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Source: Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association news release

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) President Mike Stuart has announced two important staff changes that will enhance FFVA's ability to provide expert knowledge and quality services to its members.

Sonia Tighe has joined join the FFVA staff as director of membership effective Aug. 1. For the past several years, Tighe has served FFVA in a consulting role as executive director of the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation.

In 2011, her association responsibilities expanded with the highly successful launch of the Emerging Leader Development Program. In her full-time staff role, Tighe will take on full responsibility for all aspects of membership recruitment, retention and administration in addition to her previous duties.

Also effective Aug. 1, Mike Aerts, formerly director of membership, took the position of director of production and supply chain management. He will focus his time and energy on two critical areas of importance to FFVA members: pest management and food safety. Aerts also will continue his administrative responsibilities with the sweet corn exchanges and the management of supply chain issues on behalf of FFVA membership.

Before joining FFVA, Tighe worked for Vance Publishing for 25 years for industry publications The Packer, Citrus & Vegetable magazine and The Grower. She is chair of the Florida Ag Expo Committee, the Florida chapter of National Agri-Marketing Association, the RCMA Christmas Card Steering Committee and the Wedgworth Leadership Institute Advisory Council.

Aerts also served as assistant director of FFVA's Environmental and Pest Management Division for nine years. Prior to joining FFVA, he was an extension faculty member at the University of Florida's Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.

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