(March 21) A Florida strawberry veteran now leads marketing for the state’s growers association.

Sue Harrell became the Dover-based Florida Strawberry Growers Association’s director of marketing March 14.

Harrell for 12 years headed East Coast operations for Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc.’s Dover operations.

She succeeds Julie Bedford, who was the group’s marketing director from May to late January.

Shawn Crocker, the association’s executive director, said the group was looking for someone committed to the industry. He said he wanted to end the former entry-level position’s turnover by elevating it to a higher status with increased responsibilities.

Harrell said she wants to take the group’s marketing programs in a new direction. She said she plans to draw from her years of relationships with East Coast buyers, and that she plans to frequently visit northeastern buyers who account for much of Florida’s strawberry sales.

The state’s strawberry deal normally runs Thanksgiving to Easter with small volumes shipping in November and December and at the close of the deal during the end of March and into early April.