Potandon Produce’s Kent Romrell, senior vice president of sales, will retire at the end of March after a career in produce spanning over 30 years.
“It’s hard to imagine the potato industry without Kent. He’s been an icon in the business for as long as I can remember. He has been a mentor for so many people in the industry and his influence will be felt for years to come,” says Jamey Higham, Potandon’s vice president of new business and foodservice. “I’ll miss his insights, sense of humor and bulldog work ethic. I hope he enjoys the great retirement he deserves.”
After growing up in the grocery business and working as a produce manager in his early years, Kent then dedicated over 30 years to the fresh produce industry. He joined the R.T. French Company in 1983 and continued with Pillsbury after its buyout in 1986. Kent was one of the founding partners of Potandon Produce when it obtained the Green Giant Fresh licensing rights for fresh potatoes and onions from Pillsbury in 1995 and has continued to helm the sales department of the company for the past 18 years.
In speaking about his years in the business, Kent says, “I couldn’t have found a career better suited to me than the produce industry. I always knew I was in the right business.”
“I admire his passion and care in everything he does whether for work, family, grandchildren or his favorite sporting activity, golf,” says Steve Ottum, chief operating officer. “It’s rare to see someone in the same industry for over 30 years. He will be missed by many. He has been a great business partner and friend.”
Potandon Produce has been able to incite many changes in the industry with Kent’s help, including the introduction of mutually beneficial retail programs and specialty varieties into the marketplace.
Jeff Sholl, Potandon CEO, added, “It has been a delight working with Kent and his wife, Deon during the past 18 years. They have both been an important part of the Potandon story. Building Potandon has been a demanding but rewarding task for management, our employees and owners. Kent has played a critical role in the growth of Potandon and his contributions cannot be overstated. Potandon will carry the institutional memory of Kent for years to come.”
Potandon expects a seamless transition as it has planned for this change over the past few years and feels that the company is well positioned to continue its outstanding sales and customer service in the future.