Lisa Hightower is the new communications manager for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.

Hightower succeeds Shelby Rajkovich, who joined United Fresh in early 2012 but recently left the association to pursue a master’s degree at North Caroliina State University, according to Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management and communications for United Fresh.

Hightower’s duties include production of the Inside Fresh United weekly online newsletter, content for the association website, news media outreach and promoting awareness of United Fresh events, according to a news release.

Hightower’s skill set includes journalism, photography, and publication design, according to the release. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in agricultural communication at the University of Florida, according to the release. She also has Ph.D at Virginia Tech in agricultural education, according to the release.

She also has experience using social media to reach diverse audiences, according to the release.

“Lisa’s experience with social media and promoting awareness about critical agricultural issues will help United Fresh keep its members and the fresh produce industry informed and engaged, Gilmer said in the release.