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    Lutz Departs Nielsen Perishables Group for CMI

    Joins grower/packer/shipper as marketing VP

    Steve Lutz has joined Columbia Marketing International (CMI), an established grower/shipper of premium quality apples, pears and cherries, as VP of marketing. Lutz, who has been with Nielsen Perishables Group since June of 2000, replaces Bob Mast, who was promoted to president of Wenatchee, Wash.-based CMI in April 2013.

    Prior to co-founding the Perishables Group in June of 2000, Lutz served as president and CEO of the Washington Apple Commission. His previous marketing experience includes Nutri-System as well as The Olgilvy Group, where he was primarily responsible for the development of marketing and advertising programs for key clients.

    Having earned an MBA from City University in Seattle and a bachelor's degree in communications/advertising from Washington State University, Lutz also completed the marketing management program in the graduate school of business at Stanford University.

    He currently serves on the Retail/Foodservice Board of United Fresh and is also a facilitator for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Fresh Foods Executive Committee, as well as a past member of the board of directors for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). He is the immediate past chairman of the Professional Advisory Board of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University.

    Lutz is an avid skier, triathlete and runner and has competed in the Boston Marathon three times. He recently qualified to compete for Team USA at the 2014 Triathlon Age Group World Championships.

    As one of Washington State’s largest growers, packers and shippers of apples, pears and cherries, CMI’s premium fruit brands include Ambrosia, KIKU and Kanzi.

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