Index Fresh's Todd Elder Retires from Vice President of Sales and Marketing Role; Steve Roodzant and John Dmytriw Comment
CORONA, CA - With an illustrious career behind him, Todd Elder is hanging up his hat in the fresh produce industry, announcing his retirement from Index Fresh. After 27 years, and having overseen the sale of millions of pounds of avocados, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing is leaving his post.
“I started when the industry was just beginning to emerge into something much bigger. In surfing terminology, we caught the wave and continued to ride it a long, long way,” commented Elder, noting his success in avocado sales was simply the Golden Rule. “If you treat people the way you want to be treated, then your customers become your friends, and it becomes a very different relationship.”
According to the release, Elder joined the Index Fresh team in 1996 when annual avocado consumption in the United States was 500 million pounds and Index’s sales department included just two employees. Now, Americans consume nearly 3 billion pounds of avocados annually, and Index Fresh’s sales department places hundreds of millions of pounds of avocados in retailers and restaurants around the country.
“Todd Elder has been a major force in the avocado industry over his career, driving the category to new heights year after year,” said Steve Roodzant, President and Chief Executive Officer of Index Fresh. “I’m particularly grateful for his steady leadership during my time at Index Fresh, and he will be sorely missed.”
Relationship building also made Elder a well-loved member of the Index Fresh family. His co-workers describe him as caring, hardworking, and dedicated.
Long-time co-worker Debbie Willmann, Index Fresh’s Vice President of Sales, commented on Elder’s character as a partner, mentor, co-worker, and friend. Vice President of Operations Santiago Pacheco credited Elder for playing a key role in building Index Fresh into the highly respected, successful company that it is today. He encouraged Elder to enjoy his well-earned retirement, noting that he will be missed.
“Our sales group did the heavy lifting, and made my job easy,” Elder commented. “You’re only as good as the people you’re around, and Index Fresh has really good people.”
Elder studied finance in college, then quickly found his way into the produce industry. His father worked in bananas, and Elder cut his teeth in produce checking in trucks loaded from the banana boats in Long Beach. From his father, Elder gleaned this important piece of advice: There’s no need to seek outside validation when you’re in sales. Everything you need to know about your performance is in the numbers.
“Todd’s work ethic is top-notch,” said John Dmytriw, Vice President of Business Development. “Never leaving a task incomplete or business unattended, his laser focus and attention to detail are next level. His customer-focused mindset has been a stellar example of how business should be approached day in and day out.”
The growth of the avocado industry and Elder’s contributions to that growth allowed him to start a family and raise four kids doing what he loved. In his retirement, Elder looks forward to more time with his wife, kids, and grandkids traveling, camping, snow skiing, and cycling.
Cheers to Todd Elder as he starts his well-deserved retirement!