Karen Brux has been tapped to lead the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association's promotional efforts in the United States and Canada, the group announced Dec. 4. She replaces Tom Tjerandsen, who announced his retirement.
As Managing Director for North America, Ms. Brux will oversee all promotional and support programs for the organization that represents Chile's fresh fruit growers, packers and shippers.
Ms. Brux joins the CFFA after serving as vice president of marketing communications for the California Table Grape Commission, where she was responsible for domestic consumer communication and global brand management in support of California's table grape producers. In that role, she helped develop global brand messages and directed consumer marketing communications throughout the United States and Canada.
Prior to her tenure at the Commission, Ms. Brux held senior executive positions with Zespri International, one of the world's larger marketers of kiwifruit, for more than 15 years, during which she managed distributors, agencies and numerous consultants in development of integrated trade and consumer marketing campaigns.
In her 25 years in the fresh produce industry, Ms. Brux has gained a wealth of knowledge about the production, distribution and consumption of fresh fruit. She has extensive experience creating and executing marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns targeted to retailers, foodservice operators, restaurants, and consumers. Much of that work centered on the health benefits of fresh fruit, its versatility in recipes, and its central role in a healthy, balanced diet for both kids and adults.
A native of Wisconsin, Ms. Brux earned a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, which she earlier put to good use as the Zespri representative in China, where she worked to build sales of kiwifruit in the world's largest consumer market.
Ms. Brux will open a new office in the mid-Peninsula area south of San Francisco and will begin her new duties Jan. 1.
"We are delighted to find someone whose background and talents so closely match the needs of the Chilean fresh fruit industry," Ronald Bown, chairman of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, said in a press release. "We appreciate Tom Tjerandsen's many contributions to the Chilean fresh fruit program. Tom has been a crucial part of the trade development between Chile and the U.S. fruit industry. We will be forever indebted to his loyal work and he will be truly missed. We wish him well with the next phase of his life."