The board of directors of Sunkist Growers on March 19 unanimously elected Russell L. Hanlin executive vice president of the country’s oldest and largest citrus marketing cooperative. Hanlin will assume the office of president and chief executive officer on Nov. 1, 2008 when current President and CEO Timothy J. Lindgren retires.

“After two years of exceptional service, President Tim Lindgren has announced his plan to retire this October,” said Sunkist Board Chairman Nick Bozick. “We are fortunate that Tim was available to lead at Sunkist at a challenging time in our business. During his tenure, we not only weathered a freeze, we also realigned our operations to drive greater returns to our growers at lower costs.”

“We are also fortunate to have in place the right individual to assume the presidency when President Lindgren retires,” Bozick added.

Russ Hanlin, a 30-year veteran of Sunkist, is currently the senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Russ knows Sunkist. He has experience in every aspect of our sales and marketing operations,” said Bozick. “He also knows citrus. His expertise has made him a valued participant in industry groups.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Hanlin began his Sunkist career in 1978 as a buyer for Sunkist’s manufacturing and supply affiliate, Fruit Growers Supply Company, moving quickly to manager of Packinghouse Supplies. He then joined Sunkist’s Marketing Department as assistant manager, Sales Promotion, and in 1987 became manager, Fresh Fruit Sales Administration, working with Sunkist's sales offices in the retail and foodservice sales.

Hanlin’s responsibilities increased when he was named manager, Domestic Sales Operations in 1994 and director, International Sales in 1997, where he directed the cooperative extensive export sales programs. In 2002, he was named vice president, International Sales and Sales Operations, assuming the additional responsibilities of pricing, crop management, sales pacing and other operating activities.

In 2006, Hanlin became senior vice president, Sales and Marketing. In this capacity, he oversees the sales and marketing functions for fresh fruit and licensed products as well as Sunkist’s interests in its two LLCs — Sunkist Global Sourcing, and its fresh-cut products joint venture, Sunkist/Taylor LLC.