Citrus panel works to define its leader
Lakeland Ledger – September 2, 2011
BARTOW – The new executive director at the Florida Department of Citrus will come primarily from a marketing background.
This week, the Florida Citrus Commission, the department’s governing body, seemed divided on the point.
“The industry has told us pretty loudly the No. 1 priority is marketing,” said Commissioner Jay Clark, a Wauchula grower.
“I agree the core focus of the department is marketing, but we have a marketing staff and a marketing director,” said Mike Garavaglia, a Fort Pierce packinghouse executive. “I would be really concerned if the executive director were just a marketer.”
Commission Chairman Marty McKenna appointed himself, Clark and Garavaglia to a search committee to recommend the next executive director.
Also on the committee are commissioners Vernon Hollingsworth of Arcadia and Ellis Hunt of Lake Wales, both growers, and Mike Haycock, an executive with Tropicana Products Inc. in Bradenton.
Former Executive Director Ken Keck resigned from the Citrus Department’s top post Aug. 3 at McKenna’s request. He will continue to work from his home as a consultant and staff attorney at his current salary of $206,000 plus benefits until Nov. 1.