At the recent meeting of the board of directors of the California Strawberry Commission, strawberry grower Mark Murai was hired as president.

Murai, a third-generation Orange County farmer, has served on the Commission’s Board of Directors for 17 years and led the organization as its Chairman of the Board from 2002-2004. He served as interim president for the past five months before accepting the permanent position.

Richard Amirsehhi, the commission’s chairman of the board, says Murai’s knowledge of the industry makes him an excellent leader. “With his experience and leadership in the industry, Mark is a natural choice for this key position,” said Amirsehhi. “The industry will benefit from his expertise to guide the work needed to help realize the commission’s strategic goals.”

Murai began growing strawberries with his family’s farms in 1985. Although he began farming sooner than expected (while still studying agricultural business management at Cal Poly, Pomona) he had always known he would spend his days in the strawberry fields, just as his father and grandparents had done before him.

“I’m very excited. Because I grew up in the strawberry industry, I have a passion for it, and my involvement with the commission has invigorated my enthusiasm,” said Murai. “I look forward to carrying the industry’s vision forward.”

The California Strawberry Commission supports and represents the California strawberry industry with programs in research, education, public relations and issues management. The commission represents an industry of over 600 growers, shippers and processors.