Sunkist Growers, Sherman Oaks, Calif., has promoted three employees.

Sunkist Growers promotes three employeesBrian Slagel will move up to director of North American sales Aug. 5, filling a position formerly held by Mark Tompkins, who retired in July after 50 years with the company, according to a news release.

Tompkins began his career with Sunkist in Calgary, Alberta.

He later moved to Sherman Oaks, where he helped guide sales for all of North America, Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations, said in an e-mail.

In 1978, Tompkins was named Sunkist Marketing Man of the Year.

In naming a successor, Kevin Fiori, vice president of sales and marketing, praised Tompkin’s many contributions throughout the years.

“His legacy will live on in the people he mentored who sell Sunkist’s citrus every day,” Fiori said in the release.

Slagel joined Sunkist in Pittsburgh in 1991 after graduating from Penn State University. After leaving for a stint with Dole Citrus, he returned to Sunkist in 1997 and has held several positions, including central region director and business development director.

Sunkist Growers promotes three employeesLance McMillan, a 15-year produce industry veteran, moves to director of national accounts.

He’s also a second-generation Sunkist family member, having worked in a Sunkist-affiliated packinghouse and running his own agricultural marketing business before joining Sunkist in 2002 as senior account manager for national accounts.

Sunkist Growers promotes three employeesIn addition, Cassie Drake, who joined Sunkist in 2010, has been promoted to manager of corporate category management. During the past three years, she has worked closely with key major retail customers on their citrus category data and merchandising programs.

Before working for the co-op, she was involved in category management for the California Tree Fruit Agreement, Reedley.