Sunsweet Growers Names Melvin Ward Vice President Member Services & Dryers Announces Retirement of Mark Dalrymple

(March 17, 2011) - YUBA CITY, CA - Sunsweet Growers Inc, the nation's leading marketer of prunes, specialty dried fruit products and fruit juices, announced today that Melvin Ward will assume a transitioning role to Vice President Member Services & Dryers, replacing Mark Dalrymple who will retire in August.

"We couldn't be more proud of Melvin's promotion", comments Sunsweet President and CEO, Arthur Driscoll. Melvin is a home grown local talent who started his career at Sunsweet as an entry-level employee. Over the years Melvin has made the most of every opportunity, met every challenge, and has contributed significantly to Sunsweet's success. His dedication to Sunsweet and well-deserved promotion to Vice President of Member Services and Dryers is a credit to his proven abilities and an inspiration to us all.

Mr. Ward will work in transition with retiring Vice President of Member Services & Dryers, Mark Dalrymple until Mark formally retires in August. Mark has been an institution at Sunsweet for 30+ years, comments Gary Thiara, Chairman of Sunsweet Growers. Mark's knowledge, leadership and trust within the grower-member community have been instrumental in keeping the cooperative united and strong throughout the years. We're extremely grateful to Mark for his years of service to the cooperative.

Sunsweet Growers Inc, established in 1917, has more than 80 years of experience and heritage in producing the highest quality dried fruits. The California-based cooperative of 350 grower/members is the worldwide leader in prunes and related products. Most recently, the product portfolio has been expanded to include a full line of dried fruit snacks and juices: all designed to fit today's need for healthy and convenient food choices.

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