May 13, 2021
Tanimura & Antle names Brian Antle sales VP
Salinas Valley legacy grower-shipper Tanimura & Antle, a major organic grower, announced May 11 the return of fourth-generation family member, Brian Antle, as the company’s executive vice president of sales.
In his new role, Antle will oversee the sales department and business development for the company’s premium fresh produce.
“I’m excited to return full time to a position at Tanimura & Antle and look forward to the opportunities and the future that lies ahead taking on this new role. I have enjoyed the opportunities I have been given to learn our family and employee-owned business from the ground up and now look forward to working with our sales team to apply that full picture knowledge in a positive way,” Antle said in a news release.. “Having an understanding of the total process from seed to sales allows us to pivot quickly and find unconventional solutions for some of today’s complex issues.”
Like other Tanimura and Antle family members, Antle started his career from the ground up and developed a full understanding of every aspect of the business from seed to shipping. At the age of 14 years old, Antle started his career riding his bike to work each morning to move irrigation pipes in the fields. Over the years, Antle worked in a variety of roles and departments. After graduating from California State University, San Luis Obispo, he began working in Tanimura & Antle’s harvest operations where he ultimately was promoted to the vice president of Harvest Operations, overseeing the harvest of 30+ crops and over 35,000 acres. In 2017, Antle took on the role of President of PlantTape to commercially launch and introduce the innovative automated transplanting system to the United States.
“I have watched Brian grow up at Tanimura & Antle and have always been impressed by his natural leadership abilities. His father, Rick Antle, was a true innovator and partner to the Tanimuras for many years and Brian is a spitting image of his father,” said Gary Tanimura, executive director of Tanimura & Antle. “The Tanimura and Antle family members are confident in what the future holds.”
Upon taking on his new role, Antle announced additional key promotions within the sales department. Chuck Schreiber has been promoted to senior director of sales and Karen Pflaum has been promoted to senior director of regional sales. “Tanimura & Antle’s employees are our greatest asset. My family has always had confidence in our employees as partners of the company and today that is as true as ever with all of our employees being business partners in our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” said Antle. “We have an outstanding, talented sales team and Tanimura & Antle is the industry leader in innovation, sustainability and delivering premium fresh produce to our customers and consumers nationwide.”
Another long-time Tanimura & Antle veteran, Schreiber started with the company as an intern and has been with Tanimura & Antle for 28 years in a variety of sales related roles. Most recently, he served as the company’s director of export sales. In his new role, Schreiber will oversee the team of sales account managers for all of the company’s sales regions.
“I was fortunate to start my career at Tanimura & Antle as an intern, working alongside the founding family members, our own produce legends. I have never forgotten what they taught me and can’t wait to continue the tradition of passing along my experience to the next generation,” said Schreiber. “I have the opportunity to work with a team of sales experts, as well as our dedicated employee-owners in harvest, cooling, and our various farming divisions. I look forward to working alongside our valued customers, and continuing to nurture and grow the Tanimura & Antle commitment to quality, service and innovation.”
Pflaum joined Tanimura & Antle in 2019 as director of regional CEA Sales to support the launch of the Company’s greenhouse grown product expansion. In her new role, Pflaum will lead a regional sales team, working in collaboration with Schreiber and the sales team to continue to support all of the company’s valued customers nationwide and bolster the company’s retail presence. Prior to joining Tanimura & Antle, Pflaum served as the director of Midwest regional sales for 20 years at Earthbound Farms and held other sales positions within the industry at companies such as Castellini, Fresh Express, Mann Packing and Dole.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to develop, lead and bring back an unparalleled regional sales team for Tanimura & Antle. This new endeavor takes me back to my roots and passion for working with retailers to bring them outstanding, unique and on-trend premium fresh produce items that their consumers are looking for,” said Pflaum. “Our new regional sales team will be the glue bringing together sales and marketing to develop innovative programs for our retail partners.”