Zak Laffite is chief sales officer at Wonderful Citrus in Kern County. On Jan. 1 he will become president of the company, replacing David Krause, who will become advisor to Stewart Resnick, chairman and president of parent company The Wonderful Co.

Kern ag giant Wonderful Citrus announced Wednesday it has selected its chief sales officer, Zak Laffite, to replace outgoing President David Krause, who will transition to take on the newly created role of advisor to Stewart Resnick, chairman and president of Los Angeles-based parent company The Wonderful Co.

The leadership change is expected to take effect Jan. 1.

"David will be missed by the entire Wonderful Citrus family," Resnick said in a news release, "but I'm thrilled he has agreed to remain on in an advisory capacity and I look forward to Zak leading our business well into the future."

Wonderful Citrus owns, cultivates and harvests more than 60,000 acres of fresh citrus. Its brands include Wonderful Halos and Wonderful Seedless Lemons.

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market plans to celebrate its grand opening at 8:45 a.m. Thursday at 6415 Lake Isabella Blvd.

The 35-employee store is independently owned and operated by Stayce and Janet Roberts. There are 300 Grocery Outlets in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

The Lake Isabella store sells fresh produce, meat, deli, dairy, beer, wine, health and beauty products and seasonal products.

The store is offering its first 200 adult customers at the store Thursday gift cards ranging in value from $5 to $200. The company said all shoppers will receive a free reusable bag while supplies last.

A Las Vegas outfit headed by Bakersfield native Todd Rogers has announced a partnership with local document imaging service provider Turk's Kern Copy.

Nevada-based Office1 offers office technology including managed and cloud services and document services. It said the arrangement with Turk's will give Kern County customers access to that menu of services.

"We're very excited about the new opportunities that Office1 can provide for our customers," Turk's Market Manager Luis Carmona said in a news release.

Turk's recently moved out of downtown Bakersfield and now operates at 4300 Stine Road, Suite 405.

Vallarta Supermarkets has scheduled a toy giveaway and Santa Claus photo session from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at four locations in Arvin, Bakersfield and Delano.

The grocery store chain said kids 12 years old and younger can receive a free toy while supplies last.

The stores participating locally are at 600 Bear Mountain Blvd. in Arvin, 5951 E. Niles Ave. in Bakersfield, 2705 S. H St. in Bakersfield and 820 Main St. in Delano.

The Almond Board of California announced it will invest $5.9 million in next-generation farm practices, adding to the $89 million the Modesto-based nonprofit has spent on research since 1978.

Ten of the 85 independent research projects the ABC committed to funding this round focus on water sustainability. These represent a total investment of $678,000.

Another $607,000 funding 13 different research projects is expected to help identify new uses for almond co-products such as hulls.

Five additional research projects totaling $336,000 concentrate on honey bee health.

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