Bernard Egan, the founder of one of Florida’s leading citrus growing and packing organizations is a member of the 2010 class of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.
Egan is one of four hall of fame honorees this year.
Egan, the former chief executive officer of the Fort Pierce, Fla.-based Bernard Egan & Co., the parent company of DNE World Fruit Sales, joins inductees Howard Sorrells of Arcadia, Fla., Earl “Duke” Crittenden of Orlando, Fla., and Harold McTeer of Winter Haven, Fla.
Egan, who died in 2004, helped guide DNE become one of the largest marketing agents of fresh Florida citrus.
Egan pioneered exports of Indian River grapefruit to Japan and helped expand European markets for fresh Florida citrus, according to a news release.
Nicknamed “the godfather of grapefruit,” Egan was a former president of the United Growers and Shippers Association, served as an officer of the Florida Citrus Commission and was president of the Indian River Citrus League, according to the release.
In 2002, he was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Crittenden, the former president and CEO of Crittenden Fruit Co., has been called a Florida citrus industry giant.
Working in citrus for more than 50 years, Crittenden started from scratch and built a diversified citrus empire that grew, harvested, packed, processed and trucked citrus. He is deceased.
A former Florida Republican Party chairman, Crittenden was on the Florida Citrus Commission and also served on the boards of Florida Citrus Mutual, Lakeland, Seald-Sweet Growers, Vero Beach, Fla., Citrus Central Inc. and the Growers Administrative Committee.
Through his leadership of the citrus commission, Sorrells, the former president of Sorrells Bros. Packing Co. Inc., Arcadia, helped expand export markets and redirect the industry’s marketing plans, according to the release.
A former board member of citrus mutual, the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Sorrells was involved with the Florida citrus industry for 58 years.
He is also a past president of the National Watermelon Association and received that association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, according to a release.
McTeer, a Haines City, Fla., citrus grower, also worked as a DuPont sales representative for 27 years.
In his work with DuPont, McTeer traveled the state and taught growers how to safely and effectively use herbicides and was known as the “go-to” guy for many growers, according to the release.
McTeer was one of the longest-serving board members of the Haines City Citrus Growers Association, whose sales are handled by DNE.
He was also a key grower-cooperator with the Citrus Research and Education Center Plant Improvement Team and provided land, time and materials for its rootstock trials.
According to the release, McTeer’s contributions helped many field research projects that are beneficial to the entire citrus committee come to fruition.
The group is to be honored during March 5 luncheon at the Hollis Wellness Center at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.