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CMI announces leadership transitions

CMI Orchards Logo

Wenatchee, WA—In an era of major growth, CMI Orchards BB #:134183 is proud to announce several high-powered new leadership changes. Bob Mast, President of CMI, highlights the crucial role of the new leadership team in sustaining the company’s upward trajectory.

“CMI has witnessed a remarkable upswing in the past decade,” noted Mast. “We’ve nearly doubled our volume since 2014 and expanded our portfolio to ensure a year-round supply for our retail partners. Our staff size has grown exponentially, and we have placed a huge focus on staff development and operational improvements. As we anticipate further expansion, adding to our top-tier leadership team is absolutely paramount to our continued success.”

The transition includes Joel Hewitt’s shift from Domestic Sales and Organic Manager to Vice President of Sales.

“My journey over the last thirteen years at CMI has been supported by our team of dedicated leaders and colleagues, and their incredible commitment to the business,” said Hewitt. “The invaluable guidance and education I’ve received over the years from the CMI executive team, my teammates, the growers, and our business partners is paramount to where I am now, and I’m greatly looking forward to being part of the continual improvements and the evolution of our company for many years to come.”

As Hewitt moves into his new role, he’ll be responsible for leading and managing the sales team and execution overall to drive sales growth and achieve organizational goals, all while collaborating closely with other departments to ensure a strategy that remains cohesive and productive across the board.

In addition to Hewitt, Garrett Joeckel will be stepping into the role of Vice President of Operations, overseeing all operational activities supporting the sales, marketing, and accounting departments. Joeckel started working at CMI in 2014, primarily focusing on production, and expanded his scope of work to include sales reporting, analytics, and account management.

“Stepping into this new role is an incredible opportunity,” said Joeckel. “The chance to collaborate with our operational support teams to take all phases of our business to the next level, as well as drive value back to our growers, is one I am humbled and extremely grateful for.”

CMI’s new Production Manager, Wade Baker, joined CMI in 2022 with almost 30 years of industry experience in warehousing, including leadership roles in Production Planning, Quality Control, Inventory Management, and Logistics. “Prior to last year, I had spent my career in the warehouse side of our business,” explained Baker. “Getting the chance to work on the sales side, and now in a position where I interact with both sides of the business, feels like it’s really come full-circle for me. I’m thrilled for what’s to come.”

Among these changes is Loren Foss taking on the role of Vice President of Domestic Business Strategy, a role that will have Foss working closely with both Marketing and Sales to coordinate between global brand owners, sales teams, and warehouses to ensure effective management across the board. Foss graduated from Washington State University and spent 15 years in the produce industry, with the first half of his career focused on export sales in Asia and the Middle East before eventually moving to manage the sales side of branded varieties for CMI.

“I’m extremely honored and eager to be stepping into this new role,” Foss added. “CMI’s retail partners value our branded apple varieties and our ability to execute on sales strategies. I look forward to joining the management team and creating new paths to driving growth in the marketplace and expanding our retail business while carving out opportunities to grow our premium lineup of branded products.”

CMI’s Director of Export Sales, Scott Agnew, has advanced to the new role of Senior Director of International Sales. In this position, Agnew will focus on the company’s international business across both import and export channels, overseeing sales goals and execution, said Mast. Agnew started his time in the industry working in an apple packing warehouse in the ‘90s, and explained that he was mentored by some of the finest people in the industry for eight years, taught himself Spanish, and learned everything he could before an opportunity to work at CMI arose.

“By joining the team at CMI, I was able to learn from some of the best in the industry, such as Glady Bellamy and Bob Mast,” stated Agnew. “It’s only through the strong support from the people around me here at CMI and at the warehouse where I began my career that I’m able to reach this milestone. It’s been seventeen years since I started at CMI, and I have fully enjoyed every single one of them—and look forward to the next seventeen!”

Additionally, Steve Reinholt will be focusing on Export Business Development, working closely with Scott and the export team to continue developing business in new and existing export markets. Reinholt received his Business Administration degree at Central before running his family’s farming operations for 3 years; his career evolved into warehouses, then sales, eventually joining Starr Ranch as the Export Sales Manager in 2004, which he stated was a huge honor. “Joining together with CMI is exciting for me for a number of reasons,” explained Reinholt. “Combining Starr and CMI’s product lines and customer bases results in such a well-rounded operation that is nearly limitless. I’m truly energized by the opportunities this union has created.”

Steve Castleman, now CMI’s Senior Director of Strategy, has been with CMI for twenty five years, with his time split between Domestic Sales followed by Vice President of Sales. “I’m enthusiastic about the potential  for growth that CMI offers these high-caliber individuals,” Castleman said. “This presents a prime opportunity for them to introduce innovative ideas and propel the company and our business associates to new heights.”

Joining Castleman in his excitement, Robb Myers—now Senior Director of Business Development—expressed his optimism about CMI’s future. “CMI is such a forward-thinking organization built by a team full of people who work exceptionally hard for our customers and growers,” said Myers. “These changes are just a small indication of the star-power our team has. Getting the opportunity to coach, train, and guide these individuals toward success is a very special one.” As Senior Director of Business Development, Myers will continue to work closely with the executive team to shape the company’s growth trajectory, as well as research and develop new market opportunities and increase market presence.

“Each and every one of these team members stepping into their new roles have proven their dedication to excellence across the board, whether it’s leading their colleagues, servicing our customers or supporting our growers,” says Mast. “We are truly blessed by the amazing and talented team that is assembled here at CMI, and couldn’t ask for a better group to navigate our continued growth and bring the best tasting fruit in the world to shoppers all across the globe.”

About CMI Orchards

CMI Orchards is one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest growers, shippers and packers of premium quality conventional and organic apples, pears, and cherries. Based in Wenatchee, WA, CMI Orchards delivers outstanding fruit across the U.S.A. and exports to over 60 countries worldwide.