Southern Specialties Inc. has hired a south Texas produce industry veteran to lead the company’s Texas business.

The Pompano Beach, Fla.-based specialty produce grower-shipper and importer hired Andre Escobar as its general manager of its McAllen, Texas, division.

Escobar will manage North American accounts and supervise growing operations in Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley, according to a news release.

“Andre brings a wealth of experience from both the retail and grower-shipper side of the business,” Robert Colescott, Southern Specialties’ chief executive officer and president, said in the release. “His extensive industry knowledge and skills will be a great asset for our company. Andre’s experience working at this gateway into the U.S. will add value to our existing programs in the region, which include avocados, limes, mangoes, chili peppers, specialty tomatoes and berries.”

Escobar worked more than 20 years in all aspects of the produce industry, most recently for Crescent Fruit & Vegetable LLC in Edinburg, Texas.

Southern Specialties officials say they expect the scope of Escobar’s responsibilities to go beyond the company’s current product line, they said in the release.

In other news, Manuel Saldivar now works in sales and quality control.

Saldivar worked in produce industry operations, production management and produce inspection protocols, according to the release.