(Aug. 14) WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Mark Munger, director of marketing for Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., has resigned from the company.

Munger, whose last day was July 30, cited differences over strategic marketing direction behind his departure.

“I wish them nothing but success,” he said of the company.

Michael Hollister, vice president of sales for Driscoll, said the marketing director’s position remained open in mid-August. Whether it would be filled internally or from the outside, he didn’t know.

“I see on the horizon that we’ve got well-established sales and marketing programs that will sustain themselves,” Hollister said. “We will take our time to try and fill the role of director of marketing here at Driscoll’s.”

Munger, 38, began work for Driscoll in July 1995 as a marketing specialist. He was promoted to director of marketing in late 1999.

“For much of what he does, he’s best of class,” said Jerry D’Amore, vice president of Driscoll’s market group.

Munger said that during his tenure, he focused on building closer relationships with retailers and consumers. That included introducing new labels and revamping the look and feel of packaging.

Munger also cited the development of Driscoll University, a program that promoted interaction between the company and a large cross section of customers who visited the Driscoll’s growing, research and breeding facilities. The program goes beyond buyers to include people working in retail consumer affairs, distribution centers, quality control and merchandising.

“It’s been a great program,” Munger said.

Before Driscoll, he served as director of the retail division for the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del. A California native, Munger graduated from the University of California-Davis in 1985 with a degree in agricultural science and management.

For now, Munger is exploring career options. Though he would be open-minded if something else came up, he plans to stay in the produce industry, where he’s invested the most time and energy.

“I just can’t imagine working in any other industry than produce,” Munger said.