Meet our team
PresidentGrowing up farming in North Dakota and then working on the produce Docks in Minneapolis helped prepare Bill for a career in the Produce Industry. Then, after graduating from St. John’s University, Bill taught high school mathematics for two years. Starting with C H Robinson in 1971, and then working with A. Duda and Sons in 1976, Bill had a further opportunity to learn from the best. In 1980 he formed a partnership in Los Angeles with Larry Nienkerk and J B Cutsinger inSan Francisico named Tavilla Sales Co. of L A.
Originally the company operated as a broker of off season vegetables, but migrated towards a Sales Agency model by 2000. Applying Midwest values of respect, hard work and a drive towards excellence, Bill was able to attract and keep talented individuals. The company expanded from one office to branches in Phoenix and Nogales, and by 2012 partnerships in New Jersey and Texas with nearly 75 total employees.
Bill served as a Director of the Fresh Produce and Floral Council, is a past President of the U S Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as a Boardmember of the National Mango Board.
Bill has traveled extensively, and is fond and knowledgeable of many Agricultural areas in Mexico. Bill is a snow and water skier and plays tennis and golf. Bill is married and he and his wife have four girls in their 20s. Bill can be found often working on his 50 acre avocado and citrus grove on the weekend in Southwest Riverside County.
Tropical DepartmentDan Lawton is the Sales manager at Vision Produce Company. After joining the company in 1999, he has also been managing the tropical fruit/citrus department for the past seven years.
Dan graduated from Cal State University of Long Beach in 1993 with a B.S. in Marketing. He began his produce career with Dole Fresh Fruit Company in 1994 working as District Manager prior to leaving in 1999. Married to Karen, living near the Coast in Orange County, Dan surfs, hosts poker parties and develops his skill as a gourmet cook.
Latin DepartmentNancy Betancourt joined Vision in 2007 and currently manages the Latin department.
Nancy graduated from Cal State University of Los Angeles with a B.S. in Psychology. She began working in the produce industry with a few privately owned Los Angeles-based produce companies and was with Del Monte Fresh for approximately 16 years. Prior to working at Vision, Nancy managed a sales team selling Hawaiian pineapple for Maui Pineapple Company. With over 25 years of combined experience in produce sales, she has also been involved in the Fresh Produce and Floral Council committees for several years.
Nancy has been married to her husband, Peter, for 30 years and they have 2 grown sons. She enjoys running, reading, dining out and enjoying tropical vacations.
Vegetables DepartmentRobert Stauffer joined Vision in 1987. After working in the warehouse and as sales support, he moved into a Sales Position, and ultimately became Manager of the Vegetable department in 1998 .
Robert graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1985 with a degree in Agricultural Business Management. He resides in the San Gabriel Valley. Robert is an avid sno-boarder, and a big fan of live music.
Senior V.P. of Sales and MarketingDonald Souther is Vice President of Marketing and Sales Development. He joined the company in 2013 and oversees marketing and sales for The Vision Companies. Donald graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Social Work. He began his career in the horticulture business and then transitioned into produce with North Shore Greenhouses in 2007.
Phoenix ManagerJohn Caldwell is the Phoenix/Nogales Branch Manager at Vision Produce Company. After Caldwell Enterprises, Inc. was bought by the company in 2003, he has managed the Phoenix sales department since.
John graduated from Mount Union College in 1990 with a B.A. in Political Science and History. He began his produce career by joining his father’s brokerage firm in 1993 in sales. John resides in Glendale, AZ with his wife Wendy, daughter, Emma, and son, Sutton. John enjoys golf, soccer and dreams of attending the FIFA World Cup with his family.
V.P. of Operations, PhoenixAllan Acosta was born in Guatemala and he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Sciences from EARTH University, in Costa Rica, in December of 1999. He also graduated from the Executive MBA in Global Management Program from Thunderbird School of Global Management, in Glendale, AZ, in May of 2014. He worked for a melon growing operation and the USDA, both in Guatemala. Between March, 2006 and April, 2014, Allan worked for one of the largest US fresh cut produce companies out of California, where he managed the overall supply chain strategy for the fruit division. Allan is a strategic operations management executive with over fourteen years of progressive experience in agricultural operations, produce import and distribution, and strategic sourcing and procurement throughout North, Central and South America. Throughout the years, he has acquired a natural ability to relate customer expectations to farming and post-harvest practices. Allan�s strong technical background, combined with his business acumen, result in effective operations management and financial performance. He is highly familiar with food safety, quality assurance, social responsibility, grower relations, contract negotiations, inventory management and logistics. Allan�s languages include English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Los AngelesLeft to Right(last): Ahsan, Robert, Bill & Dan;
Left to Right(middle): Felix, Amy & Nancy;
Left to Right(front): Jesse, Karin, & Donald;
PhoenixLeft to Right: Sam, Allan, Jaime & John.
Left to Right: Bart, Jenny, Marsela.