The latest news from NWFPA members and events concerning the food processing industry in the Northwest.

Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal 'raises roof'


“Everyone talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it.”
-Mark Twain

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Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal ‘raises roof’ at retirement facility in La Conner, WA
Roofing company’s new WA office also reaches one-year anniversary

TUALATIN, OR – (Oct. 7, 2014) – Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal (CR&SM), a leading Oregon commercial roofing company, recently completed a new roof project at the La Conner Retirement Inn, a local senior living community with assisted and independent living. The facility is located at 204 North First St. in La Conner, WA.

Columbia Roofing’s Superintendent Peter Perin noted that the new TPO roofing membrane system for flat roofs is a complete replacement project of the town’s tallest building. CR&SM President Mark Carpenter said his company works in four states supporting the long term care industry.

“Let’s face it roofing is not the most exciting event at a senior care facility, so we offer association support, charity events, and even car shows to help the end of life experience to be the best,” Carpenter noted. “We engage the management staff as well as the residents as the project unfolds for their input and for their involvement. For the residents it is something new and they seem to enjoy watching the activity.”

According to a La Conner Retirement Inn press release, construction on the roof began on August 4th. It announced: “Executive Director Amanda McDade is making efforts to improve the local La Conner community along with working to improve her senior living community.” The retirement property’s parent company is Radiant Senior Living. For more information, please visit or


Since 1996, Columbia Construction Services, Inc., d.b.a. Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal, has operated as a specialty contractor with 55 full-time employees. Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal focuses its services on commercial roofing, roof maintenance (Columbia Roof Advantage), sheet metal fabrication and installation, steep slope roofing, seismic upgrades and installation, and safety product installation. The company follows strict safety policies in accordance with OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Division) and it is a preferred partner with SafePro. Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal operates in the states of Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho. Please visit or call (503) 684-9123, OR; or (253) 236-7474, WA; for more information. You may also follow us at:

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NWFPA, in partnership with AKT, Recognizes Truitt Family Foods


Salem, Ore., October 3, 2014 -- In honor of MFG Day 2014, Northwest Food Processors Association has partnered with AKT CPAs, Advisors, and Consultants to award a Certificate of Recognition to Truitt Family Foods


To celebrate the recognition of this outstanding manufacturing member, AKT is making a donation to the non-profit organization Impact NW’s Pathways to Manufacturing, an incubator for high school-aged children designed to address industry workforce needs, help lower the drop-out rate, and provide clear pathways to rewarding careers in manufacturing.  AKT is a proud sponsor of MFG Day 2014, a national celebration of the manufacturing industry demonstrating the potential of modern manufacturing, and the opportunity for careers.


“AKT wants to do its part to both honor manufacturers and participate in efforts to help with the skilled labor challenges they face,” said Chad Summers, AKT Manufacturing Business Advisor.


Food processing is the second largest sector in Oregon, with one in eight jobs in the state in the food industry. And they are good jobs – stable with salaries above the state’s average. Today’s food making operations are high-tech, running 24 hours a day, and embrace innovations in food science and nutrition, representing the modern manufacturer.


NWFPA noted Truitt Family Foods’ shift from a traditional cannery to a new line of bean products in response to consumer demand. “In the last year, Peter Truitt has innovated his product line, renovated the company’s 100-year old food processing facility, invested in the community of Salem, and provided stable employment to its roughly 70 employees. “Truitt Family Foods is a shining example of how value-added food production contributes to the Oregon economy and its communities,” said David McGiverin, Interim President, NWFPA.


“We think it’s our responsibility to create year-round opportunities for employment in the food making sector. We are honored to be selected by the NWFPA. It’s a real tribute to our operations team,” said Peter Truitt.


NWFPA and AKT Manufacturing  are actively involved in the manufacturing sector.  Together these organizations strive to provide resources, education, advocacy, and assistance to help manufacturers take on the challenges and opportunities they face.




NWFPA President Resigns




Names David McGiverin as Interim President


[Portland, Ore., August 26, 2014]Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), the trade group which represents the interests of processors in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, announced that David Zepponi has resigned as its President.

Throughout his tenure as President of the NWFPA, Zepponi has served as a peerless advocate, innovator and resource for the food processing industry of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. We thank him for his service and wish him the very best as he moves forward to new opportunities.  

David McGiverin has been named as Interim President of NWFPA. McGiverin has served as Issue Manager of NWFPA for the past seven years, representing members on policies regarding sustainability, environmental and workforce productivity.

 “The board of the directors congratulates David McGiverin, as NWFPA’s advocacy remains on track to foster a favorable business environment for food manufacturers in the Northwest,” said Jim Robbins, NWFPA Chair.


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The Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) represents the interests of food processors in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Members include fruit and vegetable, seafood, dairy, specialty and fresh-cut food manufacturers. Membership runs the gamut of the foremost brand names in the United States, key producers of private label and institutional products, and locally run family businesses. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the association represents nearly 500 member companies including 120 food processors with 200 production facilities throughout the Northwest region.

WSU Scholarships for Employees in Manufacturing

Washington State University received funding for $750,000 in scholarships for current employees in manufacturing at qualifying companies. Scholarships are for undergraduate and graduate certificates in the Engineering and Technology Management program. 


To learn more visit: or email Joanne Buteau at


New CEO at Oregon Fruit Products

New CEO at Oregon Fruit Products

The Oregon Fruit Products team appointed Chris Sarles as the new CEO.
July 9, 2014

Salem, Ore./Press Release -- The Oregon Fruit Products team appointed Chris Sarles as the new CEO. Sarles brings extensive experience in business management and team leadership.

Sarles was raised in Portland, Ore., and graduated from Oregon State University in 1987 with an International Business degree focused on marketing and economics. He has worked in the beverage distribution industry in varying roles including ownership of Alehouse Distributing and later leadership in both Washington and Oregon for Columbia Distributing, as well as Young’s Market Company.

His ability to impact business lies in the areas of innovative team leadership and sales development. While with Columbia Distributing, he helped to integrate multiple acquisitions into the company, building a stronger organization. He looks forward to working with the Oregon Fruit Products team to continue to develop and execute a clear strategic plan that will meet the growing demand for specialty fruits in the retail, foodservice and industrial segments of the industry. He will help Oregon Fruit Products successfully launch value added specialty fruit products, as well as expand Oregon Specialty Fruit in the domestic and export grocery segment.

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