ORANGE COUNTY, CA – It is with deep regret that Zespri announces the passing of Jason Donaldson, Operations Manager for the Americas, on March 22, 2019. He unexpectedly passed away, at the age of 46, while on a business trip overseas.
“We are devastated by the unexpected passing of a great colleague and friend,” said Ben Hughes, General Manager, Americas. “Jason brought a contagious energy and enthusiasm to work each day and was liked and admired by everyone that worked with him. Most importantly, Jason was a devoted husband and very proud father who was very involved in his kids’ lives.”
Donaldson had a very successful career in the food industry. He was recruited to be the Operations Manager for Zespri Americas where he formed a talented team and made a step change in the capability of Zespri Operations function in the region. Prior to joining Zespri, Donaldson spent over 20 years in operations management in a variety of food and beverage categories ranging from carbonated beverages to sushi as well as earning his MBA.
He is survived by his wife, Melinda, and their three children, Jake (13), Jenna (11), and Hank (7). Donations to help the family with unforeseen burdens can be made at the GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/71w3q9s
Zespri International exports premium kiwifruit to 59 countries and is recognized as one of the world’s most successful horticulture marketing companies. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Zespri is 100 percent owned by current or past NZ kiwifruit growers, and employs around 500 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The Zespri brand is the global leader in premium quality kiwifruit. On behalf of 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold and Zespri Organic. For more information on Zespri North America, please visit www.zesprikiwi.com.