Personnel note: Dep't. of Citrus names Douglas Ackerman new executive director

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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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.