Loading…

Marketing trailblazer Melissa McDill mourned

missyMelissa (Missy) McDill, founder and president of McDill Associates, died at home with family on Monday, May 18. She was 65.

A native of Salinas, CA, she established McDill Associates in the 1970s to serve the marketing needs of companies in various industries. Armed with a BFA from California College of the Arts and natural business savvy, Ms. McDill was at the forefront of agriculture marketing, helping to build some of the largest brands in their formative years.

Sustaining a successful woman-owned business in the small town of Soquel, CA, was important to Ms. McDill. She loved raising her son with her husband in a tight knit community that values nature, creativity and giving back. As one of six kids, Ms. McDill was always surrounded by family and treated many that she knew as extended family. Outside of family and business, she was known as a powerhouse philanthropist. Ms. McDill was deeply involved with Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, serving as board president for several years. Her nonprofit work has benefitted countless local families who have children with cancer.

Ms. McDill brought exceptional creativity, strategic thinking and heart to everything she did. She was a pioneer in the produce industry at a time when there were not many women, and mentored many others. Always thinking ahead, a few of her noted accomplishments include developing the idea for value added produce snack packs for kids, coining the term “Triple Washed” and inventing the first refrigerated footed bowl. To help fresh produce compete against salty snacks during the Super Bowl in the 90s, she gave Grimmway Farms the idea for carrot chips.

Her leadership earned hundreds of design and marketing awards for McDill’s clients over the years, including Tanimura & Antle, California Giant Berry Co., Martinelli’s, SnackWells, Duda Farm Fresh Foods and Sakata Seeds. More recently, she was focused on the agency’s clients in the natural foods category, the rebrand of Pink Lady and the global launch of Cosmic Crisp apples.

Ms. McDill has built a dedicated and talented staff and client base over the past 40 years. McDill Associates will continue under the direction of Executive Vice President Lisa Hansen (18 years with McDill Associates) and board oversight by Julie McDill (over 25 years with McDill Associates).

She is survived by her husband, Bill Gurmin, and son, McCoy McDill-Gurmin (wife Effie); sisters Debbi McDill, Julie McDill (Larry), Laurie Leslie (Jim); brothers John McDill (George) and Budj McDill (Becky); stepchildren Tiffany Keith (Tim), Torre Gurmin (Jen); and grandchildren Matt, Justina, Lila, and Ace, and numerous nephews and nieces. The family will be holding a celebration of life to honor her memory at a date that is yet to be decided, given the current state of affairs. In lieu of flowers, they ask that you consider making a donation in her memory to Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services.

Ms. McDill will be remembered as a larger than life spirit who loved dancing, travel, art and laughter.

tpn daily signup

Salinas grower-shipper announces acquisition
Hitchcock Farms, Salinas, CA, a premier and innovative grower-shipper has acquired Pfyffer Associates, a grower, packer and shipper of premium Brussels sprouts in Santa Cruz, CA. Pfyffer has been a leading supplier of Brussels sprouts for over 45 years with its well-known Ernie’s Pride and Pfyffer labels. “I see this as a Read More ...
Retailer's efforts generate a big fat zero
As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts and commitment to healing the planet, The Giant Co. announced four additional stores in Pennsylvania have reached zero waste, meaning 90 percent or more of a store’s total waste is being diverted from a landfill or incineration. “When it comes to taking care of the environment there Read More ...
USDA cites California company for $3.8M PACA violations
As a part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on Trinity Fresh Distribution LLC in Sacramento, CA, for failing to meet its contractual obligations to the sellers of Read More ...
Cascades launches a new packaging line
Cascades, a leader in eco-friendly recycling, hygiene and packaging solutions, launched its new range of Cascades Fresh packaging products for fruits and vegetables. Designed for producers, packers and retailers, Cascades Fresh packaging solutions meet the needs of this key industry while also addressing consumers’ Read More ...
$16 million broccoli shipment is mostly meth
U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered $16.1 million worth of alleged methamphetamine within a commercial trailer hauling a shipment of fresh broccoli. “This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics that our officers have detected and seized Read More ...
Renaissance Food Group adds sales leadership to growing team
Renaissance Food Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Calavo Growers Inc., is excited to announce the addition of two food industry veterans to its sales team: Edward Redd as senior vice president of sales and Kate Brooks as vice president of sales. Redd most recently served as president of Dotta Foods International, a global Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse