Merritt Bruce has joined Church Brothers Farms, Salinas, Calif., as vice president of retail business development.
Bruce, most recently the vice president of sales at Growers Express, Salinas, follows nine of the company’s sales professionals moving to Church Brothers after it acquired Growers Express’ commodity vegetable business, according to a news release.
“Merritt is well respected by the industry and it is a natural fit to have him join the rest of the Growers Express sales team who have been with us since April,” Jeff Church, vice president of sales at Church Brothers, said in the release. “We look forward to Merritt taking over our retail program and continuing the service customers are accustomed to from him.”
Bruce joined the then-named Growers Vegetable Express in 1990, and had a variety of sales roles, including domestic account manager and senior account manager. He was promoted to vice president of sales in 2013, succeeding the retiring Woody Johnson.
At the time, Growers Express credited Bruce with helping expand the Green Giant Fresh line, and leading the sales and marketing campaign as the brand moved to stand-up pouch packaging.
Church said the former Growers Express sales team members have helped make a smooth transition for existing customers.
Bruce reports to Jeff Church in his new role.