Gulf Citrus Growers’ Hamel Announces Retirement

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release

Ron Hamel

hamelAfter nearly 30 years of service as executive vice president/general manager of the Gulf Citrus Growers Association, Ron Hamel announced his retirement as the organization’s chief administrator.

Hamel began working for the Gulf Citrus Growers Association in May of 1988, opening the association’s office in LaBelle, Florida, to support the development of the citrus industry in Southwest Florida, locally referred to as the “Gulf” region. At that time, growers in the region were planting thousands of acres of all varieties of citrus to compensate for the impacts of the sequence of severe freezes in the 1980s that Mother Nature inflicted on groves located in the northern production counties of the state.

Initially, GCGA’s leaders focused on creating a marketing strategy to promote the outstanding fresh fruit grown in the Gulf region, build brand identity, enhance demand and improve grower returns. Hamel, previously a public relations/marketing professional with Florida’s and the United States’ dairy industries, was hired to lead those efforts as well as to represent the region’s growers in governmental affairs and industry relations.

“In reflecting back on my career in the dairy and citrus industries, I have been truly blessed in many ways,” said Hamel. “The leaders that I have worked with — both my fellow staff members and the volunteers — put lots of faith in my abilities and leadership as well as taught me so much. I am very thankful that Gulf citrus grower leaders provided me with the great career challenge to start an organization from scratch and provide its leadership for 30 years! That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that I have totally enjoyed,” Hamel said.

GCGA’s executive committee reports that Hamel plans to continue his employment through September 2018. The association is accepting applications for the position of executive vice president/general manager and plans to employ the individual selected prior to Hamel’s retirement. The position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in agricultural communications or a related field. Applications and a position description are available from the GCGA office at 11741 Palm Beach Blvd., Suite 202, Fort Myers, Florida; telephone 239-690-0281.

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