Frankfort-based dried fruit manufacturer Graceland Fruit announces the following management team additions and promotions:
Corey Geer has joined Graceland Fruit as the vice president of Finance. Geer comes to Graceland with more than 20 years of progressive finance and accounting experience, earning his BA in finance from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Graceland Fruit, Geer was the chief financial officer at Shoreline Fruit and general manager of its processing facility, CherryFlex Inc. Geer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in traditional manufacturing and food processing. As vice president of Finance Geer will own all aspects of financial reporting, budgeting, planning, and implementing lean manufacturing systems for Graceland.
Jordan Nye Fekete has been promoted to director of business strategy. Nye Fekete has been instrumental in supporting Graceland’s consumer sales efforts in China. In her new role, she will expand upon these responsibilities with a primary focus on managing the Graceland Fruit China office in Shanghai. Nye Fekete will also work closely with the marketing and R&D teams in improving the strategic approach to innovative new product development. She holds a BA in business from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Brenna Nugent has been promoted to marketing & communications manager. In her new role, Nugent will coordinate and execute activities across multiple product lines, markets and platforms, providing support for the growth of the Graceland Fruit brand and family of products. Nugent joined Graceland in 2016 as an international sales coordinator and was promoted to senior sales coordinator in 2018. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011 with a major in marketing.
Drew Gentry has been promoted to research & development manager. Gentry has worked for Graceland Fruit since 2016, previously as a process engineer for the company. Gentry attended the University of Michigan where he received his BSE in chemical engineering. Before working for Graceland Fruit, Gentry worked as a process and quality engineer with Michelin North America, focusing on lean manufacturing practices. In his new role, Gentry will be responsible for managing R&D activities associated with new product development and will support continuous improvement of existing product lines.
Chuck Lombardo has announced his retirement, effective September 13, 2019. Lombardo has worked with Graceland Fruit since 2011 as a contractor, and joined the company in 2017 as director, marketing & communication. He concludes a 35-year career in marketing and public relations, in both the corporate and agency settings. Lombardo established CML Marketing Communications in 1994, a leading Traverse City agency that managed many high-profile northern Michigan campaigns over the years.