Global public refrigerated warehousing giantVersacold,  Vancouver, B.C., said it earned awards for outstanding supplier service fromUnilever United States, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,The Dannon Company, White Plains, N.Y., andDanone Inc. (Canada).

In other news, Versacold said it hired industry veteranRick Loesel as senior vice president of business development.

Unilever award: Unilever recognized VersaCold operations in Sikeston, Mo., with the "2009 Temperature Controlled Quality and Excellence Distribution Center of the Year" award. Karl Smith, Unilever's manager of temperature controlled and multi-vendor distribution centers, said the award is based on “KPI performance, cost containment and overall commitment to great customer service to Unilever and our customers."

VersaCold CEO Brent Sugden received the award on behalf of VersaCold.

“This is a very meaningful recognition and I congratulate the Sikeston team for the service they provide at such a high level of performance, being able to do it consistently, and cultivating strong relationships with Unilever," said Sugden.

Versacold officials acknowledged the late Larry Jones, former Sikeston General Manager, who opened and managed the facility for 12 years. Jones passed away in June 2009 after a total of 33 years with the company.

Dannon award: The Dannon Company, Inc. and Danone, Inc. (Canada) hosted several business partners at a third annual Dannon/Danone Supplier of the Year Awards luncheon. There, they announced that the VersaCold operations in Ft Worth, Texas, and Anaheim, Calif., earned the 2010 Supplier of the Year Award for “Best in Quality.”  Marc Evans, general manager in Ft Worth; and Art Boehme, general manager in Anaheim, accepted the award. 

“It is a great testament to our dedicated employees and the ‘Best in Class’ performances of both VersaCold’s facilities in Ft Worth and Anaheim,” noted Randy Benish, vice president of operations, Southwest Region.  
Suppliers were assessed on a number of criteria including improvements in environmental sustainability, quality and safety, improvements in cost, accelerating ‘time to market’ of new or renovated products, boosts to innovation, protection of competitive advantage, and the demonstration of shared values in the relationship with Dannon and Danone.

Rick Loesel: Versacold said new hire Rick Loesel "brings extensive executive experience and proven leadership, particularly in business development, with over 20 years of senior management experience in the PRW and trucking industries." Loesel previously was president of Frozen Assets Cold Storage, LLC and president of P&O Cold Logistics, USA. He also has served as vice president of sales and marketing-business development  at CS Integrated and has held senior posts at  Heitz Trucking and  Americold. 

Said Sugden, "We are pleased to welcome Rick and look forward to supporting his efforts in the years to come."

VersaCold is a leading provider of temperature controlled warehousing and logistics services with 123 facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Officials say Versacold operations provide global refrigerated storage capacity of approximately 586 million cubic feet to a diverse group of food producers, processors, and wholesale and retail distributors. VersaCold also provides fully integrated refrigerated distribution services.