Ayco Farms Inc. has hired produce sales veteran Dale Chase as executive vice president of sales and marketing, a new position.

Chase joins the Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based grower-shipper and importer with a focus on retail and foodservice programs, according to a news release.

Chase was formerly vice president of national sales with Pero Family Farms, Delray Beach, Fla., and was national sales manager for retail with Perrysburg, Ohio-based GreenLine Foods Inc. He was also in product development and sales for Sidney, Ohio-based Fresh Unlimited Inc.’s Freshway Foods.

In his new role, Chase plans to direct Ayco’s sales department to strengthen buyer relations and category management support and bring value-added and packaged goods to the company, according to the release.

“Chase is Ayco’s first executive vice president and his past experience is counted as invaluable to Ayco’s future designs,” Avi Nir, Ayco president, said in the release. “Dale’s leadership and vision are a great compliment to Ayco. He has an impeccable track record in putting together successful retail-oriented and value-added projects. We are enthusiastic about him taking control of our sales and marketing and know it will benefit Ayco and our customers.”

Ayco is known for asparagus, baby artichokes, cucumbers, melons and other items.