(Nov. 6) Carissa Mace is the new president of the La Mirada, Calif.-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council, succeeding Linda Stine, who is retiring.

Mace, who joins the council Dec. 10, said she plans to remain with the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del., as its director of business development, until Nov. 30. She has had that position for six years.

She said she is looking forward to returning to the council, where she worked for Stine as the event and membership director from 1997 through 2001 before joining PMA as its West Coast representative.

“Now that Linda is retiring, it seemed a natural thing to go for because I love the organization and the produce industry, and it’s a great next step to do a lot of new things and take the council in the next direction,” Mace said.

“The executive search committee did an excellent job in their nationwide search,” Stine said. “Carissa was highly respected by the membership and I think she will be an excellent resource, having expanded her contacts within the industry during her time at PMA.”

Mace said since she left the council it has changed from being Southern California-centric to holding events in Northern California and Arizona. Mace plans to extend the organization’s reach.

“Traditionally, (it) has been very events-driven, but there might be other avenues, more information-based products and services,” she said. “It’s going to be fun to explore with the current leadership what directions the council goes next.”

She said there are a lot of new areas the council can expand, such as foodservice, or expanding services in the wholesale market.

“Carissa is going to be hard to replace,” said Lorna Christie, senior vice president of industry products and services for PMA. “This is a great opportunity for her. She did a great deal to strengthen our business development. She brought a great business sense into our process that has made a difference for us. We get to work with her as the head of the FPFC, which is a cool thing.”

Christie said PMA is looking to strengthen is business development structure.

“We’re looking at the opportunity to do some additional restructuring to make sure we can achieve those goals,” she said “We’re going to take a look at our existing structure and see what enhancements and improvements can be made.”

California’s FPFC names president