2013 PMA Fresh Summit Team

Each year, a selection of our team members travel to the Produce Marketing Association's annual Fresh Summit Convention to meet with buyers, check out the latest in equipment & packaging, and network with the fantastic people who make up the produce world. I've asked each of this year's team members a few questions about themselves and Fresh Summit:

Dan Spain  |  VP of Sales & Marketing  |  25+ time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I handle our global business development, marketing and sales - creating and maintaining our marketing programs along with grower relations. I work closely with our sales team to assure all of our sophisticated marketing programs are executed well.

What do you think is most valuable about Fresh Summit? 
Fresh Summit gives us the opportunity to engage with our customers in person, to thank them for their business and show them different items or ideas we have for going to market the following season. It also is a great venue to meet new customers and network within the industry. 

How do you take your coffee?
Black with a swirl of local honey.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
White Nectarines - I love their crunch and sweet flavor. I prefer low acidic fruit, it is like eating the ‘Creamsicle’ version of your summer favorites.


Bob Maxwell  |  Director of Sales  |  20+ time Attendee

Describe your job:
I am the director of sales. I am responsible to our growers for the sales and American distribution of the seasonal production of peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, apricots, cherries, kiwi, pomegranates, Apple Pears, and avocados. In that capacity, I am in charge of supervising and managing 12 sales people and 6 sales assistants. I am blessed to have some of the finest men and women in our industry at Kingsburg Orchards. They bring to the table at least 200 years of combined experience - my job gets easier and easier - please don’t tell them that.

What is your favorite thing about PMA Fresh Summit? 
Putting a face to the name of people you talk to each day - you can talk to a person for years and somehow they are never what you expect. Voices can be deceiving.

How do you take your coffee?
Cream and sugar. All day, everyday.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
I love Crunchy Gold Apple Pears.


Chad Allred  |  Assistant Director of Sales  |  5+ time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I am the Assistant Director of Sales, as well as the Director of our Sugar Tree program.

What do you find most valuable about Fresh Summit? 
The ability to see a high percentage of your customers in one place at one time, as well as the opportunity to see many of our customers from foreign countries.

How do you take your coffee?
Black with 2 Sweet n Lows.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
I enjoy many of the commodities, but my favorites are the 50/50 Peacharine and the White Nectarine.


Brian Keavy  |  Export Sales  |  22nd time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I am the VP of International Export Sales.

What PMA Seminar are you most excited for?
Global Market Brief: China. China is one of our biggest export customers and I am always interested in how China's marketing dynamics work and how to better understand China's buying practices.

What was your first pet? 
My first pet was a Black Lab.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Red Phoenix Pluots.


Eric Maxwell  |  Sales & Export |  8th time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I handle domestic wholesale and retail sales as well as Export sales, mostly to Mexico.

What is your favorite thing about Fresh Summit?
Meeting customers face to face. There’s no substitute for that. I believe that meeting people in person helps to develop a stronger working relationship.

What was your first pet? 
My first pet was a dog named “Goofus”. When people would call his name I would turn around.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Plums. Everybody uses plums domestically and abroad. I like Angelenos. It’s a variety that a lot of people request by name.


Roman Sowala |  Sales & Export Sales  |  10+ time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I am a Sales Representative for North America, Central America and South America.

What is your favorite thing about PMA? 
My favorite thing about the Fresh Summit is meeting one of our partners face to face for the first time, as well as catching up with old friends in the biz.

How do you take your coffee?
In a Superman coffee cup.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Red Phoenix pluot and the Crunchy Gold Apple Pear


Bill Slattery  |  Sales  |  13th time Attendee

Describe your job: 
My position offers me the opportunity to network/connect with current and potential customers all over the globe, introducing and educating them about the fantastic fruits that Kingsburg Orchards grows every year.

What do you think is most valuable about PMA Fresh Summit? 
The opportunity to generate interest and attract new customers to the Kingsburg Orchards brand.  Connecting with existing customers in a neutral, yet lively setting.

How do you take your coffee?
Venti 5 shot Americano, with peppermint and cream

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Apple pears are my favorite.  I enjoy eating them fresh, and discovering new uses for them in the kitchen.  They are also the best to offer as gifts to people, because everyone has thoroughly enjoyed and asked for more.


Jeanette Slattery  |  Sales  | 5th time Attendee

Describe your job: 
I am one of our Sales Team members, and I specialize in our “cosmetically challenged” fruit.

What is your favorite thing about PMA Fresh Summit? 
I love the open feel of the show floor and the variety of exhibitors. It is great to experience the whole spectrum of our produce world outside of our stone fruit “corner” - oh, and the bags :)

How do you take your coffee?
I like a skinny hazelnut latte. 

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Apple Pears. If we’re getting variety specific, right now it’s Crunchy Gold.


Michael Elwinger |  Marketing Manager  |  5th time Attendee

Describe your job:
My duties as marketing manager are primarily to work with the sales department to develop creative ways to promote our unique and sensational products. This includes sales sheets, brochures, point of sale, anything that can promote our brands and help educate consumers and retailers about Kingsburg Orchards.

What is your favorite thing about Fresh Summit?
My favorite thing about PMA is seeing all the different facets of the produce industry and learning about the latest innovations in marketing and branding. Not to mention some of the delicious samples they have to offer.

What was your first pet?
The first pet I remember growing up was our cat “Lassie.”

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
My favorite variety of pluot has been the Honeysuckle Rose for sometime. Although this year I have to say the Peacharines were amazing and took the crown.


Jillian Diepersloot  |  Special Projects Coordinator  |  4th time Attendee

Describe your job:
I handle a little bit of everything from recipe development to tradeshows, to the social media, website, newsletter, & blog, basic photography and other miscellaneous projects.

What PMA seminar are you looking forward to?
Get Your Blog On - I love how interconnected our world is, and how others can help tell your story. I grew up on the farm (my family are our growers) and things that I take for granted or don’t notice are often the things that my friends want me to explain in detail or are fascinated by. Our ranches aren’t really near any large cities, so finding ways to connect with bloggers to tell our stories in communities across our global customer base is right up my alley!

How do you take your coffee?
Sweet & Strong: hot vanilla lattes, iced caramel macchiatos with an extra shot, or brewed with cream & sugar.

Favorite Variety or Commodity:
Current top 5 are Crunchy Gold Apple Pears, apricots of any kind, Dapple Phoenix pluots, Jillie White peaches, and Honey May yellow nectarines.

 

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