Mark Tompkins, director of North American sales, is retiring from Sunkist. He began his career with Sunkist Growers 50 years ago in Calgary.
“We will miss the wisdom, steady leadership, dependability and humility that Mark Tompkins has brought to Sunkist,” Kevin Fiori, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “Mark’s contributions are many and very much appreciated by Sunkist. His legacy will live on in the people he mentored who sell Sunkist’s citrus every day. We wish him and his family all the best in retirement.”
Tompkins’ position will be assumed by Brian Slagel, who is being promoted to director of North American sales, effective Aug. 5.
Slagel joined Sunkist at the Pittsburgh sales office in 1991 shortly after graduating from Penn State University. After leaving Sunkist to work in sales for Dole Citrus, Slagel returned to Sunkist as the manager of the Cleveland sales office in 1997. He was part of the Sunkist sales network expansion, opening the cooperative’s first Florida office in Orlando in 1998. This latest promotion for Slagel follows a series of advancements with Sunkist, as the director of the central region in 2003 and director of business development in 2008.
“We are pleased to be filling this important leadership role from within our strong talent pool at Sunkist,” said Fiori. “Brian Slagel has a proven track record of growth and success and we are confident that he and Sunkist are poised for further success with him leading our North American sales division.”
Another prominent advancement within the organization is Lance McMillan’s promotion to director of national accounts. McMillan has worked in the produce industry for over 15 years and is a second-generation Sunkist family member, previously working in Sunkist-affiliated packinghouses and running his own agricultural marketing business before joining Sunkist as the senior account manager for national accounts in 2002. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and was honored as a Dupont Fellow of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program’s Class of 2000.
Additionally, Cassie Drake, who has been with Sunkist since 2010, has been promoted to manager of corporate category management. She has been working closely with key major retail customers on their citrus category data and merchandising programs. Before joining Sunkist, Drake worked in category management at California Tree Fruit Agreement and in various marketing and financial roles in the San Joaquin Valley region. She holds a degree in agriculture economics from California State University in Fresno.
“At the root of Sunkist’s rich 120-year history is our people,” added Fiori. “We are pleased to recognize the contributions of Brian Slagel, Lance McMillan and Cassie Drake with these well-deserved promotions.”