Douglas Ackerman was named Wednesday as the new executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, following a four-month search. Ackerman, of Bartow, where the department is based, most recently was a marketing manager with Publix Supermarkets. He has an MBA from the University of Tampa. “Douglas Ackerman understands the importance of citrus to our counties and state,” said Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Marty McKenna in a statement released by the department. “He has a tremendous amount of desire and determination to join the team. The citrus industry requires leadership to get everyone together when we need to and I think he will connect well with growers.” There were 114 applicants for the job. The previous director, Ken Keck, left this summer. The new director has work to do. Orange juice sales have declined by more than 30 percent, despite an increase in the tax that growers pay to pay for marketing.