Rick Russo ( Courtesy Church Brothers Farms )

Industry veteran Rick Russo has joined Church Brothers Farms, Salinas, Calif., as vice president of strategic growth and planning.

The position, a new one at the company, focuses on building competitive sales and marketing programs, vetting potential partnerships and leading product line development for U.S. and international operations, according to a news release.

Russo has worked for Tanimura & Antle in several roles, including director of foodservice sales and vice president of crop management. He was with NewStar Fresh Foods for 5 ½ years, in roles including foodservice and value-added sales and vice president of sales and marketing.

Russo joins Church Brothers after almost 10 years at Mann Packing, most recently as vice president of sales, marketing and product management.

“Rick is joining us at a pivotal time in our company’s development,” CEO Brian Church said in a news release. “With our Green Giant Fresh commodity program we are continuing to evolve. Rick’s experience and expertise is a good fit with our existing management team.”

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