(Sept. 19) The International Fresh-cut Produce Association, Alexandria, Va., has hired Ken Hodge as its new communications director and Loren Queen as marketing director.

Hodge fills a new position and Queen takes on a position held by Maureen Ellis until her departure in June. Hodge and Queen began work Sept. 16.

Both men previously worked at Columbia Publishing, Yakima, Wash., the publisher of Fresh Cut magazine. Hodge served as editor and Queen as sales manager.

Columbia Publishing and Fresh Cut magazine will continue operations with Brent Clement as managing editor, Queen said.

Hodge and Queen are based in Selah, Wash., where they live. They will telecommute, Queen said.

Queen said many of the IFPA processor members are on the West Coast, so Hodge and Queen will be close to the source of fresh-cut products.

Queen said that besides his marketing efforts, he would work to pump up member benefits.

Hodge will write IFPA’s press releases, Queen said. He also will handle media relations, Web site management, event and education promotion and communications to members of IFPA.

Besides his marketing duties, Queen will handle membership development and advertising, and sponsorship sales.

Filling the two positions will free up some time for IFPA president Edith Garrett, who has been writing releases and handling marketing, Queen said.

Garrett expects Hodge and Queen to handle their new positions well.
“As the leaders of Fresh Cut magazine, both Ken and Loren are well-known to our industry,” Garrett said.

Hodge has 25 years of agricultural journalism experience and has been editor of Fresh Cut magazine for nine years. He also wrote articles in other Columbia Publishing publications.