(Oct. 14) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Chilean Exporters Association, Santiago, Chile, has hired Tom Tjerandsen as interim managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, its North American marketing agency, just as the country’s fresh fruit season begins.

For Tjerandsen, it’s a return to familiar ground and familiar faces. His former partner, the late Barney McClure, aided Chilean exporters in developing the U.S. market, and when the two established the San Francisco-based McClure & Tjerandsen marketing/consulting agency in 1990, they developed programs for the Chilean export industry.

Tjerandsen is the president of the agency.

“I know many of the importers and understand and approve of the program that’s been developed over time,” Tjerandsen said. “We’ve been staying in touch with all of the principal players, and we travel a lot of the same pathways, given all of our other responsibilities.”

Tjerandsen’s company serves as the California Fresh Apricot Council and the Pomegranate Council, provides marketing support for California asparagus and papaya and has developed programs for Sun-Maid Growers of California, Kingsburg, and Del Monte’s canning division.

The position became vacant in May, when former executive vice president Curtis Granger left after seven years. Granger is now vice president of business and marketing development for Ripe ’N Ready, Parlier.

In the meantime, Chilean Exporters Association marketing manager Gustavo Yentzen and Chilean Fresh Fruit Association marketing manager Pedar Bruce have been continuing the duties in the Sacramento office to prepare for the season.

Tjerandsen said Bruce recently accepted a marketing position with Wells Fargo Bank, prompting the decision to name an interim director.

Tjerandsen will retain his roles at the other commodity groups, and Yentzen said Tjerandsen will commute to the Chilean association’s Sacramento office four times a week.