(Dec. 6) NOGALES, Ariz. — Officials at the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas have taken the first step toward finding Lee Frankel’s successor as president.

Bill Sykes, president of The Sykes Co., Rio Rico, Ariz., who is serving as chairman of the selection committee formed Dec. 4 in Nogales, said the committee wants to be “far along in the selection process” by mid-January.

“We’re coming up with a final job description, and that job description needs to be expanded, but we want to start immediately on this,” Sykes said Dec. 5. “We want to identify a partial list of candidates by the end of this month and in January have four or five candidates who can sit down with us.”

Frankel’s 11-year tenure will end in late December, following his Nov. 26 resignation to take over as president and chief executive officer for the United Potato Growers of America, Salt Lake City, where he will begin work Jan. 2.

It’s clear that the FPAA wants to avoid the issues United Potato had in its candidate quest, which dragged out for almost a full year after Julia Cissel resigned in January and preliminary search efforts failed to yield the kind of applicants United Potato was looking for.

The FPAA not only seeks a leader with Frankel’s administrative and people skills, but also someone who can expand the association’s global initiatives.

“The global nature of our business is a top priority,” Sykes said. “Those responsibilities will definitely be expanded.”