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The Chelan Fruit Cooperative board of directors announced CEO Reggie Collins will transition from his current position to an advisory position, effective Jan. 1. Mark Stennes, currently the company’s assistant general manager, has been selected to replace Collins as interim CEO.

Collins joined the cooperative in 2000, starting as the assistant general manager. He became CEO in 2004. One of his first acts as CEO was to merge Trout-Blue Chelan Inc. with the Brewster, Washington, cooperative Mutual Apple Growers Incorporated (MAGI). The merger created one of the largest apple, pear and cherry cooperatives in the industry. Collins was also instrumental in the creation of Chelan Fresh Marketing with Gebbers Farms.

“The board of directors has a strong focus on succession planning, and Mark’s selection enables us to ensure a seamless transition in this important leadership position for our company,” said Marrian Peebles, Chelan Fruit’s chairman of the board. “The board appreciates the tremendous progress the company has made under Reggie’s leadership and we look forward to building on this progress with Mark as our interim CEO.”

Chelan Fruit Cooperative is a 270-member, grower-owned cooperative based in North Central Washington.

–by Jonelle Mejica