(Aug. 7, 2:32 p.m.) The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association has promoted its assistant director of environment and pest management to head its marketing and membership division.

Mike Aerts, who has worked for the Maitland-based organization since 1999, succeeds Danny Raulerson, who held a similar position as director of marketing, membership and FFVA’s international trade division, said Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs. Aerts also will manage the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange, which Raulerson handled since 2003.

Raulerson left FFVA in June to work for the Gainesville-based Florida Farm Bureau as director of field services. Raulerson previously was an assistant director of agricultural policy for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.

“Mike’s experience in the industry, his understanding of the issues and his strong relationship with our members make him an excellent choice for the director’s position,” said Mike Stuart, FFVA president.

Aerts, who has plant pathology and horticulture degrees from Michigan State University, is a former extension faculty member at the University of Florida’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department and has worked in regulatory, technical service and product development capacities for London-based Shell International Chemical Co.

As director of marketing and membership, Aerts will help growers and shippers market their crops through managing commodity exchanges and industry marketplace issues. One of his duties will include overseeing the yearly FFVA convention.

Besides the sweet corn exchange, the FFVA manages the Florida Vegetable Exchange, the Quincy Tomato Growers Exchange, the Florida Green Bean Exchange and the Sweet Corn Growers Exchange.

FFVA names marketing, membership chief