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Sunsweet Growers Inc., the nation's leading marketer of prunes, specialty dried fruit products and fruit juices based in Yuba City, CA, announced that Dane Lance, current chief operating officer, will assume the presidency of the company, effective Oct. 1.

Arthur Driscoll II, president and chief executive officer since 2004, will continue as CEO, focusing on key industry issues, partnerships and strategic alliances, while Mr. Lance, who has help the COO post since March 2011, will assume day-to-day responsibilities concerning financial, operational, IT, administrative and sales and danelanceDane Lancemarketing matters.

"Dane took on vice president of global sales and marketing duties in 2004," Mr. Driscoll said in a press release. "Since that time, Sunsweet revenue has grown 35 percent while household penetration of prunes has improved by 40 percent. Dane doubled advertising communication during that period and drove the launch of innovative new retail products that now represent 30 percent of company revenue in North America.

"In March 2011, Dane was promoted to chief operating officer," Mr. Driscoll continued in the press release. "Since then, he has successfully undertaken the challenging task of bridging strong sales and marketing teams with experienced production and operations staff, combining their resources to efficiently produce and deliver the highest quality products."

"From the very beginning of his employment in 1989 with Sunsweet as vice president of international marketing, Dane has shown tremendous drive, insight and passion in positioning Sunsweet for growth as the leader in the dried-fruit category," Gary Thiara, chairman of Sunsweet Growers Inc., said in the press release.

Prior to joining Sunsweet, Mr. Lance spent three years with the Clorox Co. in marketing management positions. He earned his bachelor's degree and MBA degree from the University of California-Berkeley in operations research and marketing.