Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Southern Specialties recently has added to its staffs in two locations.

The grower-shipper hired Katie Johnston and Robert Saake to its sales staff.

“Both brought experience in the industry,” said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development.

Both are working are key account managers in the company’s Pompano Beach office, Eagle said.

Saake, who joined the company June 3, has eight years’ experience in the produce industry, most recently in the sales department of Hugh Branch Inc. in Belle Glade, Fla.

Johnston, who joined the Southern Specialties staff in May, most recently worked with Chiquita Brands International Inc. as regional customer manager, with responsibilities that included managing sales of Fresh Express salads in the Southeastern U.S.

Andre Escobar became the general manager of Southern Specialties’ office in McAllen, Texas, in February.

“Andre brings a wealth of experience from both the retail and grower-shipper side of the business,” Robert Colescott, the company’s chief executive officer and president, said in a news release.

Colescott said Escobar’s experience in the McAllen area should enhance the company’s programs in the region, which include avocados, limes, mangoes, chili peppers, specialty tomatoes and berries.

Escobar, a 20-year produce industry veteran who had been with Crescent Fruit & Vegetable in McAllen, directs accounts in North America loading from McAllen and oversees growing operations in Mexico and in the Rio Grande Valley, the company said.