Officers & Board of Directors

Executive Director
John McAleavey - Executive Director

Past Presidents
Craig Carlson
Carlson Produce Consulting

Vincent DeSomma
Associated Produce

Dean Holmquist
Allegiance Retail Services

Thomas Krulder
Kurt Weiss Greenhouses

Vic Lomoriello
AAABCO, LLC

Jeffrey Shilling
RLB Food Distributors

Director Emeritus
Al Ferri
Harold Friedman
Jon Kohl

Officers
Paul Kneeland - President
Kings Super Markets

Vic Savanello - 1st Vice President
Allegiance Retail Services

Terry Murphy - 2nd Vice President
Wakefern Food Corp.

Rob Goldstein - Secretary
Genpro, Inc.

Sal Zacchia - Treasurer
RDD Associates

Sgt-At-Arms

Jeff Garrison
Sunsweet Growers

Steve Granquist
D'Arrigo Bros. - NY

Directors
Floyd Avillo
RLB Food Distributors

Eric Beelitz
A&P Tea Co., Inc.

Matthew D'Arrigo
D'Arrigo Bros. of New York, Inc.

Wendell Hahn
Four Seasons Produce, Inc

Victor Joseph
Victor Joseph & Son

Theresa Lowden
JOH Produce Mid Atlantic, Inc.

George Moskal
Wakefern Food Corp.

Al Murray
NJ Department of Agriculture

Joe Procacci
Procacci Bros. Sales Corp.

Marianne Santo
Wakefern Food Corp.

John Vasapoli
D'Agostino Supermarkets

Greg Veneziano
Bozzutos Inc.

 

Biographies

Floyd Avillo

President and COO, RLB Food Distributors

In 1981, Floyd started in Retail working for Kings Supermarkets. In 1988, he joined RLB Food Distributors after the sale of Kings Supermarkets.

Floyd held various positions with RLB Food Distributors; from Controller to Director of Sales to Senior VP of Operations; assumed the title of President and COO in May of 2007.

He graduated From William Paterson University with a degree in Accounting and received an MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He resides in Sparta NJ with wife Debra, and have three children; Michael, Katie and Samantha.

 

Eric Beelitz

Director of Produce & Floral, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

Eric started his career in 1973 as a produce clerk with Pathmark Stores, Inc. His produce expertise quickly led to several Store Management positions. For several years Eric was in charge of training future store managers in all areas of running a successful produce department.

In 1989, Eric was promoted into Produce Merchandising as a Category Manager and he rose to become a Senior Category Manager in 1995.

When A&P purchased Pathmark in 2008, Eric became an integral part in making the merger successful. In 2011, Eric was named Director of Produce and Floral for Waldbaums, The Food Emporium, A&P, Pathmark, Food Basics and Superfresh stores. In his current position Eric is responsible for all merchandising, procurement, pricing, and promotion for all of these banners.

 
 

Vincent DeSomma

Ultimate Produce Brokers

Vincent began his career in produce at the age of 13, working in a fruit store in Brooklyn, New York.

He joined the Eastern Produce Council in 1970. He served as Sgt at Arms from 1977-1983. In 1987, he became Vice President and from 1989-1991 was President of the EPC. Vincent was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

He worked for Packer Super Markets and Waldbaums, before moving on to Food Pageant where he served as Vice President for five years. From there, Vincent took over the vegetable department at Finest Fruits.

 

Jeffrey T. Garrison

Sales Director, Sunsweet Growers Mid-Atlantic Region
EPC Sgt at Arms

Jeffrey has been an Eastern Produce Council Board Member since 1995 where he served as Chairman of the Golf Committee from 2000-2004 and is currently Chairman of the Membership Committee. Jeff began his career in 1988 as District Manager with Dole Fresh Vegetables after graduating with a degree in Agricultural Business Management from The University of Delaware. At Dole, he held a number of positions including Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Commodities from 1992 – 1995 and Northeast Regional Sales Manager for Packaged Salads from 1996-1998. He worked as a Sales Director for Sunsweet Growers from 1999 – 2002. From 2002-2007, he worked with Genpro, Inc., where he was Vice President of Corporate Sales. In June, 2007, he returned to Sunsweet Growers and is currently Sales Director, Mid-Atlantic Region. Jeff resides in Chester, NJ with his wife Karen and their three children.

 

Robert Goldstein

Founder, Genpro Inc.
EPC Secretary

Robert is a 25-year veteran of the produce transportation industry. After graduating from Boston University he founded Genpro Inc., a non-asset based transportation service provider specializing in temperature controlled commodities nationwide.

Robert is an innovative results oriented entrepreneur and visionary with proven success in building and managing Genpro's growth. He is an expert in developing and implementing market and operational strategies and is involved in all aspects of the business.

He has been an active officer with the Eastern Produce Council for over 10 years and has been an active member over the past 20 years while serving on various committees. He also holds active membership and participation with the Transportation Intermediaries Association and NASTC.

 

Wendell Hahn

Director of Sales and Retail Services, Four Seasons Produce

Wendell, Director of Sales and Retail Services for Four Seasons Produce, has extensive experience in the retail and wholesale produce industries. His career at Four Seasons Produce began in April of 1992 and he has held various positions with the company during that time. From 1984 to 1992 Wendell worked at Food-A-Rama Supermarkets, an independently owned group of 65 stores in the Baltimore/Washington marketplace as Vice President of Produce. He also worked for the Grand Union Co. from 1972 until 1984. During that time he served various positions including Produce Manager, Produce Buyer, Produce Merchandiser, Director of Produce and VP of Produce. Wendell attended Prince Georges Community College in Maryland. He currently serves on the Board of the Eastern Produce Council.

 

Dean Holmquist

Director of Produce & Floral, Allegiance Retail Services

As Director of Produce & Floral, Dean has demonstrated more than 25 years of progressive produce experience in the retail food industry. His current responsibilities at Foodtown are direct sales, merchandising and operational activities for 65 member stores in NJ, NY and PA.

Dean is currently President of the Eastern Produce Council, a position held since April, 2009. Before that, Dean held the position of Vice President of the Eastern Produce Council from 2007-2008. Dean has been an EPC Board member since 2001. Dean was recently awarded the Scholarship for Leadership Excellence to attend the PMA FIT's Leadership Symposium in Dallas, TX in January 2010.

 

Victor H. Joseph

Owner, Victor Joseph and Son

Victor is the President and Owner of Victor Joseph and Son. He is partners with his brother, Joseph D. Joseph. The company was founded in 1911 by his Great Grandfather, William Joseph. Victor is a fourth generation produce man and a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in History. Victor is also President and Owner of Impex. Before joining the family business, he worked summers in Hunts Point Market, at local supermarkets and with California Produce Companies. He was the Owner of Modoc Orchard in Medford, Oregon before selling in 2005. Victor has been an active member of Eastern Produce Council since 1988. He joined The Eastern Produce Council board in 2009. He is married to wife, Laurie and proud father to Benjamin, Donovan, Palmer and Kayla.

 

Paul Kneeland

Vice President of Produce & Floral, Kings Super Markets
EPC President

Paul has been an Industry Veteran for more than 30 years. He was previously the Director of Produce & Floral for Roche Bros. Supermarkets in Boston, Massachusetts. Since June 2007, Paul has been the Vice President of Produce and Floral for Kings Super Markets in New Jersey. He was also a past First Vice President of the New England Produce Council and Chairman of their annual expo. Paul is currently Vice President of the Eastern Produce Council and chair of their first annual New York Produce Show and Conference committee that will be held in conjunction with Produce Business Magazine. He is a featured Columnist with the Gardener News. He holds degrees in Business Management from Boston College as well as Northeastern University. In 2005, Paul was named New England Produce Business Retailer of the Year.

 

Jon Kohl

Jon worked for the G. C. Murphy Company which was a large variety chain. He started out as a manager trainee and was promoted to Assistant Manager in Baltimore, Maryland. He stayed in retail for about 4 years until a great opportunity became available as a merchandiser for Sunkist Growers in their Baltimore-Washington District Sales Office. Two years later Jon was promoted to Assistant District Sales Manager in their Albany, New York office. He then was promoted to the District Sales Manager in Albany and later relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1976.

Jon's last major transfer was to the "Big Apple" in 1983 when he became the District Sales Manager of the New York District Sales Office which included both direct sales and the New York Auction Market.

Jon joined the Eastern Produce Council in 1983 and still remains very active with the EPC, presently serving on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. After 36 years with Sunkist Growers Jon decided that he would finally retire and start enjoying his golden years. Jon is married to his wife Pat. They have two married daughters, Shelli and Denise and 7 grandchildren of which 3 girls are triplets.

 

Thomas F. Krulder

Director of Store Services, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses

Tom worked for Waldbaum's/A&P for a total of 43 years. In 1990 he became Vice President of Produce Operations for Waldbaum's and then Vice President of Fresh Foods A&P Northeast from 2000-2005. He then retired from Waldbaum's/A&P and is currently working for Kurt Weiss Greenhouses as Director of Store Services.

Tom has served two terms with the Eastern Produce Council as President and has been a member since 1983. He was inducted into the Eastern Produce Council Hall of Fame in 2006. Thomas has been married to his wife, Carol, for forty-four years and they have two children and four grandchildren.

 

Theresa Lowden

Executive Vice President, JOH Produce Mid Atlantic, Inc.

Theresa Lowden is the Executive Vice President at JOH Produce Mid Atlantic, Inc., a division of the Johnson O'Hare Companies. She is responsible for the Mid Atlantic region which includes the Eastern/Central PA, Balt/Wash and Richmond/Norfolk markets and leads a team of experienced produce professionals committed to the growth of their customers and manufacturers.

Theresa has 16 plus years in the produce industry, serving on the EPC Board of Directors, The Network of Executive Women, as well as, the past chair of the PMA Retail Solutions Conference. In September 2008, Best Met Publishing named Theresa among the top 30 women whose talent, dedication and intellect have helped improve the industry over the past 30 years.

 

John McAleavey

EPC Executive Director

John McAleavey has been a member of the Eastern Produce Council since 1980, serving as the Executive Director since 1990.

He is a Navy veteran and a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing.

John's career in produce industry has encompassed sales, marketing, merchandising, and consulting for the California Pistachio Commission, Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, as well as several regional produce commodity groups. The area covered includes New England, upstate New York, Metro New York/New Jersey, Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Canada.

John currently represents the New York Apple Association as well as the T. Marzetti Co.. He is on the board of New Jersey Agricultural Society. John was inducted into the EPC Hall of Fame in 2008. John is married to Joann, he has two children in the business with him, Susan and John. He is a proud grandfather to Meghan and Charlie.

 

George Moskal

Senior Produce Category Manager, Wakefern Food Corporation

George is a Navy veteran and graduate of St. Peter's College. He began his career in the supermarket industry 45 years ago with Wolfson Shop Rite. He also held produce procurement/merchandising positions with Stop and Shop and Pathmark. Currently, he is the Senior Produce Category Manager for Wakefern Food Corporation.

George been a member of the Eastern Produce Council for 20 years. He has contributed as a director since 2001, Vice President from 2005 – 2007, and Chairman of the Ad Journal Committee. He also serves on the golf and dinner dance committees. In November 2010, he was inducted into the EPC Hall of Fame.

 

Terrence M. Murphy

Produce Procurement Manager, Wakefern Food Corporation
EPC 2nd Vice President

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Terry along with his wife Laura currently reside with their three children in Branchburg, NJ.

Terry began his career in the food business over twenty years ago working as a Business Analyst for the Wakefern Food Corporation. Over the years he has held jobs in different capacities throughout the organization including that of a Category Manager in the Produce Division.

Currently, Terry is the Produce Procurement Manager, managing offices in Elizabeth, NJ, Fresno, CA and Pompano Beach, FL, for the Wakefern Food Corporation.

Terry has been a member and friend of the Eastern Produce Council for several years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009.

 

Al Murray

Assistant Secretary, NJ Department of Agriculture

Alfred W. Murray is Assistant New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture and Director of the Division of Marketing and Development for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Murray, a 50-year-old resident of Audubon, Camden County, and a former mayor of that borough, regularly reaches out directly to the state's 10,000-plus farmers on issues ranging from farm viability to food safety. Murray also works closely with the directors of the Department's other divisions to create additional coordination of resources and efforts.

Murray, a 1983 graduate of Susquehanna University with degrees in marketing and management, joined the Department in October 1983 as an agricultural marketing specialist. In that role, he helped develop the “Jersey Fresh” marketing campaign, which has become synonymous with New Jersey agriculture. In 1995, he was named Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Market Expansion and in 2000 promoted to Director of the Division of Marketing and Development.

 

Joseph G. Procacci

Founder, Procacci Brothers Sales Corp.

In 1948, Joe Procacci and his brother, Michael, founded the tomato sales and repacking business, Procacci Brothers Sales Corp., in Camden, NJ. Procacci Brothers formed Garden State Farms in 1968. They diversified and began handling all fruits and vegetables, from apples to zucchini.

Today Procacci Brothers has seven buildings, 770,000 square feet of refrigeration on 32 acres, all within blocks of the Philadelphia Produce Market. As wholesale distributors and specialists in private label and packing solutions, they offer a full line of services and a wide range of PREMIUM produce including: Organics, Tropicals, Mexican/Ethnic Specialties, pre-made Fruit Baskets and imported Italian Chestnuts to retailers, food service, and wholesalers coast to coast, and in Canada.

Throughout the years, PBS Corp. has been a leader in the industry. In 1995, Joe helped to preserve the Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act (PACA) while serving as Chairman of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Associations Government relations committee. He helped to promote pallet standardization, grading standards and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades).

In 1966, Joe was appointed to the NAFTA committee and helped to set trading standards between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He served several terms as President of the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market. He also served on the board of The United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association. Joe was selected by the Packer as "1995 Produce Man of the Year". In 2001, he served for seven years on the Board of Directors of FMI, as well as, the Board of Directors of the Produce for Better Health Foundation.

 

Marianne Santo

Wakefern Food Corp.

 

Victor Savanello Jr.

Director of Produce & Floral - Allegiance Retail Services
EPC 1st Vice President

Vic has over 35 years experience in the Supermarket Industry and currently serves as the Director of Produce and Floral at Allegiance Retail Services LLC. His responsibilities at Allegiance include managing sales, coordinating advertising, merchandising, operational activities and managing the procurement of product for over 85 member stores under the Foodtown and Dagostinos banners in NJ, NY, and PA. Previous to Allegiance, Vic was employed for over 22 years at Wakefern Food Corporation, where he served most recently as a Category Manager over his last 15 years of service.

Vic is currently a Vice President of the Eastern Produce Council, a position he has held since 2010. Vic serves on 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 NJ, with his wife Maria, their son Dante and daughter Mia.

 

Jeff Shilling

RLB Food Distributors, Vice President of Procurement

Jeff began his produce career working part time at the age of 16 at the Kings Super Markets store in Summit, NJ. At age 19, he was promoted to Produce Manager, which at the time made him the youngest Kings Super Markets manager. He helped develop a produce training program and conducted training of fellow Produce managers in the early 80's.

After 10 years at retail, Jeff was brought in to Kings distribution center as Assistant Produce Buyer in 1983. After Kings was sold to Marks and Spencer in 1988, Jeff stayed with the Bildner family (former owners of Kings) on the distribution side (RLB Food Distributors) as the supplier to Kings. Jeff has worked over the years as Assistant Buyer, Buyer, Head Buyer, Director of Produce Purchasing and Vice President of Produce Procurement, to his current position of Vice President of Procurement, which includes all departments at RLB Food Distributors.

Jeff was a Director of the Eastern Produce Council from 1987 through 1989 and 1991 through 1993, Vice President from 1989 through 1991 and served 2 consecutive terms as President from 1993 through 1997.

During his career Jeff has been a board member of NOFA-NJ, the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the New Jersey Tomato Advisory Council, the New Jersey Peach Advisory Committee, the New Jersey 5 A Day Coalition and the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Retail Advisory Board. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) volunteer with the Verona Rescue Squad as Crew Lieutenant.

Jeff met his wife Patty while working together at Kings, and they have been married for 33 years. They have one son, two daughters and a granddaughter.

 

John Vasapoli

D'Agostino Supermarkets, Director of Meat and Produce

John Vasapoli is currently the director of Meat and Produce merchandising for D'Agostino Supermarkets. He is responsible for all sales related decisions for both departments such as item selection, quality control, presentation standards, and pricing.

John started his career at D'Agostino's in 1971 as a part time delivery/stock clerk. He held various positions throughout the store and worked his way up to the position of store manager by 1978. During this period, John successfully ran a number of stores throughout Manhattan. In 1985, John was promoted to the position of produce director. Since that time John has also had stints as director of deli/bake and meat/seafood where he gained valuable knowledge in the workings of these perishable departments.

 

Greg Veneziano

Bozzuto's Inc., Vice President of Perishables

Greg Veneziano, Vice President of Perishables, is responsible for overseeing all administrative, procurement, merchandising and sales functions of the produce, floral, meat and seafood departments for Bozzuto's, Inc. Prior to being promoted to Vice President in 2008, he served as director of produce and floral. Mr. Veneziano has been with Bozzuto's since 1993, when he joined the company as produce merchandiser for the corporate stores. He quickly advanced to store manager, and in 1995, he was brought to the wholesale operation of Bozzuto's as junior buyer. Within six months, he 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, before becoming the director of produce and floral.

Prior to joining Bozzuto's Inc., Mr. Veneziano served as store manager for LaBonne's Markets. He was with LaBonne's from 1985 to 1993, with the same drive and success story that he has today, starting as produce manager, quickly moving up to assistant store manager and then store manager. Mr. Veneziano started his career in the food industry working for his family's stores, Veneziano's Markets. From 1975 to 1979 he worked for independent retailers and then opened his own farmer's market with two greenhouses in 1979. He sold his operation in 1985.

 

Sal Zacchia

RDD Associates
EPC Treasurer

Sal is currently Produce Business Manager at RDD Associates after seven plus years at Advantage Sales & Marketing as Produce Customer Development Manager.

Sal Started in the Food industry at 16 working for Pantry Pride and then to King's & Foodtown working as a Deli Manager over the next 10 years. He then Joined M&H Sales and Marketing as a Sales Representative working his way into the position of Account Executive for their Produce division in 1990 until they were acquired by ESM Ferolie, were he spent 3 years in the same capacity. After a 2 year stint with MB Imports Inc as Director of Sales, Sal then joined ASM in 2005 in his current position.

Sal is a Board of Director of the Eastern Produce Council, a position he has held since 1998. He serves on the Ad Journal Committee, Food Show Committee and is co-chairman of the Eastern Produce Council Golf Outing Committee.

Sal has a 2 year degree in Business Administration from Union County College in Cranford, NJ and he resides in Elizabeth NJ.