Gretchen Kreidler Austin joins SunFed as director of marketing and business development ( Photo courtesy SunFed )

Sunfed, Rio Rico, Ariz., has hired Gretchen Kreidler Austin as director of marketing and business development.

In addition to working with existing accounts, Kreidler Austin is responsible for new business with retailers, foodservice operators and processors, as well as creating new products and packaging, and coordinating oversight for trade shows and marketing events, according to a news release.

Kreidler Austin joined the produce industry as a marketing representative at TexaSweet Citrus Marketing in Mission in 1997, followed by a marketing position at Standard Fruit and Vegetable Co. Inc., in Dallas. In 2002, she moved back to the lower Rio Grande Valley to run her family’s funeral home in McAllen, returning to the industry in 2008 as a marketing representative, then marketing director (with sales desk duties as well) at Rio Queen Citrus Inc., Mission, Texas.

From 2012 to 2015, she was director of retail sales for the Central U.S. for IFCO Systems.

In 2015, she joined Grow Farms Texas as director of business development.

“I’ve known Gretchen for several years, back to her days at Rio Queen Citrus,” SunFed President and CEO Craig Slate said in the release. “She has always had a very positive spirit, with a can-do attitude.”

Slate said Kreidler Austin will be important to the company’s expansion.

“SunFed has been barreling forward on a trajectory of growth, born of a retooled market approach and a closer integration with our production based,” Matt Mandel, vice president of operations, said in the release. “Gretchen is exactly the person we need promoting our differentiators and finding creative ways to marry the needs of our customers with our world-class growing operations.

Kreidler Austin will be based in Texas, according to the release.