Berry Producer Appoints New CEO As Co-Founder Garland Reiter Transitions to Executive Chairman
December 23, 2016 – (Oxnard, California) Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC) announces that current COO, Hector Lujan, will assume the new role of Chief Executive Officer starting January 1, 2017, as Garland Reiter, Co-Founder and CEO, transitions to the role of Executive Chairman.
Under Reiter’s leadership, the organization grew from a small 5-person farm house on the Oxnard plains to an impressive expansion of farming acreage and investment in the United States, Mexico, Portugal and Morocco. Staying at the forefront of innovation and utilizing cultural farming practices allowed Reiter to revolutionize the berry industry; however, the company’s history of investing in their people has left an indelible legacy of its own. Reiter established the first U.S. private primary health care clinic, La Clínica FreSalud, exclusively for farmworkers and collaborated with the University of California Davis and Berkeley to fund and implement an obesity and diabetes prevention program known as Sembrando Salud among Reiter’s ranch communities.
“Over the past 40 years, I have had the privilege to work alongside many great individuals and steward the company along the way, guiding, engaging and navigating a path to where we stand today,” said Reiter. “In my new capacity, I will be responsible for leading our Board of Directors and guiding strategy. I have great confidence in Hector and the accomplishments that he has achieved have allowed him to establish a great depth of knowledge and business acumen for our diverse international business.”
Lujan joined the company in 2002 as Vice President of Central Mexico for the company’s Mexican affiliate, BerryMex. By 2005, due to Lujan’s strong leadership capabilities and development, his role expanded consolidating all of the company’s Mexico farming operations in Jalisco, Michoacán, and Baja California. In 2011, Lujan and his family relocated to the U.S. to work for RAC as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Before joining the company, Lujan worked for Bionova Fresh, a subsidiary of Grupo Pulsar, as Operations Manager in their farming and marketing companies. He is a graduate of the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México with a degree in Business Administration.
“I have had the great fortune of working directly with Garland for the last 14 years, and am honored to be his successor as CEO of RAC,” said Lujan. “My goal is to bring renewed growth and excitement into the business so that we can continue on our path of success. With that goal comes great challenges, but I believe we have a strong team here who are ready to drive us forward.”