WARDEN, WASHINGTON, U.S. — Pacific Coast Canola announced on Feb. 1 the appointment of two members of its senior management team. 

R. Bruce McTavish has been named vice-president of sales and marketing and Stephen L. Starr has joined the company as vice-president of seed procurement. McTavish joined the company on Feb. 1, and Starr assumed his duties with the company at the end of 2011.

“Steve and Bruce are both tremendously talented and experienced professionals who understand the canola industry and its market,” said Kevin Raymond, Pacific Coast Canola vice-president and general manager. “Steve will focus on working with elevators and growers, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, to obtain canola seed for our plant in the quantities we need and at competitive prices. Bruce, in turn, will oversee the sale and marketing of our products — canola oil and meal — to buyers in North America and beyond. We’re delighted to welcome them to the company.”

Joel Horn, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Coast Canola and of parent company Legumex Walker, said the hiring of McTavish and Starr represent two important milestones for the company.

“Bruce and Steve really extend the PCC corporate presence ‘outside the fence’ and are very important additions to our team,” said Horn.  “They’re going to be reaching out to our friends and neighbors in the Pacific Northwest and further abroad to source our seed and sell our products.  We think that they’ll find the same warm welcome we’ve consistently received in Warden and throughout the region.”

Horn noted the Pacific Coast Canola construction project remains on time and budget.  The company expects to complete foundation work and commence above-ground construction this month.

“Pacific Coast Canola is the right facility in the right place at the right time,” said McTavish.  “We’re building the first commercial-scale crusher west of the Rockies at a time when both canola oil and meal consumption is growing strongly. I’m delighted to be joining a skilled and accomplished team and I’m looking forward to contributing to its success.”

McTavish previously was employed by Viterra Canola Processing where he served as director of sales and marketing and also has held sales and marketing positions at BASF Canada, Wyeth-Cyanamid Crop Protection, American Cyanamid and Pickseed Canada. He has diplomas in agriculture from the University of Manitoba and in business administration (marketing) from Red River Community College.

“This is an exciting project and I’m pleased to be a part of it,” said Starr. “Our ability to source canola is a critical part of our business plan and we’re hoping to do as much of it as possible right here in the Pacific Northwest. As I’ve begun meeting with growers and elevator operators I’ve seen strong interest in adding canola to crop rotations. We plan to build on that interest to substantially increase canola production in the region.”

Prior to joining Pacific Coast Canola, Starr was general manager of Inland Empire Oilseeds, a canola crushing and biodiesel refining facility located in Odessa, Washington, U.S.  He also has held operations and managerial positions with Great Western Malting Company and Froedtert Malt Corporation. Starr has a bachelor’s of science degree in horticulture from Washington State University.