(Nov. 7) FORT PIERCE, Fla. — DNE World Fruit Sales has dipped into the apple industry to pluck an executive with 36 years of citrus industry experience.

The Fort Pierce-based marketer has named Mark Tompkins vice president of sales and marketing for its Riverside, Calif.-based subsidiary, DNE California Inc. Tompkins will work out of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Tompkins spent 36 years with Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers Inc. before becoming the general manager and chief operating officer of Sage Marketing LLC at its inception in 1999. Yakima, Wash.-based Sage Marketing brought together three apple grower-shippers under a single banner.

Tompkins said Sage Marketing is a good, progressive company to work for. However, he resigned to join DNE because the timing was right and it gave him an opportunity to again work with David Bernstein, who heads up DNE’s West Coast operations. He worked with Tompkins for many years at Sunkist.

“I enjoyed my work in the apple industry, but after 36 years in the citrus industry I am really looking forward to getting back into it,” Tompkins said. “Both apples and citrus have their challenges and opportunities, but I feel better prepared to address the issues facing the citrus industry through DNE’s global citrus category development.”

At Sunkist, Tompkins served in a variety of positions, including head of sales, director of fresh fruit marketing and director of domestic marketing.

DNE California is the sales agent for San Antonio Orchard Co., Riverside; The DiMare Co., Indio, Calif.; and Empire Fruit Co. Inc., Queen Creek, Ariz.