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Sunsweet Growers Names New CEO

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Sunsweet Growers Inc., the nation’s leading marketer of prunes, specialty dried fruit products and fruit juices, has appointed company President Dane Lance to the additional post of CEO. Arthur Driscoll II, CEO since 2004, has retired after a distinguished tenure with Sunsweet, during which time the company achieved record-setting revenue and grower-member crop returns.

Sunsweet's Lance
Dane Lance

“Art’s contributions to Sunsweet cannot be overstated,” Lance said. “His business insight and strong leadership during a period of severe global oversupply has enabled Sunsweet’s grower-member returns to consistently outperform the market. As global prune production now swings away from oversupply, Art has Sunsweet perfectly positioned to thrive into the future. He hands off the CEO baton having done an incredible job.”

Lance took over as president in October 2012.

“Dane has done outstanding work as president, demonstrating the leadership and vision necessary to help Sunsweet grow into the future,” said Gary Thiara, chairman of Yuba City, Calif-based Sunsweet Growers. “Throughout his 23 years at Sunsweet, Dane has always shown tremen­dous drive, insight and passion. His becoming the new CEO reflects careful succession planning by Mr. Driscoll and the Sunsweet board of directors. We look forward to a bright future as Dane assumes his new position as president and chief executive officer.”

Prior to his position as president, Lance spent the last two decades in progressive leadership roles at Sunsweet. He has been instrumental in building consumer demand for Sunsweet prunes and juices around the world. Lance’s dedication to advertising has been critical in driving prune household penetration up 40 percent in the last decade. Key product innovations fostered by Lance include Ones, PlumSmart, D’Noir and Plum Amaz!ns. These innovative products now represent more than 15 percent of company revenue.

Prior to joining Sunsweet, Lance spent three years with the Clorox Co. in marketing management positions. He received his bachelor’s degree as well as his MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, in the fields of operations research and marketing.



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