Led by experts with more than 90 combined years of experience in the produce industry.
RipeLocker, an AgTech company, is a leader in extending the post-harvest life of perishables. Our patented, dynamic, low-atmosphere containers are used for storing and shipping fresh produce and flowers, and extend the post-harvest life by weeks, often months. The RipeLocker containers are pallet-sized, made from recyclable materials and are reusable. They are leased to customers and the realized returns far exceed the cost of the lease. Purchase options are available with a lower user fee.
Grower/packers, shippers, retailers, consumers and the environment all benefit when RipeLocker containers are used. RipeLocker, founded in 2016 and based in Seattle, WA, is a science-based and data-driven company. It has been testing the efficacy of its RipeLocker containers for several years with many of the largest growers in the world.
George started RipeLocker shortly after selling Pace International, a company he owned for 12 years. During his tenure at Pace, the company rose from a minor player to the world leader in post-harvest treatment of pome, citrus and stone fruit. George has held Board positions with numerous companies and foundations, including NeoVision, B-Line LLC, Agrofresh and the Washington State Investment Board. He has also served as a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington School of Business, and is a member of Washington State Bar Association (inactive). He lives with his wife, Nancy, on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and enjoys cycling, skiing and fly fishing in his spare time. George’s favorite fruit? Berries.
Damon has more than 25 years of experience working in operations, business development and sales roles in the produce industry. Prior to joining RipeLocker, he was director of sales and field service at Pace International for nine years. Before that, he was operations manager at Grimmway Enterprises for ten years where he managed citrus operations and was responsible for profit and loss, training and inventory control. His career in produce started with an operations manager role at Dole Fresh Fruit Corporation for six years where he was responsible for all operations including refrigeration, purchasing, logistics and facilities maintenance. He lives with his wife, Motoko, on Bainbridge Island and enjoys hiking, mountain biking and fishing. His favorite fruit is blueberries.
Ricardo has dedicated his entire career to the fruit industry. He began work as a field advisor for Chiquita Chile, working with apple, pear and kiwi growers. This work led him to graduate studies in horticulture and agribusiness at Washington State University. Upon graduation, he went to work for Pace International, where he led the growth of the newly created preharvest division. More recently, Ricardo served as director of the Maule region for CEAP, helping to bring innovative, technology-based products to the Chilean produce industry. He lives with his wife, Carolina, and children Bruno, Martin and Laura, in Wenatchee, Washington, where they play tennis several times a week. Ricardo’s favorite fruit? Cosmic Crisp Apples.
Richard Kim, PhD
Richard holds a B.S. in Plant Pathology and Entomology, an M.S. in Plant Physiology, and a PhD in Plant Pathology. He has led research into postharvest fungal disease at Washington State University and for Pace International for more than 18 years. Most recently, his research contributed to the reopening of the Chinese market to Washington apples. Richard is a longtime member of the Postharvest Pathology Committee of the American Phytopathological Society and the International Society for Horticultural Science. He lives with his wife, Jae, daughter Cassie, and son John in Yakima, Washington. For recreation, Richard teaches golf and skiing. His favorite fruit? Rainier cherries.
Nobuko is trained in both applied and basic postharvest research. Her applied research includes fruit/vegetable quality measurement, sensory analysis, fermentation and shelf-life extension using CA, MAP, 1-MCP. Her basic research includes plant molecular biology and biochemistry, specializing in fruit aroma biology. She is interested in flavors and enjoys fruit scent during ripening, thanks to her very sensitive nose. Prior to joining RipeLocker, she was postharvest physiology manager, technical sales manager, and agricultural specialist working for industries and a government. Nobuko earned her Ph.D., M.S. in Horticulture (Postharvest) from Michigan State University and B.A. in Law from Chuo University, Tokyo. Her favorite fruits are stone fruits, Rainier/Bing cherries and peaches/nectarines.
Kyle started his career at Boeing, designing composite structures for the 787 Dreamliner, before becoming the lead structural engineer at an all-electric aircraft company. He then worked for Apple, where he focused on improvements to iPads and other devices. In 2016, Kyle joined his father, George, at RipeLocker, where he was responsible for all engineering aspects of the company. He’s devoted his career to reducing the environmental impact of product lifecycles, which led to a net zero-waste manufacturing process for RipeLocker. He lives with his wife, Kristen, and daughter Sabine, on Bainbridge Island, Washington. When not working, Kyle enjoys kite boarding and all forms of cycling. His favorite fruit? Sumo citrus.
Andy has more than 25 years of software engineering experience and leads engineering and product development at RipeLocker. Prior to joining RipeLocker, he held software engineering roles at several companies including Orion Scientific, SAIC, SRA International and KoolSpan. He has B.S. in Business from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from The George Washington University. He is also trained commercial pilot. Andy lives with his wife and two daughters on Bainbridge Island and enjoys long-distance backpacking and kayaking. His favorite fruit is an avocado.
After earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University, Eric spent the next three years in their Astrophysics Department, where he led the mechanical design of several doppler spectrographs designed to search for earth-like planets around nearby stars. His work was instrumental in securing a $10M NASA/NSF grant to develop and build the most thermally stable spectrograph on earth. At RipeLocker, he is responsible for the design and manufacture of the control system for the RipeLocker container, as well as managing the build of the physical vacuum chamber and associated components. In his free time, Eric enjoys sailing, woodworking, and spending time in nature with his dog, Kya. His favorite fruit is watermelon.
Alex earned a B.S. in Physics from Western Washington University and has helped RipeLocker with everything from building vacuum control systems and engineering tasks to data science, logistics and deploying the RipeLocker container in the field. He was initially drawn to RipeLocker because of its enormous potential to help the environment. Alex currently lives in Kingston, WA with his wife McKenzie and infant daughter Shea. For fun they like to backpack, trail run, snowboard and road bike. His favorite fruit is a Champagne mango.