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Pura Vida Farms, nationwide pineapple importer-grower-shipper of melon products, announced the selection of Shawn Avera as the director of watermelon operations for its Eastern region. Mr. Avera began his duties Aug. 20 and will be based at Pura Vida's new Moultrie, GA, office.

Working face-to-face with contacts on the East Coast, Mr. Avera brings over 10 years of experience in the produce industry, specifically focusing on watermelon production in the Southeast and Midwest. He has experience working in all aspects of puravidaShawn Avera, the new director of watermelon operations for the Eastern region of Pura Vida Farms.the produce supply chain, from the ground to the store, including growing, greenhouse, brokering trucks and sales.

"We have been actively searching for a director of watermelon operations to expand our East Coast program, building on the strong foundation already in place at Pura Vida Farms," Chris Elsie, partner at Pura Vida Farms, said in a press release. "Shawn not only has the experience, knowledge and relationships needed to expand the business, he also has the core work ethic and team building attributes we're looking for in anyone joining the Pura Vida family."

Mr. Avera said when he received the offer to join the company it was a clear and easy decision for him since the core focus and business model is directly in line with his own vision for building a successful watermelon program.

"Pura Vida has developed into a force in the watermelon category in only a short period of time, establishing themselves as a company committed to quality with a focus on expanding their programs to the retail community," Mr. Avera said. "I look forward to helping build the 'Pura Vida' brand and expand our operations on the East Coast."

Mr. Avera said he believes the vision and drive of the company's team will have them well positioned to become one of the leading produce companies in the country.