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Idaho Potato Commission hires retail veteran as West-Canada retail promotion director

patrick mills idaho potato

Eagle, ID, January 2, 2024 – With more than 25 years of produce industry experience under his belt, Patrick Mills has joined the Idaho Potato Commission BB #:162339 as retail promotion director West/Canada following the retirement of Kent Beesley.

“I’ve always admired how Idaho constantly works on new potato varieties and improvements in potato quality,” says Mills, who most recently worked in produce management positions at Bashas’ and Sal Amato Produce. “When Idaho potatoes are a prominent part of the produce department, I’ve seen how they help build bigger baskets and keep shoppers coming back for more. And the Idaho potato promotion and advertising programs are second to none.”

Based in the Denver, Colorado, area, Mills launched his career as a produce merchandiser at Safeway in 2000 and then advanced to manage produce and floral products at Sprouts Farmers Market and Lucky’s Market.

“Patrick is an extremely capable produce professional who will provide excellent support to retailers in the West,” says Ross Johnson, IPC vice president of retail and international. “He has managed Idaho potato merchandising and promotion during his many years of directing produce operations, so he knows exactly what retailers need to be successful with the Idaho brand. We’re looking forward to watching him put his ingenuity to work!”

Produce has always been a family affair for Mills, who says he started in the business as soon as he was big enough to sweep floors in his parents’ and grandparents’ wholesale produce company in Denver. “It’s a family-built business that dates back to 1913, and it’s still around today,” he says. “The produce industry is part of me and part of my family—it’s what we do.”

Mills and his wife, who is vice president of operations for a company in the general communications industry, are the proud parents of three grown children who have seven children of their own ages 2 to 11. Most of the grandchildren are in the Denver area, says Mills, so he enjoys doing outdoor activities with them as often as he can.

“I’m teaching them to be outside and not on an iPad or a phone,” says the avid golfer and fly fisherman.

Custom smoking a variety of meats in his back yard is another favorite outdoor activity, especially for the frequent dinners that Mills and his wife host at their house. “And there’s always room on the grill for Idaho potatoes too!” he says.