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Industry Thought Leaders Share Ideas And So Pay Homage To John’s Commitment To Build A Better Industry…
High Level Discussion Then March Forward To The Floor Of The New York Produce Show

It is a tradition that each year we run the original announcement issued back more than six years ago to announce the establishment of what would become a great industry institution:

New York, NY — The Eastern Produce Council and PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine announced today their collaboration to launch The New York Produce Show And Conference….

“New York City is the epicenter of the region that buys more fresh produce than any location in the country,” explains Dean Holmquist, director of produce and floral for Foodtown, Inc., [now Allegiance Retail Services], and president of the Eastern Produce Council. “The extraordinary diversity of the population in this region assures a dynamic market for mainstream, ethnic and specialty produce,” points out John McAleavey, executive director of the Eastern Produce Council.

Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce/floral at Kings Super Markets and vice president of the Eastern Produce Council, indicated that “the sophisticated clientele of the northeast region combines with a plethora of quality retailers, restaurants, foodservice distributors and wholesalers to introduce product from local growers, growers across North America and growers from around the world.”

Jim Prevor, founder and editor-in-chief of PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine and the online, celebrated the establishment of such a high caliber event in a region long lacking its own trade show and conference: “My great grandfather, Jacob Prevor, immigrated to America and established a wholesale facility in the old Wallabout Produce Market in Brooklyn. My grandfather, Harry Prevor, was a wholesaler and auction buyer in the old Washington Street Produce Market in Manhattan. My father, Michael Prevor, was an original tenant when The Hunts Point Market opened in the Bronx. Over the decades we operated farms and had supermarkets in the region and worked hard to make the ports and airports of the region major hubs for the import and export of fresh produce.

“It is an incredibly exciting moment that we should have the opportunity to join together with our friends at the Eastern Produce Council, the preeminent organization in the region, to bring a world-class event to the region, and it is an honor that we can bring the industry together in a city known both as the ‘Capital of the World’ and the ‘Big Apple’.”

“Jim Prevor has built a reputation for industry thought-leadership that is recognized around the world, and PRODUCE BUSINESS magazine was launched on the Hunts Point Market,” said Robert Goldstein, owner/president of Genpro Inc., and secretary of the Eastern Produce Council, “so the board of directors of the Eastern Produce Council voted unanimously to join hands with Jim and his team at PRODUCE BUSINESS and the online Perishable Pundit to better serve this region with a high-end trade show and conference.”

 “The Eastern Produce Council represents the most important players in the region,” said Ken Whitacre, vice president of publishing at PRODUCE BUSINESS and “Their engagement with the event ensures that exhibitors will encounter a cross section of the movers and shakers that make the industry a vibrant and robust contributor to the national and international industry. We are honored to work together with such an important association and with such an instrumental membership.”

Both PRODUCE BUSINESS and the Eastern Produce Council are committed to enhancing the industry by providing the region with a world-class venue for marketing, education and media exposure. That venue is The New York Produce Show And Conference.

Companies change, people change positions, but this year has brought more change than most, for this is the year we lost John McAleavey. The longtime chief executive of the Eastern Produce Council, whose commitment to make the industry better, was the animating factor that allowed us to create The New York Produce Show and Conference.

It is common to say that we are all replaceable, and indeed life goes on, as it must. And we are luckier than most in our loss, for John’s most able daughter Susan McAleavey Sarlund, who long served by John’s side, has assumed his position at the Eastern Produce Council. Indeed, we still have working hard at each EPC event John’s devoted wife, Joanne, and his son, John McAleavey Jr.

Susan is talented and smart, and there is every reason to expect that with the reservoir of love and support she has beneath her, she will go on to great success and lead the Eastern Produce Council to triumph after triumph, and we hope she knows that she can count on this Pundit’s support wherever and whenever she may need it.

Yet, even if we all can be replaced, and even if those replacements will know great success, we cannot be replaced perfectly.

John was from another time and, perhaps, that was the reason we always got along so well. For it has been said that this Pundit was born in the wrong age. So, together, thinking of nothing but how to do things the right way, do things the best way, we embarked on a journey that led to the creation of this event, this industry institutions.

The first job we did when we started was a brainstorming session with John as to whom should sit on the “thought leaders” panel, which has always highlighted The New York Produce Show and Conference.

None of the requested speakers turned us down that first year, and we marveled with John at what a great industry we were part of that these smart, busy and important people, who didn’t have to come and share their insights and didn’t even have to come to show support, all chose to do so, and they have chosen so each year since.

There have been many memorials made for John, and there will be more made at the show, but we are certain that no industry trophy would fill his heart as much as knowing that the values of industry advancement and support that he held dear were living on in another generation.

Well they are, and they will continue to do so, for great men pass on duties to those they leave behind, and they pass on a willingness to perform the labors required. They also pass on honor, and those who had the privilege of knowing such a man are forever changed and made better for having basked in the reflected glow of a life well-lived.

John is not here, but on behalf of the example John inspired, it is our privilege and pleasure to announce the Perishable Pundit’s Thought-Leader Panel for 2015. 

We know John is smiling that so many are willing to serve so well:

Group Managing Director
Capespan Group Limited

Johan Dique is Group Managing Director of the South African based Capespan Group, since January 2011. Johan has served as a CEO in the agri-business environment for the past 21 years and earned his reputation through the successful implementation of turn-around strategies, growth strategies and leadership development that creates sustainable value for stockholders.

A chartered accountant of training, who followed a career in financial management and later broke away into general management, Johan has experience in Milling and Baking, Animal Feeds, Grain handling and marketing, Agri-retailing and lately the fresh fruit industry. 

Produce Director
Morton Williams Supermarkets

Marc started his career at Waldbaum’s in 1978, where he worked for 10 years until opening his own foodservice wholesale business. Eventually, he took a position with Food Emporium, where he worked for three years.

Marc joined Morton Williams for the first time as a produce manager more than 15 years ago. While he briefly left the company to join Shoprite, he returned to his current position at Morton Williams five years ago.

Vice President of Produce & Floral
Wakefern Food Corporation

Starting his career at Wakefern in 1982, Derrick got his first taste of what the world of produce was all about when he worked as a junior accountant reporting to the produce division. From that position, he rose up the ranks to his current position of Vice President of Produce and Floral. Derrick credits his mentors, Herman Fadem and Al Ferri: ‘They worked with me at the early stages of my career and helped me lay a foundation upon which I could build a successful personal and professional career.’

Derrick is a member of the Eastern Produce Council, is 1st vice-chairman of NAPAR, and is a member-at-large of the Board of PMA and Secretary/Treasurer of PMA Fit. He is married and has four children.

Category Manager
Ahold USA

In 1994, Chris was hired as a produce clerk at Albertsons in Boise, ID. He immediately knew the fit was good and decided to earn a degree in Business Management at Boise State University.  As a clerk, assistant manager and manager, 14 years at store level was instrumental in developing a full understanding of merchandising, pricing and assortment, along with the importance of anticipating customer needs, wants and expectations.  

Gaining that experience and insight led him to the next career chapter in September 2010 as a merchandiser at Ahold USA. ‘I work now as fruit category manager, in which I am responsible for developing plans to profitably drive sales in an ever-changing retail landscape.’ 

Giving back to the communities is important to Chris professionally and personally. He works with his team and vendor partners to support initiatives through various company-supported charitable programs.

Vice President of Fresh Merchandising
Fresh Formats

An industry veteran for more than 30 years, Paul began his retail career at Roche Bros. and then became Head of Produce and Floral Operations for Kings Food Markets. His position at Fresh Formats is for a start-up operation that has begun opening stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Paul is a Past President of the Eastern Produce Council and Past Chairman of its New York Produce Show and Conference committee. 

Paul is a Past President of the Eastern Produce Council and chair of its New York Produce Show and Conference committee. 

Executive Director
Total Produce Plc

Denis is a qualified accountant who began his career in the food industry. He entered the produce industry in the 1980’s working initially for Glass Glover before joining Geest where he moved from Finance into General Management in the late 80’s. During this period he was Managing Director of various Geest Fresh Produce divisions, including Worldwide Fruit and Geest Wholesale Services.

In 1995, he led the management buyout of the wholesale businesses and rebranded that business Redbridge. In 2007 having grown Redbridge to over $300m in sales, he sold the business to Total Produce. Following its acquisition, Denis became chairman of Total Produce UK business, which last year received the accolade of the UK’s largest produce business.

Denis continues to work for Total Produce as Strategic Development Director focused on acquisitions particularly in North America, in addition, he is Non-Executive Chairman of the Total Produce UK business and sits on the board of several of Total Produce businesses around the world and recently became an Non-Executive Director of Openfield, the UK’s largest independent Grain Cooperative.

Denis is married with 4 children and enjoys swimming, travel and being with his family.

Caribbean Produce Exchange

Gualberto is the third-generation operator of Caribbean Produce Exchange, which is dedicated to the distribution of fresh fruits, eggs and vegetables in Puerto Rico. He successfully leads a team of 240 employees.

He completed a Cum Laude BA in Economics from Fordham University in New York City in the Bronx —  while working at the Hunts Point Market in the evening — and he received an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Before going back to Puerto Rico, Gualberto worked in economic development in the public sector for three years, and after that, he worked for the Government of Puerto Rico in New York, attracting the industry to the Island. 

Vice President of Produce Procurement
C&S Wholesale Grocers

Anthony has been in the produce industry for 18 years, first starting with C&S in 1997, where he has held various positions of produce responsibility, ranging from Procurement, Special Projects, Category Management and others. 

Anthony holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an MBA from Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

Director of Produce and Floral
Allegiance Retail Services

Vic has more than 35 years’ experience in the supermarket industry. His responsibilities at Allegiance include managing sales, coordinating advertising, merchandising, operational activities and managing the procurement of product for more than 85 member stores under the Foodtown and D’Agostinos banners in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Previous to Allegiance, Vic was employed for more than 22 years at Wakefern Food Corporation, where he served most recently as a Category Manager during his last 15 years of service.

Vic is currently President of the Eastern Produce Council, and he serves as chairman of the Expo Committee, Membership Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and is Co-Chairman of the Eastern Produce Council Golf Outing Committee. Vic is a graduate of William Paterson University and resides in West Caldwell, New Jersey, with his wife Maria, their son Dante and daughter Mia.

Produce & Floral Sales Manager
Acme Markets

Jay started his career in 1983 as a clerk and has over 25 years of produce experience with Acme Markets. He has held various positions within the company such as Produce/Floral Operational Specialist, Imported Field Buyer/Inspector, then moved up to assistant produce lead, and his current role is Produce & Floral Sales Manager.

He is responsible for sales and merchandising for all 183 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

Produce Merchant
Fresh Direct

Eric Stone is the Produce Merchant at popular online grocer FreshDirect. He spends about half of his time traveling the country, developing relationships with farmers to source produce that is differentiating and of the highest quality.

He joined FreshDirect after graduating college in 2008, working his way up in the department during  the past 6+ years. During that time, he has doubled the department’s sales and transformed FreshDirect’s supply chain to a direct-from-the-source model, improving quality and reducing cost. 

Eric earned his degree in Finance and Philosophy from the University of Maryland and currently lives in Manhattan with his girlfriend enjoying everything the NYC food scene has to offer.

Director of Produce Merchandising
D’Agostino Supermarkets

John is responsible for all sales-related decisions for the produce department. In 1972, John started his career at D’Agostino as a parttime stock clerk. A year later, he was promoted to assistant store manager. In 1978, he was promoted to the position of store manager. In 1985, John was promoted to the position of produce director. Most recently, John has also taken on the responsibility as manager of food safety and emergency planning.

Vice President Perishables

Greg joined Bozzuto’s in 1993, as produce merchandiser for the corporate stores. He advanced to store manager, and in 1995 became a junior buyer for the wholesale operation. He later was promoted to buyer, and in 2001, he accepted the promotion to sales and merchandising manager for the independent stores, and advanced to sales manager for all of Bozzuto’s produce and floral accounts.

Markon Cooperative, Inc.

Tim is the President of Markon Cooperative Inc., a purchasing, marketing, and logistics cooperative serving North America’s leading independent foodservice distributors. Based in Salinas, California, Markon distributes produce to over 70 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Tim has nearly 40 years’ experience in the produce and foodservice industries.  He began his career in 1977 at H. Hall & Company, a grower/shipper of strawberries and mixed vegetables.  In 1985, Tim joined Markon as Purchasing Director. He was promoted to his current position of President in 1990.

Tim has held numerous committee and task force positions, including Chairman of the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Division and later, Chairman of the Board of PMA. He served as a member of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council and is currently a member of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association Board of Directors.


The New York Produce Show and Conference has grown every year since its founding. We have co-located with the “Ideation Fresh” Foodservice Forum — ask for info here — and the Global Trade Symposium — ask for information here.

For the new Foundational Excellence Program, get information with an e-mail sent here.

You can inquire about Industry Tours here, a spouse program that you can ask about here, plus cooking demos, media tours, student programs and more.

You can register at the website, or let us know if you would like a room in the headquarters hotel.

And we have many travel discounts to offer.

But come to The New York Produce Show and Conference and help us pay homage to a man for whom honor and excellence were his most constant companion.


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