CUNNIFF JOINS DEL MONTE AS PROMOTIONS MANAGER

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. here has hired Tim Cunniff as manager of trade relations and promotions, effective Oct. 3.For the last two years, Cunniff has been director of industry promotions for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Newark, Del., which oversees the national 5 a Day produce promotion with the National Cancer Institute.Prior to joining the Produce for Better

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. here has hired Tim Cunniff as manager of trade relations and promotions, effective Oct. 3.

For the last two years, Cunniff has been director of industry promotions for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Newark, Del., which oversees the national 5 a Day produce promotion with the National Cancer Institute.

Prior to joining the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Cunniff worked in Philadelphia as a district manager for Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village, Calif.

In his new position, Cunniff will report to Howard Nager, Del Monte's director of marketing.

He will develop and implement promotional programs for Del Monte, manage trade show and convention exhibits and serve as a liaison between the company and various trade associations. The position incorporates many of the responsibilities handled by Nager before he was promoted to his current position earlier this summer.

At the foundation, Cunniff was responsible for all 5 a Day promotional materials and national promotions, including 5 a Day Week, which ended Sept. 17.

His departure is not expected to disrupt activities at the foundation, said Brian Krieg, executive director.

"Our members really shouldn't feel an effect," he told SN. "We already have our plan for promotions set for the next couple of years. Now it's just an issue of execution and refinement."

Krieg said the timing of Cunniff's departure is good -- immediately after 5 a Day Week and before other major promotions kick in later this year.

Cunniff said he didn't want to leave any projects hanging at the foundation.

"Del Monte was gracious enough to make sure my obligations are met at PBH," he said. "It's in my best interest and the industry's best interest to make sure 5 a Day runs as smoothly as possible."

Krieg said he has started the recruiting process, but existing staff are trained to fill in until a replacement can be found. He said the foundation is seeking someone with a background in marketing and the food industry.

Cunniff's hiring at Del Monte happens to coincide with the issuance of an arrest warrant for the company's chairman, Carlos Cabal Peniche. The Mexican government charges him with the fraudulent use of as much as $700 million, some of which he allegedly used to purchase Del Monte Fresh in 1992.

Del Monte's Nager said the warrant will have "no effect or bearing whatsoever" on Cunniff's new position.