About the Fresh Produce & Floral Council

Providing unique networking and business growth opportunities for professionals in the produce and floral industries in California, since 1965.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council is to connect members to the information, education and professional network they need to increase knowledge, grow their businesses and collectively advance the industry.

Our members include growers, shippers, wholesalers, brokers, distributors and retailers of produce and/or floral items.

Leadership

The FPFC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Committee made up of professionals from all sectors of the produce and floral industries.  In addition, committees handle specific tasks related to the Council’s events and industry relations.

The Council’s business is managed by a staff located in Anaheim, California. 

Fresh Produce & Floral Council 2020 Executive Committee

Brian Cook (Pete's)

Brian Cook (Pete's)

Chairman

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Immediate Past Chair

Working in in the produce industry nearly 30 years, Andrew started his career with Ralphs Grocery Company. Throughout his 12 years there, he served as a produce clerk, produce manager, inspector and category manager.  In 2002, he joined Westlake Produce Company as a salesman and now serves as COO.  While working at Westlake, he has completed a number of executive programs including programs from Cornell University and University of Notre Dame.  In 2010, he was a member of the Produce News’ 40 under 40 and is an alumnus of the United Fresh Leadership Program.

Andrew has been involved with the FPFC for over 15 years, serving on many committees, and is currently chairing the task force developing the FPFC Executive Program.  He was elected to the FPFC board of directors in 2014.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, playing piano and woodworking.

Marvin Quebec (Quebec Distributing Co.)

Marvin Quebec (Quebec Distributing Co.)

Past Chair Representative

Marvin Quebec (Quebec Distributing Co.)

Marvin Quebec (Quebec Distributing Co.)

Past Chair Representative

Marvin was born in the Salinas Valley and has been passionately involved in the produce industry for over 25 years carrying a broad amount of expertise and knowledge.  He began his career loading trucks and as a produce inspector before being promoted to FOB Sales for a Grower/Shipper in the Salinas Valley.

Through various produce companies, he worked his way to Sales, Sales Manager, and VP Sales and ultimately becoming President and managing partner of Quebec Distributing Company which was founded in 2006 in partnership with Bill and Joe Colace.  Marvin has been an FPFC Board member since 2009.

A 1997 graduate of Menlo College and is the recipient of Menlo College’s Collis Steere Award after having played football as a linebacker and basketball as power forward.   Marvin completed the Cornell University Leadership Program in 2013.

Marvin enjoys being proactive in the produce industry while serving on different committees and putting his energies into the FPFC as well as helping others grow in the industry.  Marvin also believes in the constant nurturing of relationships with customers and growers and believes that the FPFC provides that platform.

Marvin and his wife, Wali, have one daughter and three grandchildren and live in Union City, CA.

Sean McClure (Professional Produce)

Sean McClure (Professional Produce)

Chair Elect

Sean McClure (Professional Produce)

Sean McClure (Professional Produce)

Chair Elect

Sean McClure’s journey into the industry began almost 30 years ago, starting as a box boy with Lucky Markets. He spent the last 20 years at Ready Pac Foods working in various roles including Merchandiser Trainer, Buyer, Senior Buyer, Procurement Manager, and National Director of Procurement before joining Professional Produce in a Sales role in 2019. Sean has been involved with the FPFC for many years serving on various committees as well as Chairing both the Dinner Dance and Expo Committees for several years. He was elected to the FPFC board of directors in 2017. He has also served with the PMA Foundation for Growing Talent Career Pathways Advisory Committee and volunteered as a Career Ambassador since 2013. He is a family man with a wonderful wife, Michelle, and three children. Sean is an avid sports fan, helps coach his sons baseball team, and also enjoys cooking for his family and friends.

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Chairman

Brian Cook joined Hollandia Produce in February 2016 as the Vice President of Sales. He works closely with his team to strengthen relationships with long time partners, developing new business and exploring new sales channels. Brian led the beginning of Hollandia’s rebranding to Pete’s Living Greens while launching their new line of Living Strips and was named President of Pete’s Living Greens in August of 2018.

Before joining Hollandia/Pete’s Living Greens, Brian was the Director of Sales & Marketing for San Miguel Produce for eight years. His primary responsibilities at San Miguel includded the management and development of a staff of regional sales managers and customer service representatives as well as managing pricing, brokers, and merchandising support. He also worked with the President on planting projections for four different niche markets, and worked alongside managers of other departments on cost savings opportunities throughout the farming channel. Prior to joining San Miguel Produce, Brian served as Sales Representative for distributor United Produce Sales, focused on melon, potato, and onion sales.

Brian volunteers on a a number of FPFC committees and task forces and has served as chairman of the Expo Committee. He has served on the PMA Fresh Summit committee, chairing the committee in 2015 and also currently serves on the PMA Foodservice committee. He is a graduate of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Brian participates in a number of events to raise money for cancer research and volunteers on the Early Childhood Ministry Team at Camarillo Christian Church. Brian is married with 4 children.

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune)

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune)

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune Honorary)

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune Honorary)

Honorary Past Chair Representative

A California native, fifth of eleven children and a veteran of the Korean War, Harland began his career in the industry at the age of eleven. Immediately following high school, he worked for Boys Markets, then spent five years with the Alpha Beta Markets group. In 1955, Harland and six partners opened the first Pantry Market in Pasadena where, as Director of Produce Operations, he was responsible for procurement of produce, warehousing, distribution to stores, merchandising, advertising and supervision of personnel. In 1970, he joined the Ed Miller Company, a Los Angeles Produce Broker. Five years later, Harland moved to William Hooker Company as Produce Broker, Sales Agent, Importer and Exporter. In 1981, Harland and his partner Patrick Lejeune, started the national and international brokerage firm of Heath and Lejeune, Inc. The company provides mixed load buying and consolidating.

Harland has been a member of the Pasadena Optimist Club and a member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses since 1958. He served four years on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and six years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bethany Church of Sierra Madre. He and his wife Lois have three children.

One of 15 of the original founding members of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council, Harland served as President in 1968-69 and as Chairman of the Board. He has served on the Board of Directors since the formation of the Council in 1965 and served as Past Chairman Representative for many years. In 2003, Harland was named as Honorary Past Chairman of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and will serve as Past Chairman Representative of the FPFC for life.

Michael Schutt (Raley's Supermarkets)

Michael Schutt (Raley's Supermarkets)

Treasurer

Michael Schutt

Michael Schutt

Treasurer

In a town that for most is nothing more than a gas stop, Winnemucca Nevada was the place where Michael’s career began. Interviewing in the winter of 85 as a 15yr old Schutt was told “come back in the spring and I’ll have something for you”. 33yrs later its evident that Michael’s passion for Produce has been there since the beginning. As the company was pushing out west in the early 90s Schutt opted to take a leap of faith from his small town everyone knows your name store and further his career in the wild frontier of the Bay Area.

By the age of 22 Schutt was running his own Produce Dept in Newark, Ca. After a few store openings and some moves to bigger stores Schutt found himself in Santa Rosa Ca being asked to come to corporate for an interview. And in the fall of 97 Schutt was promoted to Produce Quality Control and relief buyer where he spent 7yrs working closely with the buying team. In 2004 Schutt was promoted to Produce Buyer, 2018 he was promoted again to Sr Category manager of Produce and Floral a title which he stills holds today. As a Produce Buyer Michael’s top measure for success is flavor, “that’s what the customer will remember and what will bring them back.”

Living in Sacramento with his wonderful family feeds both his working passion and his love of the outdoors. If he’s not visiting local growers you may find him hiking or camping in the region.

Roger Schroeder

Roger Schroeder

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Roger Schroeder

Roger Schroeder

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Active in the produce industry since he began his career as a box boy, Roger’s background is extensive and thorough. From the 60’s until 1988, Roger was with the Vons Grocery Company. In 1988 he left his position as Supervisor of Perishables to accept a position as Vice President of Produce & Floral with the Hughes Family Markets. He continued his career with Hughes for the next 10 years and when mergers and acquisitions overtook Hughes, Roger was recruited to join Stater Bros. Markets as Vice President of Produce & Floral. He served in that position until his retirement in 2018.

Roger’s volunteer leadership history is also extensive. He has served for many years as a Director of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and was Chairman of the Board three times – in 1994, 2000 and 2004. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Produce Marketing Association, as a Director of the Retail Board of the Produce Marketing Association. He held the highest office of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and was a pioneer in promoting the 5 a Day program in the California retail sector. Roger has been extremely active as a member of the Produce & Floral Committee and the Harvest Ball Committee for the City of Hope.

In 1995, Roger was named by the Produce Marketing Association as the Marketer of the Year and in 2013 was inducted into the Food Industry Hall of Fame.

Kori Martin (The Oppenheimer Group)

Kori Martin (The Oppenheimer Group)

Secretary

Kori Martin (The Oppenheimer Group)

Kori Martin (The Oppenheimer Group)

Secretary

Kori Martin started her produce career at Oppy in Los Angeles as a sales and marketing intern immediately after graduating from Azusa Pacific University with a business degree in Marketing and a Spanish language minor. She then moved to Seattle as a business development representative for the Pacific Northwest territory before returning back to Los Angeles to take on California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. In 2015 she became a sales representative and in 2018 she was promoted to Senior Sales Representative and Key Account Manager where she currently handles sales for products in the Western United States region and some national programs. She is part of the 2018 Class of Produce Business’ 40 under 40. She has volunteered with the FPFC for over 13 years and served on multiple committees including EXPO and the Apprentice program as a mentor. She currently presides as Chair of the EXPO Committee. She was elected to the board of directors in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family & friends, golf, and travel.

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Immediate Past Chair

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Immediate Past Chair

In 2007 Alfonso joined Northgate Gonzalez Markets, a family owned and operated full service supermarket with 41 locations in Southern California, as the Produce Director. In 2018, he took the position of Director of Produce & Floral at the newly-launched Lucky.

In 2015 Alfonso joined the FPFC and United Fresh Board of Directors. He was elected to Secretary/Treasurer of the FPFC in 2016.

Alfonso and his wife, Deanna, have two daughters and live in Anaheim, California.

2020 Board of Directors

ALFONSO CANO
Cardenas Markets

DON GANN
Stater Bros. Markets

MIL MIJANOVIC
Albertsons/Safeway

BRYAN PRESLEY
Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions

RACHELLE SCHULKEN
Renaissance Food Group

PAIGE VENABLE
Vallarta Supermarkets

GREG CORRIGAN
United Vegetable Growers Cooperative

NATALIE J. MACHADO
FreshSource, LLC.

MARTA MORENO
Rose-Gonzales Plants

KRISTEN REID
MIXTEC Group

CAITLIN TIERNEY
99 Cents Only Store

KELLY CRANER
B & C Fresh Sales

JEFFREY MCLELLAN
Jeffrey McLellan – Credit Consulting

LYNNIE NOJADERA
FreshSource, LLC. 

VERONICA RODARTE
Progressive Produce

DANNIE TIMBLIN
Melissa’s World Variety Produce

Fresh Produce & Floral Council Staff

Emma McBride-Taylor

Emma McBride-Taylor

Event & Communications Specialist

Carissa Mace

President

Carissa joined the staff of the FPFC as President in December 2007. Carissa brings solid industry experience and management expertise to the Council. She began her working career in the non-profit world after graduating from New York University in the 1980s. She worked for 10 years in New York City with the New York City Opera and the United Cerebral Palsy Organization before returning to her native Southern California in the mid-1990s. In 1996 she joined the City of Hope which has long been a favorite charity of the FPFC and Carissa became the Director of Development for the Food Industries Circle of that organization. A year later she was hired by the FPFC as Event Coordinator and Membership Director. She stayed with the Council for five years before joining the Produce Marketing Association as Director of U.S. Business Development in 2001. Her tenure at PMA offered wide-base industry and association experience which have proved valuable in her services to the FPFC.
In 2005, Carissa was a member of the inaugural group of “40 under 40” top industry leaders as named by Produce Business magazine. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for the United Fresh Produce Association and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the California Society of Association Executives.

Amy Wun

Member Services Director

Amy came to the FPFC as the Office Coordinator after working in a variety of accounting positions in the San Gabriel Valley. She spent several years at the FPFC handling accounting and registrations before being appointed the front-line manager for all of FPFC’s member services and is now responsible for many of the details that go into planning and executing successful member events. She is married to her high school sweetheart and still lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

Fresh Produce & Floral Council Committees

Luncheon

Natalie J. Machado, Co-chair, FreshSource

Rachelle Schulken, Co-chair, Renaissance Food Group

Baltazar Garcia, Pete’s

Denise Gonzalez, Charlie’s Produce

Dick Spezzano, Spezzano Consulting 

Kelly Craner, B&C Fresh

Lisa Marquez, Sunrise Produce

Mil Mijanovic, Albertsons

Myisha Nathaniel, Raley’s Supermarkets

Oscar Guzman, Progressive Produce

Pat McDowell, Perimeter Sales & Merchandising

Rick Cruz, Pavilion’s

Sienna Wessner, FreshSource

Troy Le Cheminant, Westlake Produce Company

EXPO

Kori Martin, Chair, The Oppenheimer Group

Brian Cook, Pete’s

Armando Mendez, Impact Group

Caitlin Tierney, 99 Cents Only Stores

Cote Clark, LA Produce Distributors

Dave Cruz, California Avocado Commission

Dave Howald, USA Pear Bureau

Hope Barbee, Double Date Packing

Kristen Reid, MIXTEC Group

Lynnie Nojadera, FreshSource

Marta Moreno, Rose-Gonzales Plants

Matt Lopez, DLJ Produce

Michael Schutt, Raley’s Supermarkets

Michael Burbano, Best Produce

Mike Casazza, FreshSource

Oscar Guzman, Progressive Produce

Rachelle Schulken, Renaissance Food Group

Randy Akahoshi, 4Earth Farms

Sean McClure, Professional Produce

Sue Momita, DLJ Produce

 

 

Membership

Neil Merrit, Co-chair, Bard Valley Date Growers

Jules Buehler, Co-chair, North Shore Living Herbs + Greens

Blake Lee, DLJ Produce

Dannie Timblin, Melissa’s

Erick Coronado, Avocados from Mexico

Jay Zimmerman, Love BEETS

Jeffrey Fish, Western Mixers

Kyle Lane, Westfalia Fruit

Michael Maddan Jr., Maddan & Co. 

Michael Burbano, Best Produce

Michelle Ziegler, Pactiv

Dinner Dance

Jeffrey McLellan, Chair, McLellan Credit Consulting

Andrew Bivens, Westlake Produce Company

Blair Butterworth, Grimmway Farms

Brandon Gritters, Interfresh

Caitlin Tierney, 99 Cents Only Stores

Debi Orrin

Lynnie Nojadera, FreshSource

Natalie J. Machado, FreshSource

Rachelle Schulken, Renaissance Food Group

Sean McClure, Professional Produce

Susie Rea, WestPak Avocado

Therese Ferrara, Preferred Sales

Golf

Therese Ferrara, Chair

Caitlin Tierney, Co-Chair

Allen DeMo, Frieda’s

Andrew Bivens, Westlake Produce Company

Bill Laliberte, WJL Distributors

Bruce Laird, Ventura Foods/Marie’s

Greg Welch, C.H. Robinson

Hugo Acevedo, Houwelings

Jason Meadows, Legacy Produce

Jeff Miller, Westlake Produce Company

Kent Kuwata, Smart & Final

Kevin Johnson, Great West Produce

Mihae Finnie, Del Monte Fresh

Mike Casazza, FreshSource

Nanette Anderson, HS&R Fresh

Parker Nishi, Melissa’s

Pat McDowell, Perimeter Sales & Merchandising

Pat Fitzsimons, organicgirl

Rick Cruz, Pavilion’s

Rick Illig, Henry Avocado

Scott Leimkuhler. Progressive Produce

Susie Rea, West Pak Avocado

Ting Sheng, Fresh Gourmet

Troy Le Cheminant, Westlake Produce Company

Apprentice Taskforce

Kraig Loomis, Chair, GreenFruit Avocados

Andrew Bivens, Westlake Produce Company

Baltazar Garcia, Pete’s

Emily Fragoso, MIXTEC Group

Jacob Cadwallader, Stater Bros. 

Jim Leimkuhler, Progressive Produce

Kelly Craner, B&C Fresh

Kristen Reid, MIXTEC Group

Myisha Nathaniel, Raley’s Supermarkets

Rachelle Schulken, Renaissance Food Group

Tran Satter, IFCO Systems

Troy Le Cheminant, Westlake Produce Company

Veronica Rodarte, Progressive Produce

Finance

Kelly Craner, B&C Fresh

Lynnie Nojadera, FreshSource

Michael Schutt, Raley’s Supermarkets

Mike Casazza, FreshSource

Sean McClure, Professional Produce

Cornhole

Darryl Bollack, Mariani Nut

Kent Kuwata, Smart & Final

Marvin Quebec, Quebec Distributing

Michael Schutt, Raley’s Supermarkets

Bylaws

Andrew Bivens, Westlake Produce Company

Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission

Jeffrey McLellan, McLellan Consulting

Kori Martin, The Oppenheimer Group

Kristen Reid, MIXTEC Group

Rachelle Schulken, Renaissance Food Group

Community Involvement

The Fresh Produce & Floral Council is dedicated to the success of the produce and floral industries and actively supports other industry organizations with sponsorships and in-kind donations, including the Produce For Better Health Foundation and the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent.

Because we are in an industry that is uniquely positioned to help the needy, we also support–and encourage our members to support–the Orange County Food Bank with product donated during our Southern California membership luncheons and with money raised during our annual Holiday Luncheon and Charity Auction.  Past Holiday Luncheons have also benefited Caterina’s Club, the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

The Fresh Produce & Floral Council is also an ardent supporter of City of Hope National Medical Center, dedicating a fundraising luncheon to their cause each year.  Members of the FPFC also support City of Hope on their own, forming teams for the Walk for Hope Against Breast Cancer among other activities and donations.