Steve Poindexter has been hired as chief executive officer of Santa Maria, Calif.-based Sun Coast Farms.

Poindexter will lead the company’s efforts as it expands operations, including development of Sun Coast’s processing and distribution center in Carrollton, Texas. The company also plans to open a Nogales, Ariz., office, according to a news release..

“We’ve been looking for someone with Steve’s vast experience to get us to the next level,” Sonny Smith, owner of Sun Coast Farms, said in the release.

The company grows lettuce, broccoli, mixed leaf, romaine and cauliflower in Santa Maria and Brawley, Calif., and in Arizona. To complement the company’s 4,000 acres of cropland, Sun Coast also has a fruit and vegetable processing/distribution facility, according to the release.

Poindexter’s duties include increasing distribution, expanding product mixes and developing new processing concepts.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Sun Coast Farms group and helping in the growth of the company “ Poindexter said in the release. The planned Nogales, Ariz., office would allow imports of vegetables to complement the company’s current line and allow expansion into the fruit category, according to the release.

Prior to joining Sun Coast, Poindexter had been director of business trade development and national accounts for Railex LLC, Rotterdam, N.Y. He also was a partner in Crown Jewels Marketing & Distribution LLC, Fresno, Calif.