company, he was responsible for the fruit production in the U.S. and Chile. The company owned an export company in Chile which exported table grapes. After, the company closed down the Chilean export business he became senior vice president-procurement.
“In 2011, I became the president and chief executive officer when our former president and CEO, Marc Solomon, decided that he wanted to focus on South African products and development,” Greenberg said.
Solomon said Greenberg was the logical and best candidate for the job.
“He has a vast amount of industry experience and excellent communication skills, and its since been a pleasure working with him in his new role,” Solomon said. “He has relationships that span the produce globe and a vast amount of knowledge about the import industry that is invaluable for our company to navigate the ever-changing industry.”
While working in the industry, Greenberg met Hogar de Cristo, executive director of a Chilean charity, who established day care centers in poverty-stricken areas of Chile.
Greenberg was able to work with one of Capespan’s Chilean exporters and make a financial commitment from Capespan’s Chilean business income to contribute to the construction of one of the centers in Copiapo.
“When I returned to Chile a year later, I was able to visit the center, to which other members had also contributed, and see it in operation,” Greenberg said. “It was one of the most memorable moments for me.”
Greenberg hopes to continue Capespan North America’s growth pattern and expand its footprint in distribution of fresh produce in North America.
Solomon said Greenberg understands the needs of the company’s customers.
“I have no doubt that he will successfully steer Capespan North America into a new era of growth and expansion,” Solomon said.