Watsonville, CA – The California Strawberry Commission (CSC) announces that Karen Dutra has joined the organization as category development manager, effective Dec. 1, 2006. She will assist in development and execution of programs to increase category sales for California strawberries with key retail and foodservice accounts in North America.

Based in Watsonville, Dutra is part of CSC’s category development team, which also keeps industry and trade apprised of crop and market conditions.

“CSC is very happy to have Karen on-board,” says CSC President Mark Murai. “She has a diverse background, with a multi-faceted range of experiences in marketing, sales and business development that will serve the industry well.”

Dutra holds a Bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University. Prior to joining the commission, Dutra served on the board of directors of a local non-profit, including terms as president and vice-president. Karen has been a public speaker advocating for the rights of crime victims as well as leading round table discussions and serving on several committees to utilize her background for creating public service announcements and other advertising projects.

Dutra is a Watsonville native whose family has a background in agriculture stemming back to her ancestors from the Azores islands. “I have a sincere appreciation for the hard work that is involved in this business,” she says.