California Giant Berry Farms Welcomes New COO and Continued Growth
WATSONVILLE, CA - California Giant Berry Farms continues to grow! The company recently welcomed a new COO, Joe Barsi, to lead the company’s sales, operations, and strategic initiatives. The company also welcomed Brittany Wang, Financial Sales Analyst, and David Johnson, Logistics Specialist.
Barsi is already strengthening communication and culture from the inside out, a company press release noted. Staff has participated in a strategic planning process, internal company town hall discussions, a newly implemented annual Grower Summit meeting, employee training programs, and expanding various divisions within the company, all while continuing to align with its family heritage.
“The berry industry is going to look very different five years from now. In anticipation of that, we went through an extensive strategic planning process. Our company values of Quality, Community, and Fairness have not changed, but our strategies to address the rapidly changing berry industry had to,” said Barsi. “We are thoroughly reviewing our operations and processes to make sure we are positioned for the future. It has been a challenging year for the California strawberry industry. Quality wins at the end of the day, and California Giant is committed to delivering quality berries every day, when and where our customers need them, and that is weaved into our long-term plan.”
Brittany Wang joined California Giant on October 10, 2018. She is already diving into several projects, supporting sales with forecasting and analyzing data and evaluating sales goals with key customers. The company noted that Brittany is also researching and evaluating current economic conditions in various growing regions to help position the company for future growth.
David Johnson’s first day will be October 29. He will work closely with Logistics Manager, Gary Bertone, who is responsible for the transportation and logistical requirements for the movement of all berries throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as strengthening capabilities—a critical component to the services California Giant provides customers with like delivered loads, cost efficiencies, and increased emphasis on hours of service.
As the company continues to grow its share of the market in the blueberry industry, Joe Barsi announced Markus Duran’s promotion from Blueberry Category Specialist to North American Blueberry Operations Manager. Markus has been with the company for five years, learning every aspect of the fresh blueberry industry. Markus will complement and lead an existing strong team, supporting this portion of the company’s business and working closely with the sales group and Nader Musleh who leads the South American blueberry program.
Other recent key hires include Abelardo Rodriguez, Systems Coordinator-Packaging/Track & Trace, a graduate from California State University Fresno with an emphasis in Plant Science & Crop Production Management; Wendi Castagnola filling the role of Staff Accountant and Chico State graduate and Central Coast native; and Shannon Cotton, Sales Coordinator.
Congratulations to all new members of the California Giant team!