Jim Malanca Steps Downs as Mark George Assumes Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Westside Produce Company; Steve Patricio and Garrett Patricio Comment
FIREBAUGH, CA - Forty years—that is the mark of not only a cherished industry leader, but someone who holds a true passion for fresh produce. After a four-decade tenure with Westside Produce Company, Jim Malanca announced he will be stepping down from his role as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Taking over Malanca’s duties is Mark George, who previously held the Sales Manager title.
“I got my first sales job by walking into a melon packing shed in Bakersfield and expressing interest,” commented Malanca. “Six months later, they hired me. I was still in college, but that was the beginning of my career in the melon industry.”
Following this introduction to the industry, Malanca met Jess Telles, Owner of TRI Produce, at a convention in 1980.
“He hired me on the spot, and I went to work for the largest melon grower-packer-shipper in the world,” added Malanca. “Steve Patricio took over at TRI in 1987, and he named me Sales Manager. In 1993, Steve and Mr. Telles formed Westside Produce, and they made me a part Owner. Steve is the real reason I became a partner at Westside Produce, and I appreciate what he has done for this company and for me.”
Malanca was born and raised in Firebaugh, California, and graduated with a degree in Ag Business from California State University, Fresno, a press release explained.
“Over the past four decades, Jim has made significant contributions to the melon industry, to the growth of Westside Produce, and to the success of the TRI brand,” said Steve Patricio, Founder. “We will miss Jim’s voice on the desk, but his hard work, dedication, and commitment have laid a solid foundation for Westside Produce moving forward. We are grateful for his support and leadership.”
Malanca also commented on his ongoing commitment to the company.
“What I’ll miss most about being on the sales desk is the role I played in helping our growers, retail buyers, and foodservice customers,” he said. “The people I’ve worked with throughout the years have become more than customers, they are friends. After 42 years of selling melons, I’m stepping down from day-to-day sales, but my interest in the industry and helping Westside Produce and our growers will never end. I’ll just be able to play more golf.”
Westside Produce continues to be one of the largest grower-packer-shippers of cantaloupe and Honeydew melons in California and Arizona, the release went on to note.
“We welcome Mark to the executive leadership team at Westside Produce,” commented Garrett Patricio, President of Westside Produce, on George’s recent appointment. “He has our full support as we begin this new chapter.”
Congratulations to both Jim Malanca and Mark George on their next steps!