(Aug. 25, 3:10 p.m.) The Wenatchee-based Washington Apple Commission has named a temporary president to fill the void left by the departure of Dave Carlson, who was placed on administrative leave by the commission’s board of directors.

Ken Severn, who filled in at the commission once before as interim president, took the reins in early August, said Robin Mooney, the commission’s vice president and controller.

The commission board voted July 24 to place Carlson on administrative leave, citing a need to "go in a different direction," according to a news release.

Leading the search for a permanent replacement are board members Dalton Thomas, owner of Oneonta Trading Corp., Wenatchee; and Mark Zirkle, president of Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash.

Severn served a term as interim president of the commission in 2000, between the tenures of Steve Lutz and Welcome Sauer.

For 30 years, Severn headed the Yakima-based Washington State Fruit Commission, where he was credited with helping to open up cherry markets in Japan, among other accomplishments.

Carlson had been president of the commission since 2003, when he was promoted from a position on the board.