Jeff Walker, Texas-based sales manager for fresh produce group Oppy, has revealed he will retire at the end of June.
Walker joined Oppy in January 1994, opening the company’s fifth US office on Houston’s Produce Row.
“When Jeff joined us, we were launching the New Zealand Braeburn apple, which he helped establish in the region,' said Brett Libke, Oppy’s senior vice-president of sales. 'From there, he introduced his customers to Jazz and Envy apples, along with Zespri green and gold kiwifruit and ultimately the whole Oppy basket. His leadership in our avocado business over the years enabled us to create a foothold in that key category, too.
“Jeff is the ultimate produce professional,' Libke noted. 'We know his customers will miss his great service and relaxed but conscientious style.”
Stepping into his boots as Oppy sales manager in Houston is Jim Leach. With experience gained at BASF, Taylor Farms and PepsiCo, Leach joined Oppy as a business development representative in California in 2016 and quickly evolved to sales representative in 2017.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for Jim to lead our South-Central US sales strategy,” Libke said. “He has big shoes to fill with Jeff’s departure but we are confident that Jim and the team in Texas will continue to deliver on the legacy Jeff established over the years.”
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Jeff for nearly three decades,' added chairman, CEO and managing partner John Anderson. 'On behalf of everyone at Oppy, we wish him and his wife Mary a long and wonderful retirement.”