It is with heavy heart to report that Rick Antle, president and CEO of Tanimura & Antle, passed away on Saturday, April 14, following a brief battle with cancer. Antle was 61 years old.
“Rick was the driving force of much of the success at T&A and his leadership is credited with countless innovations and initiatives that have also benefited the entire produce industry. He generously gave his time, talent and resources to improve the company, community and more broadly, the produce industry he loved,” said Matt McInerney, senior executive vice president of Western Growers. “The lesson that can be learned from Rick is to always be looking at the continuous improvement and never be afraid to fail. Rick was never a person who was satisfied with the status quo and was willing to take risks that looked at new technologies and improvements with business processes. We have lost a true leader and he will be sorely missed.”
According to his obituary, Rick was born on December 15, 1956, in Salinas, California to Robert (Bob) and Sue Antle. Through hard work, perseverance, and leadership, Rick became the epitome of a true industry icon. He followed in the Antle family tradition of leadership and innovation, and helped propel the produce industry forward for decades. He was a fearless captain, a true visionary, a selfless leader and a revolutionary risk-taker. In 1982, Rick and his father formed Tanimura & Antle with the Tanimura family. Together, it became a perfect partnership of the Antles’ strong packing and shipping expertise with the Tanimuras’ farming expertise. Rick served as president and principal of Tanimura & Antle since its inception in 1982 and CEO since 2003.
Rick is survived by his beloved wife, Tonya Antle, his mom, Sue Antle, his sons, Brian Antle, Jeff Antle, Anthony Pavich, daughter, Natalie Drobny, and grandchildren, Cameron and Spencer Antle. He is also survived by his siblings and many nieces and nephews.