The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association hired John Kelly as executive vice president.

Kelly starts July 1, when CEO Art Smith retires, according to a news release.

“As a board we are looking forward to working with John in his new role with the OFVGA,” Ray Duc, board chair and grape grower from the Niagara area, said in the release. “This is a critical time in our industry and John has the qualifications and experience to take the OFVGA to the next level.”

Kelly has focused on innovation development and the advancement of products and technologies in the agriculture and food sectors throughout his career. He has had executive postions with KeliRo Comp. Inc., MaRS landing, Land O’ Lakes and Ralston Purina.

“I am very pleased to be taking on this role with the OFVGA and I thank the board of directors for the opportunity,” Kelly said in the release. “This is a very important time for the OFVGA and it is crucial that the challenges and issues affecting fruit and vegetable growers be directly addressed. Our job will be to implement the strategy and direction of the Board.”