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Roger Griess, vice president of global business development at Sun World International LLC in Bakersfield, CA, resigned from the company effective March 26 after 13 years with the organization. He will be starting a new business based in Bakersfield involving fresh produce, but details of the new venture have not yet been released.

"I value my experience at Sun World and look forward to taking my career in a more entrepreneurial direction with a new venture involving untapped and unique markets for California fruit," Mr. Griess said in a March 29 press release issued by Susan Self Public Relations.

"Mr. Griess is still about four weeks away from being able to discuss" additional details regarding the new business, Susan Self, owner of the public relations firm, who has been contracted as spokesperson for the company during the launch period, told The Produce News March 30.

"At this point, we don't have a lot to say, and we are still talking with investors," Ms. Self said. "It is still pretty much in the formative stages." She added that "it does involve fresh produce, specifically citrus."

Mr. Griess, whose family has been in the farming business for more than 100 years in the Sacramento, CA, area, started his produce marketing career at Dole Foods, where he served as director of national accounts, manager of the citrus division and regional manager of the deciduous division, according to the Sun World web site.

He joined Sun World in 1997 as national account manager, working with Kroger, Costco, Sam's Club and Fleming Foods.