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Valley Fruit & Produce Hires Director Of Marketing

Valley Produce's Jin Ju Wilder

Jin Ju Wilder has been named Valley Fruit & Produce’s director of marketing. This is a new position for the company.

Wilder brings 20 years of produce industry experience to the planning, development and implementation of Valley’s marketing strategies, external and internal communications and public relations activities, according to Carrie La Londe, CFO at Valley.

“I was very fortunate to work with Valley as a consultant over the last three years,” Wilder says. “I am excited to work with a company that handles so much volume and has a very diverse customer base. When Carrie and Doug (La Londe) presented me with an opportunity to participate in and have an impact on so many market channels, I couldn’t wait to get started.”

Wilder also is the founder and president of Status Gro, founded in 2010 to help businesses grow through strategic planning, innovation and teamwork. Through Status Gro, Wilder has helped numerous produce companies design and implement branding, marketing, communications and business development strategies. Prior to launching Status Gro, Wilder served as president of Coast Produce Co. where she led its transformation from a regional produce wholesaler to a supply chain solutions provider on a national level for clients like Albertsons, Supervalu and Kroger, as well as government agencies like the Defense Commissary Agency and the Defense Logistics Agency.

“Having Jin Ju as part of the Valley team strengthens our ability to provide our customers with highly customized and strategic solution packages,” La Londe says. “Today, Valley is more than a produce wholesaler; we are responsible for our customers’ produce supply chain needs from the fields to the consumers’ forks.”

Company promotes Paino to sales manager

Rick Paino has been promoted to sales manager at Valley Fruit & Produce.

In his new position, Paino will ensure the Valley sales team is aware of the company’s goals and he will work with the sales team to create strategies for accomplishing them. Paino also will continue as the commodity manager for the apple and pear division at Los Angeles-based Valley.

Valley Fruit logoPaino says he is looking forward to his expanded role with the company.

“It’s a challenge to balance providing our customers with highly competitive pricing paired with guaranteed quality and service while also making sure that we provide consistent and fair returns to our vendors,” he says. “It’s a challenge I am up to and I am eager to share my knowledge and experience with the sales team.”

That knowledge and experience spans a nearly 40- year produce career that began at Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. in 1974. Paino joined Valley Fruit in 1986 and has been an integral part of the sales team for the last 27 years.

Doug La Londe, COO at Valley Fruit & Produce, says, “What Rick brings to the role of sales manager is a great combination of extensive produce selling and buying experience, a passion for produce, pride in being a part of Valley and a strong desire to share all of that with the rest of the sales team. Under Rick’s guidance, we look forward to continuing our tradition of providing great quality produce and service to our customers every day.”

Valley Fruit & Produce, established in 1920, is a full-line wholesaler/distributor of quality fresh fruits and vegetables servicing a diverse customer base located throughout the U.S. and overseas.

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