The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association has promoted a longtime staffer and turned a consultant’s work into a full-time position.

Sonia Tighe, a consultant to the Maitland-based organization as executive director of FFVA’s Florida Specialty Crop Foundation and director of FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program, becomes director of membership.

Mike Aerts, FFVA’s former director of membership, advanced to director of production and supply chain management.

In his new role, Aerts concentrates on pest management, food safety and supply chain issues.

He also plans to continue his administrative responsibilities with Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida and the Sweet Corn Growers Exchange, according to a news release.

In addition to her previous duties, Tighe now manages membership recruitment, retention and administration.

FFVA promotes staffersFor 25 years, Tighe worked for Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Vance Publishing Corporation’s The Packer, Citrus & Vegetable magazine and The Grower magazine.

She is chairman of the Immokalee, Fla.-based Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s Christmas card steering committee, Gainesville, and Fla.-based Wedgworth Leadership Institute advisory council.

For nine years, Aerts was assistant director of FFVA’s Environmental and Pest Management division.

Before joining FFVA, he was an extension service faculty member at the University of Florida’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department.

The changes took effect Aug. 1.