FARGO — The Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association is looking for a new executive director.

Association president Dan Younggren, of Hallock, Minn., says the executive committee about three weeks ago parted ways with Duane Maatz who had been the group’s executive director since spring 2015.

“The association has decided they would like to go in a different direction, trying to be more in tune with people in Washington, D.C.,” Younggren said. He said Maatz “didn’t fit” with that direction “higher and higher up” and didn’t think they were “going to get there with present employment.”

Maatz declined to comment.

Younggren said the association has advertised for applications for the position. They are in the process of “gathering” those applications and will consider how to proceed after their next executive board meeting, which has not yet been set. Applications are due Aug. 27 to Bruce Kleven, the association’s attorney in Minneapolis.

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“We’re looking for a gold star, someone who wants to ride to the top, to be in tune with the folks out in D.C. and whatnot,” Younggren said.

Maatz, 59, came to the beet group after serving as executive director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. He graduated from North Dakota State University in 1982 in agricultural education. He started his career in agricultural education and worked in adult farm business management. He served 10 years as the president of the Red River Valley Potato Growers Association and then was named president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, Minn.

Maatz replaced Nick Sinner, who served as executive director of the RRVSGA from March 2004 to December 2014. Sinner went on to serve as executive director and then president/chief executive officer of the Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association in Owatonna, Minn., until December 2017.