Citrus organizations tap new executives for guidance
By Karen McEver
It’s the same church with the same members, but everyone is sitting in a different pew. At least, that’s the way the three major citrus groups look.
Commission’s new leader
The Florida Citrus Commission, Lakeland, has named Ken Keck as the new executive director. Keck’s appointment follows a wide but quick search for a successor to Dan Gunter, who went to the private sector in April.
“Keck just rose to the top of the list,” said Andy Taylor, commission chairman. “In addition to having a broad knowledge of citrus, Keck possesses sharp intelligence and integrity beyond reproach.”
The search committee’s swiftness to fill the position was probably a reflection, in part, of the sense of urgency within the industry to tackle looming problems and to have a director in place prior to the commission’s June reorganization. Tipping the scales in favor of Keck is the fact that he is an industry insider and understands the citrus department, the industry at large and the politics that swirl in and around it all.
During the reorganization meeting June 21, Steve Ryan was elected chairman and Cody Estes was elected vice chairman.
Mutual finds a successor
Florida Citrus Mutual has been looking for an executive vice president and chief executive officer since the departure of Andy LaVigne in February.
“We are elated, excited and confident and extremely please that Mike is making the move to Mutual,” said Jay Clark, interim vice president and chief executive officer. Clark was elected president of the association.