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Shannon Shepp assumes executive director duties starting immediately

BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Citrus Commission unanimously appointed Shannon Shepp as interim executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus on Wednesday.

Shepp has served as the Department’s deputy executive director since August 2013, where she has been responsible for overseeing administrative operations as well as nutrition, quality and economic research. She assumes executive director duties starting immediately.

Commissioners appointed Shepp as interim after unanimously accepting the resignation of Doug Ackerman, who resigned on Monday after four years in the position.

“The Commission is very fortunate to have someone as experienced and competent as Shannon Shepp on the Department staff,” said Marty McKenna, chairman of the FCC. “Her appointment today was without controversy. She has served our industry well for many years, and she will continue to do so now in this interim role. We aren’t hitting a ‘pause button.’ It’s still full speed ahead.”

Prior to joining the Department, Shepp served for 12 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Most recently, Shepp was the deputy commissioner of agriculture responsible for the divisions of Plant Industry, Fruit and Vegetables, Marketing and Development, Animal Industry, and Food Nutrition and Wellness. She also served as the director of the division of fruits and vegetables for six years.

Shepp previously worked as a public affairs manager at Florida Citrus Mutual and as a legislative assistant and government affairs director. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of South Florida.

“Much of my career – whether at Mutual, on a legislative staff, at FDACS or, of course, here at the Department – has been dedicated to serving the interests of Florida’s citrus growers,” Shepp said. “It is a privilege to serve the Florida Citrus Commission during this time of transition. I have confidence in the team and programs we have in place, and I am confident that the Commission will continue to chart our industry’s way forward. We won’t miss a beat.”

Shepp was profiled in 2013 by The Ledger. Read the article here.

About the Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry.  Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels.  The industry employs nearly 62,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of nearly $10.7 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.