Michael Boggiatto is the president of the company. Prior to that, he worked in his family’s businesses, Boggiatto Packing Co. and Mr. Artichoke from 1975 until 1992. He graduated in 1972 from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management.
He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a former president of the Rotary Club of Castroville. Michael is a director of the Palma School board, as well as a former member of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Governors.
The Salinas Valley agricultural roots of the Boggiatto family extend back to the 1920s, when Michael’s grandfather, Antonio ‘Tony’ Boggiatto, harvested his first crops near Castroville. While the family’s name was long associated with artichokes, today it’s setting the standard for the valley’s finest hearts of romaine and unique Iceberg Babies®, both packed under the company’s premium Garden Hearts® label.
Jeffry Hitchcock played an integral role in establishing Boggiatto Produce, Inc. in 1989. He has been an officer, shareholder and member of the management team since the company’s inception. As vice president, his responsibilities include planning production and overseeing the harvest of the company’s full line of vegetables.
Prior to joining the company, Jeff managed the broccoli harvest at Associated Produce Distributors in Castroville for 12 years. He was born and raised in Salinas, attended local schools, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo majoring in crop science. He is a fourth-generation member of one of the Salinas Valley’s pioneer farming families; the Hitchcocks have been prominent farmers in the Salinas area since the 1880s.
Ron & Ed Panziera
Growers and Directors
Brothers Ron and Ed Panziera, also original shareholders and company directors, grow a large portion of the fresh produce sold by the company. They farm more than 1200 acres in the Soledad area of the Salinas Valley – land that has been owned by their family since the early 1930s when their grandfather emigrated from Italy.
Ron attended Hartnell College (Salinas) and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He is currently active in the American Legion.
Ed attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo majoring in crop science. He still enjoys farming and working to help the next generation keep the family farm going.
Frank has been involved in the produce industry since 1981, when he first worked as general manager for a local grower-shipper. Later, he purchased the company and was its president for thirteen years.
His background prior to the produce industry was that of bank branch manager and loan administrator. Frank has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Karen joined the Boggiatto team as business manager in 2016. She began her career in the produce industry in 1996, working in sales for a local grower-shipper for over ten years. Prior to joining the company, she worked in sales and acted as business manager for a local produce distribution company.
Karen was born and raised in Salinas. She graduated from North Salinas High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management from California State University Fresno.
Pat came to Boggiatto Produce in 2016. Prior to joining the company, he spent twelve years as business manager of a produce distribution company in Santa Cruz, CA. His previous experience includes management positions in several industries and a twenty year career in bank management.
Pat received his bachelors degree in Economics from San Diego State University and his masters in Tax Account from San Jose State University. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Pat spent many years as a high school and college sports official and has served on numerous civic, industry and government organizations.
Kraig Kuska joined Boggiatto Produce in 1992 as sales manager. He began his produce career in 1978 at Maggio, Inc. in Salinas and came to Boggiatto from American Farms, Salinas. His industry expertise and knowledge of the Salinas Valley make him a valued team leader. A native of Salinas, Kraig graduated from Salinas High School and California State University, Chico. He loves horses and is an avid fisherman and hunter.
Donald Day joined the Boggiatto Produce sales team in 1997. He began his produce career in 1959 at Salinas Marketing Co-op in Salinas and has worked at a number of the region’s leading produce companies. His extensive experience and ability to adapt to the many changes in the industry bring great value to the team. Don is a graduate of Salinas High School and holds a degree in business administration from San Jose State University. He enjoys spending time with his family and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. He is an avid golfer and a long-time member and past vice president of Salinas Golf and Country Club.
Jose Luis Garcia-Canedo
Food Safety Coordinator
Jose Luis Garcia-Canedo joined the company in early 2006 to lead the company’s in-house food safety program. Prior to joining Boggiatto Produce, he was lead auditor for Primus Labs. He was responsible for supervising and conducting third-party audits to evaluate food safety practices among growers, harvesting operations, and processing/cooling facilities. Jose Luis also monitored Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs as well as cleaning and sanitizing practices. A graduate of Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa (Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico), Jose Luis holds a master’s degree in food science and technology.
Field Operations Manager
Edgar Barrera joined Boggiatto Produce in 2001 as our field operations manager, responsible for all romaine and lettuce harvesting. Previously, he worked in field operations for eleven years with two prominent grower-shippers in the Salinas Valley. Edgar holds a degree in Quimicofarmacobiología from Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo.
CEC, AAC, Consulting Chef
Beat Giger, corporate chef and director of special events for the world-famous Pebble Beach Resorts, added consulting chef for Boggiatto Produce to his list of titles in 2003. His responsibilities include restaurant and hotel industry outreach, culinary trend identification, and recipe development. Trained in his native Switzerland, Chef Beat holds both the Certified Executive Chef (CEC) title and American Academy of Chefs (AAC) accreditation from the American Culinary Federation.
Executive Chef, Consulting Chef
William Bennett has been consulting with Boggiatto Produce since 2012. He is currently the Executive Chef for Corral de Tierra Country Club, a 400 member, private golf club in the Salinas-Monterey area of California. His kitchen experience in restaurants stretches from California to Massachusetts to Paris, France.