RJO Produce Names Allan O’Donoghue as Retail/Grower Strategist as Scott Zeier Retires; John O'Rourke and Fred Valentino Comment
FRESNO, CA - RJO Produce has appointed its first-ever Retail/Grower Strategist in Allan O’Donoghue. Concurrent with this appointment is a retirement announcement, as Vice President of Retail Services Scott Zeier recently retired after over 20 years with RJO Produce.
“By providing critical intel, we’re creating that sweet spot for growers and retailers. Growers benefit from being able to let retailers know what’s happening in the fields, and we’re able to help retailers be more nimble with buying decisions,” O’Donoghue said. “This approach will create a two-way street that benefits our customers, retailers, and consumers. I grew up in the ag industry and in this role, I feel like I’m doing what I was born to do!”
In this new position, O’Donoghue will be a liaison between retailers and growers/shippers, helping retailers make better buying decisions that recognize market realities while boosting their bottom lines. He is based in the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, California.
With the joining of this longtime retail produce expert, the firm strengthens its retail engagement and gives its grower customers additional insight into the retail sector. The ag industry veteran brings a strong, grower-focused background and extensive connections in the retail and grower spaces.
“Allan is a great addition to the RJO team as we continue to evolve our go-to-market strategies and options,” said President John O’Rourke. “He has a wealth of retail experience, and as a Salinas native with boots-on-the-ground experience, he brings a unique and valuable perspective to the RJO team.”
As noted in the release, O’Donoghue has previous experience as the Category Manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables, Regional Sourcing Manager for Sprouts Farmers Market, and Senior Produce Buyer for C&S Wholesale Grocers.
“Post-COVID, the connection between growers and retailers is more important than ever,” Fred Valentino, Vice President of Sales, noted. “Allan brings a unique perspective that will help us deepen those connections while ensuring RJO continues to sharpen our skills in retail.”
As O’Donoghue takes his new role, Zeier has retired from his post. Zeier helped drive RJO’s retail mission and guided customers with a wide range of planning services.
“My over two decades with RJO have been a fantastic experience, and I’m grateful to have been able to support our customers, many of whom have become friends. I look forward to working with RJO as needed to continue to support the entire team and our outstanding customers,” Zeier said.
With over 40 years in the business, Zeier plans to stay connected to the produce marketing industry he loves, maintaining ties with RJO and leading special projects as they arise.
President O’Rourke noted that Zeier had an amazing ability to keep the RJO team focused on critical retail strategies, stating, “We appreciate Scott’s dedication and professionalism, two traits that exemplified his career at RJO and that made a lasting impact.”
Valentino added, “Scott gave us that cutting edge that separates RJO from the pack as far as being able to speak retail. We’ll be eternally grateful for his knowledge and expertise.”
Congratulations to both Allan O’Donoghue and Scott Zeier on their new chapters.