The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas might not name a new president until next summer, because the industry is entering its busiest time of the year.

Jesse Driskill resigned from the post in mid-November, just as the winter import season started for companies bringing in fresh produce from the U.S. The search will get underway in earnest over the next couple of months, said FPAA chairman Chris Ciruli, chief operating officer at Ciruli Bros. LLC.

The first step will be to develop a three- to five-year strategic plan for the association. The hiring will be based on those needs.

“I would say it’s going to take every bit of six months — or longer,” Ciruli said.

Meantime, FPAA staff, in conjunction with the board of directors, should be able to keep the association running smoothly, he said.

A committee will be formed in the next couple of months to review resumes, and the entire 22-member board will select the winning candidate.

“We’re not limiting our search to any one area,” Ciruli said, adding that the successor could be someone from Washington, D.C.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of state and federal government, understand agriculture and farming and have good communication skills, he said.

Driskill left the association to be operations manager Meyer LLC.

FPAA president search could take months