John Vena, Inc. Announces Three New Hires

March 10, 2016

We're growing! John Vena, Inc. announced this week the addition of three new roles during a period of company-wide growth and expansion.  William Burr, a veteran of the retail and wholesale produce industries, will join the team as Outside Sales Representative, executing strategic business development initiatives as the company expands its footprint in the region.  In operations, David Milakeve has taken on the role of Director of Production, overseeing management of John Vena, Inc.’s growing packing and grading facilities. Kelsey Rose, a recent graduate of Saint Joseph’s University’s Food Marketing program, also joins the sales team as a Customer Service Representative.


John Vena, President, is thrilled to welcome Bill, Dave, and Kelsey to the company. “This is an exciting time for John Vena, Inc. as we strengthen and expand our operations. The industry expertise and proven leadership of Bill and Dave will leverage the talent of our current team to bring our goals for growth to fruition. Their energy promises a world of opportunity.”


Bill Burr brings more than 20 years of experience in the produce industry to John Vena, Inc. Most recently, Bill spent nearly a decade as regional merchandizer and account manager with Associated Wholesaler, Inc., transitioning into a role in procurement when the company was acquired by C&S Wholesale Grocers. Prior, he managed northeast accounts for Melissa’s World Variety Produce, giving him a strong foundation of knowledge in specialty. With experience in retail, sales, and procurement, Bill brings a well-rounded perspective to the team. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with a company that has as long and storied a history as John Vena, Inc.,” says Bill. “The ever changing nature of specialty produce is both exciting and challenging, and I Iook forward to lending my experiences as we expand and grow our market share.”


Dave Milakeve comes to John Vena, Inc. from Dutch greenhouse cooperative The Greenery where he managed North American operations, most notably coordinating the company’s transition into a modern, 50,000 sq. foot facility and managing food safety audit upgrades. Prior, he spent almost two decades managing produce departments for several high profile retailers, including Shop Rite, Genaurdi’s, and Whole Foods Market.  John Vena welcomes Dave and looks forward to the direction and organization he will bring to the company’s talented production department.  Dave echoes those sentiments: “All together, we are going to accomplish exciting things – and the team feels it.”


Kelsey Rose, a recent graduate of St. Joe’s highly regarded Food Marketing program, joins John Vena Inc. after several years in real estate and mortgage sales. She is excited to return to the industry she trained for and looks forward to developing her career in the produce industry with John Vena, Inc.



Emily Kohlhas




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