The Michigan Potato Industry Commission, DeWitt, has appointed Michael Wenkel as its new executive director effective Aug. 31.

Wenkel succeeds Ben Kudwa, who held the position since 1986.

Wenkel comes to the commission from Michigan Farm Bureau, where he has been for 17 years and served as director of its Membership and Field Services Department for the past nine years, according to a news release.

Dennis Lott, who headed the transition committee in charge of finding Kudwa’s successor, said Wenkel had an outstanding record while he was there.

“He administered more than 200,000 memberships, directed the field representatives and was instrumental in developing strong member leadership at the grass-roots level,” Lott said in the release.

He has a farm background and participated in FFA activities in high school, receiving the Honorary American FFA Degree last year from the National FFA Association.

Kudwa will remain with the commission on a part-time basis in the transition to new leadership, according to the release.