Gov. DeSantis nominates seven to serve on Florida Citrus Commission

The nine-person body serves as the governing board for the Department of Citrus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has nominated seven people to serve on the Florida Citrus Commission, which oversees the Department of Citrus.

For four of those seven nominations, DeSantis is reappointing existing members. The remaining three nominations would help fill out the nine-person body should the Florida Senate approve the selections.

DeSantis is reappointing Commissioners Steve Johnson, Carlos Martinez, Martin McKenna and William Poulton. Martinez holds one of three seats in District 1. Johnson and McKenna represent District 2. Poulton serves District 3.

Johnson is president and owner of Johnson Citrus Harvesting. In addition to his roles with the Citrus Commission, Johnson also serves on the Florida Citrus Mutual board of directors, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation and the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce.

Martinez works as a procurement manager for Coca-Cola. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida and master’s degree in Christian theology from St. Leo University.

McKenna is a former chairman for the Department of Citrus. He’s also the president and owner of McKenna and Associates Citrus, Inc.

Poulton works as the senior director of global procurement for Tropicana. He formerly chaired the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors for the Florida Citrus Processors Association and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Council.

The Governor has also selected Christopher Groom, Jon Smoak and Daniel Sutton to join the Florida Citrus Commission.

Groom works as the Chief Operating Officer for Florida’s Natural Growers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and master’s degree in international business from the University of South Carolina.

Smoak is the CEO of Smoak Groves, Inc. He serves on the board of directors for Florida’s Natural Growers, Florida Citrus Mutual, Heartland National Bank and the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association.

Sutton is president and general manager of Alico, Inc. He’s also the vice president of Gulf Coast Citrus Growers and sits on the Florida Citrus Mutual board of directors.

All seven appointees must be confirmed by the Florida Senate.

The Citrus Commission represents citrus growers, processors and packers while overseeing the Department of Citrus. Among other responsibilities, the Commission sets the annual excise tax and establishes quality standards for citrus throughout the state.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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