Wendell Hahn (left), vice president of business development at Four Seasons Produce, and Ray Taglialatela, retail services manager, both plan to retire at the end of 2017. Photos courtesy Four Seasons Produce
Four Seasons Produce’s Wendell Hahn, vice president of business development, and Ray Taglialatela, retails services manager, plan to retire from the company at the end of the year.
Hahn came to the Ephrata, Pa.-based wholesaler in 1992 from produce leadership roles at retailers Grand Union and Food-a-Rama in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area, according to a news release.
Notably, Hahn helped Four Seasons Produce create a formal program to service independent retailers and regional chain stores, including building a merchandising staff. His roles across his 25 years with the company have included retail services manager, director of sales, general manager and vice president of business development, according to the release.
Hahn also served on the Eastern Produce Council’s board for many years.
“Wendell’s retail background and industry connections, combined with his confident personality, have always allowed him to approach opportunities and challenges with a positive outlook,” David Hollinger, founder and chairman of Four Seasons Produce, said in the release. “No responsibility has been too daunting for him.
“When Wendell joined, not only did we gain a hardworking associate, but he brought his extensive knowledge as a true ‘produce guy,’” Hollinger said. “I could count on him to take care of whatever needed done, especially for our retailers and to build our business. He is reliable, optimistic and never complains about anything. He has represented our company well.”
Hahn is also recognized as a mentor to the next generation at Four Seasons, including organizing annual growing region tours to California’s San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys, according to the release.
“He’s known for his ability to empathize with customers, associates and suppliers because he understands all the things that they are going through,” Ron Carkoski, company president and CEO, said in the release.
Taglialatela took the job of retail services manager at Four Seasons in 2004, coming from produce leadership roles at Acme Markets, Genuardi’s Family Markets and Super Fresh.
Known to many as “Ray-Tag,” Taglialatela helped transition the company’s sales team from focusing only on traditional independent supermarkets to also serving natural food stores and food co-ops, according to the release.
Since Taglialatela joined the company, Four Seasons has expanded its client base from the Mid-Atlantic region to the New York metro area and parts on New England.
“Ray cares deeply about individuals and the success of our retailers,” Carkoski said in the release. “He has built a strong respect with retailers because of his direct experience and his ability to teach what he knows.”
Taglialatela has also put his retail experience to use as a mentor to up-and-coming employees at Four Seasons and at some of the company’s customers.