Commissioner Ellis Hunt Jr. elected new chairman of Florida Citrus Commission

Hunt replaces Marty McKenna, who served as chairman for more than four years.

BARTOW, Fla. – The Florida Citrus Commission unanimously elected Lake Wales citrus grower Ellis Hunt Jr. as its new chairman Wednesday.

Hunt replaces Marty McKenna, who served as chairman for more than four years and continues to serve on the board.  McKenna is the only commissioner in the FCC’s history to serve four consecutive terms as chairman.

“I plan to continue the leadership McKenna provided and serve the industry to the best of my ability as we move forward during this challenging time,” Hunt said.

Hunt is president of Hunt Brothers, Inc. which operates citrus groves and a packing house in Lake Wales. A third generation citrus grower, Hunt has dedicated his entire 35-year career to the citrus industry and has served on the Commission since 2011.

Closing out more than four years as chairman, McKenna thanked his fellow commissioners for their support and looked ahead to the work that still needs to be done.

“We’ve all been faced with this terrible disease of HLB. We’ve got to solve this before we can continue to move forward as industry,” McKenna said. “In the meantime, we must continue to share the health and wellness message of orange juice and promote Not-From-Concentrate OJ, which is the focus of our industry.”

Commissioners also unanimously re-elected Vice Chairman Michael Garavaglia Jr., who serves as president of Rogers Citrus, Inc. and the managing general partner and chief financial officer of the limited partnership for The Packers of Indian River, Ltd. in Fort Pierce.

About the Florida Citrus Commission

The Florida Citrus Commission is the governing board of the Florida Department of Citrus, an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. The commission is a nine-member board appointed by the governor to represent citrus growers, processors and packers. FDOC 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 and provides an annual economic impact of nearly $10.7 billion to the state. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.