Sage Fruit Announces Key Leadership Changes

Effective January 15, 2024, Steve Clement, the CEO of Sage Fruit Company, will assume the position of PNW Tree Fruit’s new CEO. PNW Tree Fruit owns approximately 6,000 acres of tree fruit as well as Legacy Fruit Packers (a Sage packer since 1999), Chelan Fruit (a Sage packer since 2022), and Manson Fruit. In addition to his new role at PNW Tree Fruit, Steve will become the Chairman of the Board of Sage Fruit. In this capacity, he will collaborate with the new CEO of Sage Fruit and continue to guide the company’s strategic direction.

Nicole Gordy, who has been serving as Sage Fruit’s Director of Business Analytics, will be promoted to CEO of Sage Fruit Company effective January 15.

“I am extremely excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the CEO of Sage Fruit. Steve Clement’s leadership and mentorship have prepared me for this role, and I look forward to working with him in his capacity as Chairman of the Sage Fruit Board. I am confident that this change strengthens Sage’s position in our industry by further aligning sales with our warehouses and growers. I look forward to collaborating closely with our outstanding team to advance our growth and continue fulfilling our mission to create value for our customers, growers, and employees,” says Nicole.

The Sage Fruit Board of Directors fully supports this transition and views it as a critical step in enhancing Sage Fruit’s operational and competitive edge, fostering greater alignment between Sales, warehouses, and orchards. Mike Smith, an owner of Olympic Fruit and a member of the Sage Fruit Board of Directors since its inception in 1999, stated, “Steve has dedicated many years to Sage and is well-deserving of this opportunity. We are eager to see him contribute to the organization from the growing and packing perspective while maintaining his strategic involvement with Sage as a Board member. Nicole has been groomed for this role for over a decade, and we have utmost confidence in her ability to lead the company and provide exceptional service to our customers, alongside generating substantial returns for our growers.”

Steve has led Sage Fruit for the past 18 years. “I am immensely proud of what we have built at Sage Fruit Company. The Sales and Warehouse teams associated with Sage operate in close synergy. We have developed systems and processes that ensure our box is unmatched in the industry for consistent quality. Our teams work closely together and deeply care about each other, our growers, and our customers,” says Steve Clement. “I am confident that this will continue under Nicole’s leadership. She is committed to maintaining the values and mission of the organization, which is to create value for Customers, Growers, and  Employees. I look forward to collaborating with Nicole to drive Sage’s strategic goals as we collectively work to align the organization further with growers, from packing to sales, to enhance grower profits and support our customers in expanding their market share and sales.”

Regarding his new role at PNW Tree Fruit, Mr. Clement commented, “PNW Tree Fruit has assembled an impressive array of assets, including state-of-the-art packing facilities and the most modern orchard systems available today. I am really excited to join this exceptional team as we strive for excellence in growing, packing, and delivering fruit.”

“After a comprehensive, nationwide search, we are thrilled to welcome Steve Clement as our new CEO,” says Martin Vogel, Director of PNW Tree Fruit. “Steve brings a wealth of executive expertise that will drive innovation and significant results for our customers, growers, and employees. Having resided in Central Washington for two decades, Steve has deep roots in the industry and a profound understanding of what it takes to succeed in the PNW.”