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IPC strengthens retail relations with new hire Matt Zapczynski in Northeast/Midwest

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is proud to welcome Matt Zapczynski as the new Retail Promotion Director for the Northeast and Midwest regions. Zapczynski, a seasoned produce professional, was inspired to join IPC by their strong support and dedication to retailers.

“I’ve always felt that Idaho Potato Commission is a great support system for retailers,” stated Zapczynski. He elaborated on the tangible support IPC offers, “Whether you needed a promotion put together, or one of the stores had a grand opening or a renovation to celebrate, IPC was always there to step up and do something special.”

Zapczynski, originally from Philadelphia, began his journey in the food industry quite by chance during his college days in Pennsylvania. A part-time job at a local supermarket deli, taken due to its proximity to campus, set the stage for his long-standing career in the industry. Post-college, he joined The Giant Co., where he dedicated 14 years managing various operations including the deli, customer operations, and nonperishable operations.

His career took a pivotal turn in 2017 when he relocated to North Carolina to join Merchants Distributors LLC. Here, Zapczynski gravitated towards the produce sector, quickly rising from produce buyer to director of produce operations over seven years. His dedication to continual learning was evident as he expanded his expertise through the Southeast Produce Council’s STEP-UPP training program and participation in the inaugural class of SEPC’s Next Generation Leadership Academy last year.

“I’ve always been involved in learning programs—I just try to be the best sponge I can,” Zapczynski remarked, showcasing his commitment to personal and professional growth. “Produce is something new every day. It’s dominated by the weather, so you could have a great day tomorrow—or a storm could keep you on your toes.”

Ross Johnson, IPC Vice President of Retail and International, praised Zapczynski’s capabilities, “Matt is a natural leader who is always looking ahead to prepare for the produce industry’s future. His background in both retail and wholesale makes him a perfect fit to help Northeast/Midwest retailers reap the many benefits of selling the Idaho brand. I know everyone is really going to enjoy working with him!”

Beyond his professional achievements, Zapczynski is an avid outdoorsman and family man. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, and spending quality time with his four-year-old daughter, Addysn. Alongside his wife, Elizabeth, who is involved in medical recruiting, Zapczynski is a fan of Idaho’s signature baked potatoes. “They’re a great addition to any kind of meal!” he says, whether enjoyed plain or with a variety of indulgent toppings.

As Zapczynski steps into his new role at IPC, his vast experience and passion for the produce industry are set to invigorate and enhance the potato marketing efforts in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

Source: Idaho Potato Commission (IPC).