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Our Team

Jeff Seeley

Jeffrey Seeley

Executive Chairman of the Board & CEO

“Graceland Fruit employees demonstrate a level of talent and passion for doing the right thing for our customers and each other that is truly amazing. We provide an environment where people can excel in their career while being part of the community.”

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Jeff leads Graceland Fruit as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He joined Graceland Fruit in March 2019 as Executive Chairman of the Board, following a year-long consulting engagement with the Board of Directors. In July of 2019, he took on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer.

Before joining Graceland Fruit, Jeff founded and serves as CEO of Carew International, Inc., a globally recognized sales development and organizational design consulting company. He held executive leadership positions with Hillenbrand Industries, where he led the company’s expansion into global markets, was the executive in charge of three Hillenbrand start-ups, and led implementation of LEAN manufacturing across the organization. He began his career with EY as a corporate strategy and growth consultant.

Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Marketing from Central Michigan University, where he and Carew International later helped establish the nationally recognized CMU Professional Sales Institute. He received his MBA in Marketing and Strategy at the University of Michigan and is a Certified Public Accountant. A life-long learner, Jeff has completed professional development programs at Michigan, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and other top-tier universities.

Outside of work, Jeff has great passion for understanding wine and for cycling. He competes in Master’s Level Cycling events and serves as the General Manager of one of the top Master’s Cycling teams in the Midwest.

Jeff Seeley

Dan Engler

Chief Operating Officer

“Our people make Graceland Fruit exceptional. They are dedicated, reliable, personable, smart, and the best at what they do.”

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Dan leads manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, research and development, and planning for the company. He joined Graceland Fruit in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to his role at Graceland Fruit, Dan held executive positions in engineering, sales, operations, and supply chain for Mark IV Industries, Dayco Products, and Fluid Routing Solutions/Sun Capital. A native of Missouri, Dan moved to Michigan in 1987, first to Detroit with Dayco Products and then to the Frankfort area in 2018. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics from Missouri School of Science and Technology. He is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Institute of Supply Management, Original Equipment Manufacturing Association, and inductee into the University of Missouri Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He also serves on the school board for St. Joseph School in Lake Orion, MI.

When he’s not working, Dan enjoys woodworking, home renovation, golf, hiking, camping, travel, and spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their three adult children.

Jeff Seeley

Joe Winowiecki

Chief Financial Officer

A recent addition to the Graceland Fruit team – Joe’s full bio is coming soon!

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Joe’s bio is coming soon!

Jeff Seeley

Jonathan Ball

Vice President of Corporate Development

“Graceland Fruit is one of the largest employers in the area and has created a lot of job opportunities for our community members. I enjoy being part of a company that is so community-minded.”

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Jon supports the Company’s corporate development activities, including mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and other strategic investments. He also serves on the Graceland Fruit Board of Directors and chairs the Finance Committee. Jon joined Graceland Fruit in 2018 and previously served as CFO for the Company.

Prior to joining Graceland Fruit, Jon founded Spherical Consulting, LLC and served as consultant and CFO for several mid-sized, privately held companies, including Tecumseh Products, Busche Performance Group, AxleTech International, Key Plastics, and JAC Products. He was also CFO at Jervis B. Webb Co. and Managing Director in the consulting practices at Deloitte and Conway MacKenzie. He started his career in the audit practice at Deloitte. Jon earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP), licensed real estate broker, and member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Michigan Association of CPAs. He currently serves on the Finance Committee of Brother Rice High School and Crystal Downs Country Club, and as Treasurer for the Benzie Aquatic Center. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Brother Rice and Jervis B. Webb Co.

A native of the Detroit area, Jon moved to northern Michigan in 2012. An avid University of Michigan football fan, he has been a season ticket holder for 43 years! He and his wife, Kathy, enjoy playing golf, being outdoors, and spending time with their two sons and two grandchildren.

Jeff Seeley

Doug Rath

Vice President of Human Resources

“We’re a family of over 200 colleagues all striving to be the best at what we do. Our products are sold and shipped all over the world.”

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Doug leads all facets of human resources and talent management for Graceland Fruit. His career at Graceland Fruit began in 2009 when he joined the company as Human Resources Manager. He was promoted to Director in 2014 and named Vice President of Human Resources in 2018.

Doug’s previous experience includes human resources, industrial relations, career advisement, and accounting roles with Michigan Works!, Eaton/Aeroquip, and National Mutual Funds Management. He is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a BA in Personnel Administration. Doug is a member of the Traverse Area Human Resources Association (TAHRA) and serves on the board of Networks Northwest and the Michigan Food Processor and Distribution Fund.

After career stops in Jackson, Michigan, and Melbourne, Australia, Doug is happy that the opportunities at Graceland Fruit allowed him to return to his hometown of Frankfort, Michigan. When he’s not working, Doug enjoys boating, being outdoors, working around the house, and spending time with his daughter Amelia.

Jeff Seeley

Jerry Mercier

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

“The phenomenal people at Graceland Fruit make it a great place to work. Their innovative spirit and commitment to the customer is demonstrated every day!”

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Jerry leads the sales and marketing teams to achieve new levels of customer delight through exceptional product and service performance. He joined Graceland Fruit in 2020 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

A career sales professional, Jerry joined Graceland Fruit from Pratts Food Service, where he served as Vice President for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Canada. Prior to that, he spent 34 years with Gordon Food Service, rising from District Sales Manager in Northern Michigan to Regional Sales Manager in Indiana to Director of Sales in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

A native of Cheboygan, Michigan, Jerry studied business at Northern Central Michigan College and is a member of Chaine des Rotisseurs, a worldwide gastronomic society founded in Paris. A self-described “sports geek,” he loves college football (especially the University of Michigan!), Formula 1 Racing, Moto Cross, or just about anything involving competition. When he’s not working or watching sports, he enjoys hiking, boating, reading, and spending time with his wife, three children, and three grandchildren.

Jeff Seeley

Jason Whitman

Senior Director of Sales

“Everyone at Graceland Fruit works together as a team. The people make Graceland Fruit a great place to work.”

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Jason is responsible for sales and customer relations across the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Greater China, Japan, and Korea. He joined Graceland Fruit in 2013 as Sales and Marketing Manager for the western half of the US and all of Asia ex-China. He was promoted to Director in 2019 and to Senior Director in 2020.

Jason joined Graceland Fruit after 17 years with Tree Top, Inc., where he held a variety of roles in engineering, graphic design, marketing, and business development. A native and current resident of Yakima, WA, Jason earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with concentration in Interior Design and Architecture from Washington State University. He held a number of interesting odd jobs during summer breaks, including surveying and working in a pawn shop and an RV store.

When he’s not working, Jason enjoys creating artwork, cooking and entertaining, architecture and interior design, travel, and listening to educational and personal/professional-development audiobooks

Jeff Seeley

John Putnam

Director of Sales

“It’s fascinating to visit the farms where we source our fruit and to watch the magic of our state-of-the-art systems create the highest quality infused dried fruit on the market. We have an amazing team all working together to provide exceptional infused dried fruits and to develop exciting new products.”

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John is responsible for bulk ingredient and private label sales in the eastern United States and international markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, India, Southeast Asia, Russia, and South Africa. He began his career at Graceland Fruit in 2014 as Sales Manager. In 2019 he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager and named Director of Sales in 2020.

Prior to Graceland Fruit, John held sales positions at Brick Packaging, Mercury Payment Systems, Brandwise, and Westword. He earned his BA in Broadcasting & Mass Communications at the State University of New York at Oswego. Originally from upstate New York, John’s career has taken him to Brooklyn, Denver, Traverse City, Chicago, and now Miami Beach, Florida.

When he is not working, John enjoys traveling, visiting museums, exploring new places, and spending time outside at parks and the beach. He recently rescued a dog he named Ella from the streets of Miami and is gratified to see the progress she has made since he began working with her.

Jeff Seeley

Haley Noonan

Director of Sales

“Graceland Fruit is a ‘small town’ company with a global presence. I really enjoy the diverse group of people I have met and the relationships I have built around the world.”

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Haley is responsible for sales in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. She joined Graceland Fruit in 2015 as International Sales Coordinator for the US, Asia, and Latin American markets. Since then, Haley has been promoted to Account Manager, Regional Manager, and, in 2020, to Director of Sales.

Prior to joining Graceland Fruit, Haley held sales and project management positions at Foresight Research and Britten Studios. A native of Rochester, Michigan, she was a collegiate athlete at Oakland University, where she played Women’s Lacrosse for four years and served as captain for three years. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management and Marketing from Oakland and served as Head Coach of the Stoney Creek High School Women’s Lacrosse team both during and after college.

When she is not working, Haley enjoys boating, fishing, and snowmobiling in the great outdoors of Northern Michigan. She also likes to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Jeff Seeley

Kerry Babion

Manager of Customer Sales & Service

“Graceland Fruit supports the community and respects every individual. The company treats me like family. I truly love my career and the opportunities for growth I’ve received here.”

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Kerry leads the customer service team and works across the organization to ensure the company delivers the highest level of timely, accurate, and friendly service, from order entry to delivery to invoice to payment. She joined Graceland Fruit in 2013 as International Sales Coordinator. Since then, she has been promoted to Senior Sales Coordinator, and in 2017, she was named Manager of Customer Sales & Service.

A native of Michigan, Kerry earned her Associates Degree from Northwood Institute and is a licensed real estate broker. She worked as a legal secretary and as a real estate closing broker for over 25 years prior to joining Graceland Fruit. She has previously served as secretary for the Fraternal Order of Eagles and is a member of the American Legion.

A foodie at heart, Kerry loves to cook when she and her husband, George, are not scooting around town on their scooters visiting friends and family.

Jeff Seeley

Brenna Nugent

Manager of Marketing & Communications

“I love the people I work with. I learn something new every day, I am challenged, and my responsibilities are diverse and wide-ranging. Plus, I get to live in beautiful Northern Michigan!”

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Brenna is responsible for developing brand and communication strategies and plans and ensuring consistent execution across all online and offline channels. She began her career at Graceland Fruit in 2016 as International Sales Coordinator. In 2018 she was promoted to Senior Sales Coordinator, and in 2019 she was promoted to Manager of Marketing & Communications.

A four-year Women’s Basketball player for Western Michigan University, Brenna graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing. She worked as Director of Basketball Operations at Kent State and Western Michigan Universities and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Youngstown State University before returning to her hometown of Frankfort and joining Graceland Fruit. She volunteers at BEST BC, a nonprofit organization that helps build educational success and training opportunities for Benzie County.

When she’s not working, Brenna enjoys hiking, running, reading, and exploring the great outdoors with her husband, Ben, their baby daughter Josie, and dogs Hunter and Olly.

Jeff Seeley

Drew Gentry

Manager of Research & Development

“R&D works directly with all departments of the company to improve business performance for our customers and for the company. Graceland Fruit employees are customer-focused, professional, friendly, and great to work with!”

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Drew leads product and process innovation for the Company. His goal is to ensure customers are always able to delight their consumers with great tasting, on-trend products enhanced by the latest and greatest exceptional ingredients from Graceland Fruit. He joined Graceland Fruit in 2016 as Process Engineer. In 2019, he was promoted to Manager of Research & Development.

A native of Alpena, Michigan, Drew graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He worked for Michelin in Process/Quality Engineering roles in South Carolina and Indiana before returning to Michigan to join Graceland Fruit. He is a member of Traverse City Young Professionals and West Side Community Church.

Outside of work, Drew enjoys staying active and being outdoors: running, mountain biking, hiking, snow skiing, camping, and fishing. He also loves to cook, discover new restaurants and breweries, and play the piano.

Jeff Seeley

Doug Rombach

Commodity Manager

“Graceland Fruit is a family-oriented company that is great to work for and to grow with.”

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Doug is responsible for the procurement of raw fruit and oversees the Graceland Fruit Cherry Cooperative and harvest. He joined Graceland Fruit in 2016 as a Production Associate; later that year he joined the Supply Chain team as a Coordinator. Since then, he has been promoted to Supply Chain Supervisor and, most recently, to Commodity Manager.

A native of Onsted, Michigan, Doug earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Michigan Technological University and his Emergency Medical Technician certification from Jackson Community College. He worked in donor service positions at both Eversight and Gift of Life Michigan prior to joining Graceland Fruit. An avid fisherman, Doug moved to Frankfort for the steelhead fishing and ended up finding a great company to work for and grow with.

When he is not working Doug enjoys spending time with his fiancé and two children in the great outdoors, fishing on Lake Michigan, participating in the annual Salmon tournament, hunting, and snowmobiling.

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