(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:02 p.m., Feb. 7) Homegrown Organic Farms has named a new chief executive officer.

Scott Mabs, an Organic Farms employee since 2008, succeeded Tom Avinelis Feb. 1.

Avinelis, who had been CEO since 2005, will stay with the company and focus more on operations and new venture opportunities.

“I’m excited about this transition,” Avinelis said in a news release. “Homegrown’s growth is requiring that we have someone more engaged in the business of exceeding our customers’ expectations. Scott has exemplified his leadership skills in driving the company’s goals and vision.”

Homegrown owners John and Cindy France have worked with Avinelis and Mabs on the CEO transition since 2011.

“This would not be possible if it wasn’t for the incredible team that we have here at Homegrown,” Mabs said in the release. “I feel honored to lead the company forward and continue what John France and Tom Avinelis created.”

In 2007, Mabs joined Porterville-based Sierra Heights Marketing Inc. as marketing director. In 2008, Sierra Heights changed its name to Homegrown Organic Farms.

Before joining Sierra Heights, Mabs was director of grower services for Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual.

Founded in 1998, Homegrown represents more than 3,500 acres of organic produce.

The changes at the top come during a growth spurt at the comnpany. In 2012, Homegrown added lemons to its lineup of organic citrus offerings with the acquisition of a ranch near San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

In 2011, the company began importing organic avocados from Mexico and organic blueberries from Chile.