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United Fresh Fills Board Seats With Dole And Chiquita Executives

United Fresh recently announced two new Board Members:

Two New Directors Appointed to Fill Open Board Positions

Washington, D.C. — United Fresh Produce Association Chairman of the Board Emanuel Lazopoulos has announced the appointment of two industry leaders to the Board of Directors of the Association to fill open seats formerly held by colleagues within their companies.

Mike Cavallero is President, North American Tropical Fresh Fruit, Dole Fresh Fruit Company, a position he has held since 2001. His responsibilities include overseeing Dole’s fresh fruit and vegetables marketing departments, as well as the North American banana, tropical fruit, deciduous and vegetable sales divisions. He began his career with Dole in 1974 as a technical services representative. Cavallero will be serving his second term on the United Fresh Board, having first served from 1996 to 2000. Cavallero is replacing former Dole executive Richard Dahl.

Brian Kocher is President, North America, Chiquita Brands International, Inc., where he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations in the region, including value-added salads, bananas and other produce. Kocher joined Chiquita in 2005 and served most recently as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to joining Chiquita, he worked for three years at Hill-Rom, a leading provider of medical equipment and integrated caregiver solutions. He previously held a number of positions with General Electric Co. in the financial and information technology areas. He began his career as an auditor at Price Waterhouse. Kocher has served on a number of boards in several banking institutions in the United Kingdom and France, as well as the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, a leading medical industry trade association. He replaces Bob Kistinger, who left Chiquita at the end of 2007.

“We are honored to have Mike and Brian joining the Board of Directors at this time,” Lazopoulos said. “Both Mike and Brian bring significant personal expertise to the Board, and their companies represent important leaders in our industry.” The new directors will take office at the next United Fresh Board meeting, January 24-26, in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Pundit wishes both gentleman good luck in their new positions. United Fresh does important industry work and their judgment and influence will surely be of value.

It is, of course, important that large organizations such as Dole and Chiquita be represented on industry boards. These companies have the money and organizational sway in the business to make things happen.

But smaller players should not feel there is no place for them in the national associations. The real strength of these groups depends on volunteer leadership, and there is a lot of opportunity for smaller players to get involved.

In fact the associations depend on those who typically work their way up the ranks of divisions and committees. These are the people who develop a passion for their organizations and, very often, assume leadership roles.

It is typically very rewarding, intellectually stimulating and beneficial in terms of networking. So you get to do well for yourself and your company while doing good for the trade.

If you are interested in getting involved on a division or committee, just call up the association of your choice and let them know — they are all looking for people who are looking to contribute.

If you don’t know who to call, feel free to let me know here and we’ll be happy to make the introduction.

Congratulations again to Mike, Brian and United Fresh.

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