(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 26) Alfredo Diaz Belmontes has succeeded Eric Viramontes as chief executive officer of Culiacan-based Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture, A.C. (AMHPAC).

Diaz, who was Sinaloa delegate to Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development, SEDESOL, left that position to take over at AMHPAC Feb. 18.

Viramontes, who led the trade association from 2008 on, will focus on his company, Vision and Services. He’ll continue to serve AMHPAC as an independent counselor, according to a news release.

Diaz, an agricultural engineer, was from 2002 to 2010 a professor at Western University and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. He’s worked in the public sector since 1983, including positions in BANOBRAS S.N.C. – the National and Public Services Bank – and BANRURAL, the Rural Development Bank.

His prior experience included a stint as northwest regional director of Support and Services for Agricultural Trading (ASERCA). ASERCA is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, SAGARPA.

“(Diaz) has a background in both the private and official sectors,” Viramontes told The Packer. “He was part of several companies in our industry and was able to solve the issue of insuring greenhouses in Mexico.”

“We are convinced that his professional career and experience in the field will facilitate the growth of AMHPAC,” board president Carlos Cueto said in the release.

AMHPAC represents more than 250 grower members in 25 of Mexico’s 32 states.