Courtesy Amerifresh Inc.Greg Reinauer, Amerifresh Inc. With a business philosophy that includes statements such as “it’s not all about money” and “be thankful for the competition,” some might wonder whether Greg Reinauer really earned a degree in business administration.
His career record is proof that he did.
At 45, Reinauer is senior vice president of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Amerifresh Inc., home of the Snoboy brand and one of the key fresh produce suppliers in the Southwest.
Reinauer has been with Amerifresh since 1996 and worked for its affiliate Food Services of America beginning in 1991.
The son of a Texas onion grower, Reinauer started his produce career at Blair Merriam Produce Co. in Longmont, Colo., in 1988 as an assistant buyer.
When he left home to go to college, he didn’t particularly have his eye on the fresh produce industry as a career path, he said.
He’s glad he took that road, though.
“There was a point in my career when I would have brought up specific accomplishments like percentage of sales growth and revenue,” Reinauer said.
“But now I know my biggest accomplishment is the strength of our relationships with our associates, suppliers, growers and customers. Even relationships with our competitors help us in our business.”
Reinauer said his favorite part of his job is the people. He said he is happiest when he is in the field talking with a grower. “If I’ve been in the office for two weeks straight, I can’t wait to get out to a field,” he said.
Working with industry groups such as the Produce Marketing Association’s foodservice board and the Produce Traceability Initiative committee helped foster his approach with people, Reinauer says.
But those who have worked with him say he’s a natural.
“Greg combines a wonderful blend of produce industry knowledge, understanding of innovation and technology, and a down-to-earth personality that engages others at all levels of the supply chain,” said Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and chief executive officer.
“His energy is always infectious.”
While his attitude may be contagious, Reinauer knows produce shouldn’t be.
Food safety and sustainability issues are the biggest hurdles facing the industry now, he says.
“Some of these initiatives come at a high financial cost, and I have concerns that some in our industry won’t be able to keep up,” Reinauer said. “It’s not a family-farm issue; it’s about small to mid-sized produce businesses. Diversity is one of the best traits of our industry. Competition feeds what we do and makes us all stronger.
“We have a very personal industry and with increasing technology and companies getting bigger and bigger I’m afraid some of that family feel could be lost.”