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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Rick Thorne, chairman and c.e.o. for Tree of Life, Inc. and executive board member of Koninklijke Wessanen, has announced he will retire following the selection and transition of his successor.
After a career spanning more than 20 years at Tree of Life, Inc. and seven years as a member of Wessanen's executive board, Thorne said he has been planning his retirement "for quite some time, but did not want to make an announcement until our chairman, Ad Veenhof, was prepared for me to do so."
"Rick brought his plans to me soon after I joined Wessanen, but we agreed to postpone his retirement until we felt the time was right. We are both comfortable that Rick can move forward now with his plans," said Ad Veenhof, Koninklijke Wessanen's executive board chairman.
Thorne said he will spend at least 50 percent of his time at Tree of Life during the transition so that the company can "collectively continue the highest quality of support for our customers and vendor partners."
Thorne came to Tree of Life in 1983 with a successful background in sales and marketing for both distribution companies and retail businesses. He became president and c.e.o. of Tree of Life in 1987 and led the company as it grew from a successful regional distributor to become the leading distributor in North America of natural and specialty foods to both natural food stores and supermarkets. Tree of Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wessanen U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Koninklijke Wessanen.