Executive vice president Casey Creamer will be promoted to president and CEO Feb. 1 at the California Citrus Mutual, as longtime leader Joel Nelsen narrows his responsibility.
Nelsen will stay at CCM for most of 2019 but looks forward to being able to slow down.
“I’m moving into a narrower arena, focusing on federal and technical aspects,” he said Jan. 28. “Casey will shadow me, and at the end of September, we’ll see if there are things for me to work on or not.”
Creamer said he’s looking forward to working with growers and getting things done for them. The last few years growers in California have had many rules and regulations imposed on them by state and local governments, he said.
“There are a lot of misperceptions about growers, especially at the state level, and that gap needs to be closed,” he said.
Creamer joined the citrus mutual last February, coming from the Kings River Conservation District, as director of water quality, but he said he has nearly a decade of experience working with California state legislators from his time working at the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association.
Nelsen wrote a letter to the mutual’s membership expressing his gratitude.
“It’s never been a job,” he said. “It’s always been a lot of fun.”
In the letter, he gave some more specifics about his plan in 2019: “I will focus on challenges and opportunities at the federal level, provide technical guidance in the regulatory arena, and help with the internal issues of our industry. I will back up this team in Sacramento when and where appropriate.
And rather than spending all my time at the desk, or on a plane, or driving 99, 126, and 10, I will be out and about with you reminiscing and listening. I have two goals now. One is to slow down somewhat and the second is to support the efforts of your board and staff to carry CCM to a higher level than ever before on your behalf.”
Creamer said the citrus mutual plans to send out a news release about his promotion this week.