With autumn in the air, people begin thinking about the changing of the seasons. This is a change of seasons at FruitSmart as well, as President Terry Chambers announces his retirement. Chambers has overseen FruitSmart since its inception, growing FruitSmart to a global brand sourcing ingredients and serving customers across the world. From those early days of developing innovative cold pressed juices and apple ciders that still sell well to this day, Chambers helped build and nurture the civic and corporate relationships that helped FruitSmart continue to grow and expand over the last 15 years.
A hallmark of the ethos of FruitSmart has always been flexibility and willingness to experiment in moving beyond known solutions and expected answers. “We have often joked about not focusing on what we can’t do,” Chambers recalled, “instead saying ‘yes’ then figuring out how to do it to meet the needs of our customers.”
In changes, there are points of continuity. Just like Chambers, incoming FruitSmart president Wayne Lutomski previously worked at Welch’s where he led the International Division. With experience in everything from startups like Nom Nom’s World Food to the restaurant business as the President of UNO Restaurants, Lutomski has seen many different sides of the food and beverage industry.
While at Welch’s, Lutomski worked to develop the Global Ingredient Group. This work allowed him to understand the value of ingredient providers that understood how to go beyond simply providing the raw materials. This helped him see the value of innovation and experimentation FruitSmart brings to every relationship with our partners.
For Lutomski, the members of the team at FruitSmart, and the attitude they take toward their work, was a strength. “Their extreme focus on the customer and their can-do attitude is unmatched in the industry—an attitude that we will continue to develop and nurture in order to bring new and exciting ingredients to our existing and new customers.”
When asked about his initial goals or plans for FruitSmart after taking on his new role in November, Lutomski remarked that, “There will clearly be a period of Look, Listen and Learn.” He went on to say that relying on the strong performance of other members of senior leadership, and by extension the teams they lead, will be key to moving forward. Lutomski added that this company and its values, its people, and opportunity is something to be very passionate about.
Looking ahead into this new season for FruitSmart, Chambers had this to say about the future: “ … leading FruitSmart for the past 15 years has been the capstone of a near 40-year career in the food ingredient industry. I’m excited to see the new heights this great company will achieve in the coming years.”