BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. — Country Sweet Produce’s sweet potato brand Bako Sweet has added industry expert Susan Noritake to its team as the new director of sales.

"I am thrilled to be joining the dynamic team at Bako Sweet," Noritake said. "The opportunity to contribute to the growth of this brand and the sweet potato category is truly exciting."

Noritake brings with her almost 30 years of experience in the produce industry and has worked for brands such as Zespri International, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Mann Packing and Gill's Onions.

While working at Zespri, Noritake played a key role in boosting kiwifruit’s US fruit bowl ranking from 26 to 17.

"When seeking a candidate to lead our sales team, it was crucial to find someone with a forward-thinking vision," said Michael Valpredo , president of Bako Sweet. "Susan's track record of driving growth for brands and retailers made her the perfect choice, and we are honored to have her on board."

Noritake will be working alongside Bako Sweet’s director of marketing, Alexandra Rae Molumby.

"Looking ahead, I am eager to collaborate with our sales and marketing team to seize existing and new business opportunities during the upcoming crop year," Noritake said.