Greenhouse Canada

Yet another “Best Managed” honour for Oppenheimer

March 12, 2010  By Dave Harrison

12, 2010, Vancouver – As Olympic athletes from around the world vie for
silver and bronze, Vancouver’s oldest company was recognized with
precious metal – platinum.

12, 2010, Vancouver – As Olympic athletes from around the world vie for gold,
silver and bronze, Vancouver’s oldest company was recognized with another
precious metal – platinum.


Oppenheimer Group
has once again been named among Canada’s 50 Best Managed
Companies, earning the prestigious national award’s Platinum Club member status
for the third consecutive year.

full-service produce distributor and marketer first achieved the 50 Best honour
in 2001, and has re-qualified annually ever since. The award selection entails
a meticulous assessment process overseen by sponsors Deloitte, CIBC Commercial
Banking, The National Post and Queen’s School of Business. The recognition
reflects the previous year’s performance.


 A sampling of Oppenheimer greenhouse produce.

the complex nature of business in 2009, we are particularly honoured to
qualify,” said John Anderson, Oppenheimer’s chairman, president and CEO. “Like
other successful companies, we were especially strategic in our approach last
year as we navigated carefully through the storm clouds. While our service to
our growers and customers is always a priority, we took it especially to heart
in the last 12 months, managing through the troubled economic times together.”

in 1993, Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program recognizes Canadian
organizations that have implemented world-class business practices and created
value in innovative ways. Applications are reviewed by an independent judging
panel that evaluates how companies address various business challenges,
including new technologies, globalization, brand management, leadership,
leveraging and developing core competencies, designing information systems and
hiring the right talent to facilitate growth.

the award acknowledges solid performance in all of these disciplines, Anderson
credits the recognition to the leadership of Oppenheimer’s executive team, and
the efforts of people throughout the company.

top management structure evolved in 2009, with the addition of Dawn Gray,
senior vice-president in Sales, Marketing, and Categories, who officially
joined Oppenheimer in January after a two-year stint as general manager at
Oppenheimer’s grower-partner ENZA. Nigel Fripp, vice-president of finance, took
over full responsibility for the company’s accounting and finance disciplines
on Feb. 1. Josh Leichter was promoted to vice-president of sales, East Coast,
in late 2009.

Smith, vice-president of sales, celebrated his 20th anniversary with the company last year. Jerry Smirniotis,
vice-president East Coast and stone fruit category director, will pass that
same milestone in 2010. The team is rounded out by Oppenheimer veterans
Marjorie Calibaba, vice-president of human resources, who has been with the
company since 1998, and Doug Grant, vice-president and chief operations
officer, whose tenure with the company extends back a decade and a half.

leadership team is very strong, and with their guidance, our company continues
to grow in the right direction,” Anderson said.


50 Best Managed Companies continues to be the mark of excellence for
Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million. Every year
since the launch of the program in 1993, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies
have competed for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that
evaluates their management skills and practices. The awards are granted on three

Best Managed winner (one of the 50 new winners selected each year).

• Re-qualified
member (repeat winners retain the Best Managed designation for two additional
years, subject to annual operational and financial review).

Platinum Club member (winners that maintain Best Managed status for a minimum
of six consecutive years.)

sponsors are Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, National Post, and Queen's
School of Business. For further information, visit



over 150 years ago in Victoria, B.C., The Oppenheimer Group is a leading North
American fresh produce company, sourcing over 100 varieties of fruits and
vegetables from more than 25 countries and delivering them to retailers, wholesalers
and foodservice operators throughout the U.S. and Canada. The full-service
marketer has offices throughout North and South America and relationships with
growers around the world to ensure a 52-week supply of preferred produce items,
including apples, pears, kiwifruit, grapes, pineapple, citrus, berries, stone
fruit and greenhouse-grown vegetables.

more information, visit


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