Mark Cassius Joins the Ciruli Brothers Team as Executive Vice President and General Manager
- by Jordan Okumura
RIO RICO, AZ - Industry vet Mark Cassius is bringing his expertise and vision into a new arena this year as he joins Ciruli Brothers as the company’s Executive Vice President and General Manger. Ciruli Brothers grows and ships a full line of the highest quality fresh fruits and vegetables with key categories ranging from mangos, to tomatoes, squash and eggplant.
“I am extremely excited to join a passionate and progressive company like Ciruli Brothers,” Mark shares with me, reflecting on his move to the team. “What really drew me to Chris and Chuck (Jr.) Ciruli’s company was how they have created a unique growing and marketing operation with strategic partnerships that have helped extend their national footprint, from growing regions in Florida to New York, as well as California, Texas, and Mexico.”
In Mark’s role as EVP and GM, he will be responsible for helping Ciruli Brothers evolve its go-to-market strategy to allow the company to leverage its growth in production. Mark will also help develop processes and an organizational footprint so that the company can address the needs of its customers, offer differentiation and diversification in the produce department, and help raise the bar on marketing and value in the fresh produce industry.
“There are a lot of intricacies at Ciruli Brothers,” Mark tells me. “With this next phase of growth, we are creating the strategies that will align production, marketing activities, and product development, in a way that creates more efficiencies, enhances our capabilities, and offers transparency for the organization.”
Working collectively with Chris and Chuck Ciruli as well as their expert sales and operations team, Mark is excited to see the upward trajectory continue and develop. It is the anticipation of these new possibilities and opportunities that drives Mark’s passion.
“Plus, I am a big fan of Champagne® mangos,” Mark laughs. “Which is one of the core items that has truly differentiated the Ciruli’s.”
Ciruli brothers is taking its mango program, which has traditionally been seasonal in Mexico running from February through September, and is looking to develop key varieties and growing practices that can better extend the season into an annual program, and offer the customer a fruit that combines the flavor, quality, and consistency they want in mangos.
Along with the company’s reputation of bringing great value to its retail partners, it was the company culture that helped draw Mark in.
“Around the industry, many people I spoke to repeated the same thing, that Chris and Chuck are salt-of-the-earth people who create a great working environment where they treat everyone like family,” Mark says. “They are third generation produce people. Their grandfather Charles started Ciruli back in the 40s, and their father, Chuck II took the business over and was key in catapulting mango imports from Mexico into the United States. Chris and Chuck have enhanced and built upon a lot of their father’s and grandfather’s values and achievements, and have created an exceptional, and really well-respected business.”
With the second half of the summer heating up, the Ciruli Brothers’ team is looking to the future of fresh produce, and finding themselves primed for growth and an exciting road ahead.
Congratulations Mark, on joining the team, and to Ciruli Brothers for the opportunities to come!