LAKELAND, Fla.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 1, 2002–Gov. Jeb Bush today announced the appointment of citrus grower Anina Carrion McSweeney to the Florida Citrus Commission. McSweeney, 46, is a resident of Sarasota, and is President of Valencia Harvesting, Inc., a citrus harvesting company. She replaces Nancy Schafer, who resigned from the Commission last week after a career shift away from the citrus industry.
A native of Puerto Rico, McSweeney is the first Hispanic person ever appointed to the Commission. Her term is effective immediately, and runs through May 2003.
McSweeney moved to Florida with her family in 1973. Her involvement in the citrus industry started in 1987 when she and her family purchased a ranch that included several acres of citrus. The family soon began developing additional citrus groves, and today owns approximately 5,000 acres of citrus. The harvesting operation was launched in 1997.
“It’s an honor that Governor Bush has appointed me to this post,” said McSweeney. “I’m looking forward to establishing new relationships with other members of the Commission, and to utilizing my experience or the benefit of the citrus industry.”
The Florida Citrus Commission is a 12-member board appointed by the governor to oversee and guide activities of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) – the state agency charged with providing marketing, research and regulatory support to Florida’s citrus growers.
Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Walt Brewer said he looks forward to working with McSweeney. “On behalf of the entire Commission, I’m happy to welcome Ms. McSweeney aboard,” he said. “We appreciate the commitment she’s making to this industry.”
FDOC Executive Director Bob Crawford also was pleased with the governor’s decision. “We’re delighted Governor Bush was able to move so quickly in appointing someone of Ms. McSweeney’s caliber to this important leadership position,” he said. “It reflects his commitment to the welfare of Florida’s citrus industry.”
The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m., Nov. 20, at FDOC headquarters in Lakeland.
Florida Department of Citrus
Eric Boomhower, 863/499-2452