( Photo courtesy Steve Roodzant; logo courtesy Index Fresh; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

Avocado company Index Fresh, Riverside, Calif., has hired Steve Roodzant as CEO.

Roodzant was most recently senior vice president of plant operations at Grimmway Farms. He succeeds Dana Thomas, who announced his retirement after 24 years as Index Fresh CEO, according to a news release. Index Fresh used a search firm to conduct a national search for his successor.

Roodzant joined Grimmway Farms in 2007 as general manager and promoted to the senior vice president position in 2016. Before he was at Grimmway, Roodzant was at Bolthouse Farms for six years, first as plant manager and then vice president of operations.

He was an officer in the U.S. Navy for six years, with three six-month deployments to the Middle East between the two Gulf Wars, according to the release.

“I am extremely humbled and excited to join the team at Index Fresh,” Roodzant said in the release. “Index Fresh’s reputation in the industry is fantastic, and it’s a testament to the quality and talent level of the people who make it happen.”

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