Engaging customers with expertise and boots-on-the-ground experience.

Jim Zion

Jim Zion

Managing Partner

Jim brings many years of experience of working in the international marketplace and the nut industry. From his position as the Managing Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Export Program to his years working on various farming operations, he understands the industry he serves and the products he sells. Jim was instrumental in starting Meridian Growers as a way in which growers could participate more fully in the marketing of their crops. Buyers benefit by being able to buy direct from the source.

Integrity, honesty and ethical business are the cornerstones of Jim's business philosophy.

Jim Zion

Managing Partner

Jim brings many years of experience of working in the international marketplace and the nut industry. From his position as the Managing Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Export Program to his years working on various farming operations, he understands the industry he serves and the products he sells. Jim was instrumental in starting Meridian Growers as a way in which growers could participate more fully in the marketing of their crops. Buyers benefit by being able to buy direct from the source.

Integrity, honesty and ethical business are the cornerstones of Jim's business philosophy.

Amy Hochderffer

Amy Hochderffer

Sales Manager

Amy has been in the industry for over 20 years. Before joining Meridian she owned her own brokerage company for 13 years. She is actively involved with the PTNPA and currently sits on their technical committee. When not working Amy enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering with International Volunteer Headquarters. Amy’s vast experience and knowledge will be essential in growing our business.

Amy Hochderffer

Sales Manager

Amy has been in the industry for over 20 years. Before joining Meridian she owned her own brokerage company for 13 years. She is actively involved with the PTNPA and currently sits on their technical committee. When not working Amy enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering with International Volunteer Headquarters. Amy’s vast experience and knowledge will be essential in growing our business.

Aaron Salsedo

Aaron Salsedo

Sales

Aaron is a recent graduate of California State University Fresno with a BA in Ag Business. While in school he was a part of an Ag internship as a national and international QC Supervisor. Prior to coming to Meridian Aaron worked with an international farming company as their Harvest and Planting Supervisor. Aaron is a fourth generation farmer in West Fresno and brings an invaluable knowledge base to the Meridian Growers team.

Aaron Salsedo

Sales

Aaron is a recent graduate of California State University Fresno with a BA in Ag Business. While in school he was a part of an Ag internship as a national and international QC Supervisor. Prior to coming to Meridian Aaron worked with an international farming company as their Harvest and Planting Supervisor. Aaron is a fourth generation farmer in West Fresno and brings an invaluable knowledge base to the Meridian Growers team.

Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter

Sales and Marketing

Michelle is a graduate of California State University Fresno and joined Meridian Growers in July of 2006 as a Sales and Marketing Representative. Michelle was also a part of the American Pistachio Growers 2012 Leadership program. When not working Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and two young girls. “Her marketing background, coupled with her strong work ethic are valuable to Meridian, our customers and our growers." said Jim Zion, Managing Partner.

Michelle Carter

Sales and Marketing

Michelle is a graduate of California State University Fresno and joined Meridian Growers in July of 2006 as a Sales and Marketing Representative. Michelle was also a part of the American Pistachio Growers 2012 Leadership program. When not working Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and two young girls. “Her marketing background, coupled with her strong work ethic are valuable to Meridian, our customers and our growers." said Jim Zion, Managing Partner.

Jip Rodenburg

Jip Rodenburg

Arizona Representative

Jip is a 2016 graduate of The University of Arizona, where he got his degree in Agribusiness Economics & Management. He was raised in a small farming town in Southeastern Arizona and has grown up in the ag industry; working in greenhouses, on the farm, as well as in orchards. He is a first generation American and has had the opportunity to experience the agriculture industry internationally through internships in his family’s home country, The Netherlands. His friendly attitude, eagerness to learn, and presence in Arizona makes him a great asset for Meridian Growers.

Jip Rodenburg

Arizona Representative

Jip is a 2016 graduate of The University of Arizona, where he got his degree in Agribusiness Economics & Management. He was raised in a small farming town in Southeastern Arizona and has grown up in the ag industry; working in greenhouses, on the farm, as well as in orchards. He is a first generation American and has had the opportunity to experience the agriculture industry internationally through internships in his family’s home country, The Netherlands. His friendly attitude, eagerness to learn, and presence in Arizona makes him a great asset for Meridian Growers.

Trisha Aranda

Trisha Aranda

Customer Service

Trisha began working at Meridian Growers in November of 2006. She is also a graduate of the CalAgX Export Training program presented by the Center for International Trade Development. When not at work Trisha enjoys spending time with her three boys and volunteering for their football teams. Trisha’s dedication and commitment to customer service provides our customers with elite service.

Trisha Aranda

Customer Service

Trisha began working at Meridian Growers in November of 2006. She is also a graduate of the CalAgX Export Training program presented by the Center for International Trade Development. When not at work Trisha enjoys spending time with her three boys and volunteering for their football teams. Trisha’s dedication and commitment to customer service provides our customers with elite service.

Gail Reynolds

Gail Reynolds

Export Logistics Manager

"Gail will bring a level of service and expertise to Meridian Growers that will be immediately noticeable to our clients", states Jim Zion, Managing Director. "She is well known in the agricultural trade arena as an expert in documentation and payment negotiations." Prior to joining Meridian Growers, LLC, Gail managed Bank of America's International Trade Office in Fresno. She also worked as a Trade Consultant for the Fresno City College Export Center. Her extensive background in international documentation and payment processes adds to the effectiveness of Meridian's growing international sales department.

Gail Reynolds

Export Logistics Manager

"Gail will bring a level of service and expertise to Meridian Growers that will be immediately noticeable to our clients", states Jim Zion, Managing Director. "She is well known in the agricultural trade arena as an expert in documentation and payment negotiations." Prior to joining Meridian Growers, LLC, Gail managed Bank of America's International Trade Office in Fresno. She also worked as a Trade Consultant for the Fresno City College Export Center. Her extensive background in international documentation and payment processes adds to the effectiveness of Meridian's growing international sales department.

Heidi Scearce

Heidi Scearce

Export Logistics

Heidi has over 20 years of experience in export and import logistics, and has been working in the Virginia office of Meridian Growers, LLC for 5 years. Before beginning at Meridian Growers, she worked as a freight broker as well as an international freight forwarder. During her free time, Heidi enjoys spending time with her family and animals on her farm.

Heidi Scearce

Export Logistics

Heidi has over 20 years of experience in export and import logistics, and has been working in the Virginia office of Meridian Growers, LLC for 5 years. Before beginning at Meridian Growers, she worked as a freight broker as well as an international freight forwarder. During her free time, Heidi enjoys spending time with her family and animals on her farm.

Cindy Martinusen

Cindy Martinusen

Domestic Logistics Manager

Cindy has over 20 years’ experience in the nut industry, including being a plant manager on the west side for 5 years prior to coming to Meridian Growers. She has been an integral part of the Meridian Growers team since 2004 and has helped expand our domestic services.

Cindy Martinusen

Domestic Logistics Manager

Cindy has over 20 years’ experience in the nut industry, including being a plant manager on the west side for 5 years prior to coming to Meridian Growers. She has been an integral part of the Meridian Growers team since 2004 and has helped expand our domestic services.

Linda Marquez

Linda Marquez

Domestic Assistant

Linda began working for Meridian Growers in 2008 as our receptionist and was promoted to the Domestic Logistics department in 2011. She is a certified notary and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and close friends. Linda’s cheerful nature creates an uplifting atmosphere at Meridian Growers.

Linda Marquez

Domestic Assistant

Linda began working for Meridian Growers in 2008 as our receptionist and was promoted to the Domestic Logistics department in 2011. She is a certified notary and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and close friends. Linda’s cheerful nature creates an uplifting atmosphere at Meridian Growers.

Mark Dutra

Mark Dutra

Chief Operations Officer

Mark has over 20 years of business management experience in the cotton industry. His areas of expertise include business development, finance, logistics, operations, domestic and global marketing. He has served on numerous industry and community boards both locally and nationally. Mark graduated from California State University Fresno with a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Agribusiness. He joined Meridian Growers in January of 2010 as Chief Operations Officer.

Mark Dutra

Chief Operations Officer

Mark has over 20 years of business management experience in the cotton industry. His areas of expertise include business development, finance, logistics, operations, domestic and global marketing. He has served on numerous industry and community boards both locally and nationally. Mark graduated from California State University Fresno with a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Agribusiness. He joined Meridian Growers in January of 2010 as Chief Operations Officer.

Kathy Flores

Kathy Flores

Financial Accountant

Kathy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1998 with a degree in Business-Finance. She has over 12 years’ experience in accounting and began with Meridian Growers in 2007. Kathy’s attention to detail and delightful demeanor creates a measurable difference to our Meridian team.

Kathy Flores

Financial Accountant

Kathy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1998 with a degree in Business-Finance. She has over 12 years’ experience in accounting and began with Meridian Growers in 2007. Kathy’s attention to detail and delightful demeanor creates a measurable difference to our Meridian team.

Lori Poulson

Lori Poulson

Cost & Grower Accountant

Lori graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from BYU and brings 15 years of experience in agriculture accounting. She joined Meridian Growers in August of 2006 and is a vital part of our day to day operations.

Lori Poulson

Cost & Grower Accountant

Lori graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from BYU and brings 15 years of experience in agriculture accounting. She joined Meridian Growers in August of 2006 and is a vital part of our day to day operations.

Mary Raynoha

Mary Raynoha

Credit and Collections

Mary brings over 25 years of experience in accounts receivable and collections. She joined Meridian Growers in 2006. Mary’s diligence to credit management and accounts receivable enhances our continued growth.

Mary Raynoha

Credit and Collections

Mary brings over 25 years of experience in accounts receivable and collections. She joined Meridian Growers in 2006. Mary’s diligence to credit management and accounts receivable enhances our continued growth.

Comet

Comet

Chief Morale Booster

In October 2013, Jim and his family adopted Comet from a Golden Retriever Rescue. Comet has quickly become a part of the Meridian Growers family. Each day he makes it his goal to have each person in the office give him some love, pets, and a doggie snack. He greets all of our visitors with a warm welcome. His Golden Retriever smile brings joy to our office. In Comets free time he likes to nap, eat, chew on toys, chase balls, and play with Jim and Gloria’s grandson, Harlan.

Comet

Chief Morale Booster

In October 2013, Jim and his family adopted Comet from a Golden Retriever Rescue. Comet has quickly become a part of the Meridian Growers family. Each day he makes it his goal to have each person in the office give him some love, pets, and a doggie snack. He greets all of our visitors with a warm welcome. His Golden Retriever smile brings joy to our office. In Comets free time he likes to nap, eat, chew on toys, chase balls, and play with Jim and Gloria’s grandson, Harlan.

^