IRVINE, Calif. (January 12, 2012) — After an extensive search, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), which conducts generic avocado marketing for foreign and domestic suppliers, has announced the appointment of Emiliano Escobedo as HAB’s new executive director. He will join HAB on January 16, 2012. Escobedo replaces Jose Luis Obregon, who provided leadership for more than six years. Obregon resigned in October to become a partner in his family’s business.
“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Emiliano Escobedo as the new executive director of HAB,” said Jimmy Lotufo, chairman of HAB and Senior Sourcing Representative at Rosemont Farms, a C.H. Robinson company. “With his produce industry background and experience, specifically related to avocados, we are confident that he is the right person to lead and advance the strategic priorities that will ensure HAB’s leadership position within the industry.”
As executive director, Escobedo will work closely with all member organizations and the board to achieve HAB’s overall goal of building demand for the more than 1.4 billion pounds of Hass Avocados in the U.S. marketplace. He will be responsible for oversight of the strategic direction, operations and management of HAB, as well as the ongoing development and implementation of its research and marketing programs.
“I am honored to accept the position of executive director of the Hass Avocado Board,” said Escobedo. “I look forward to working with stakeholders around the world and move forward strategic priorities that will continue to build demand for Hass avocados while positioning the category as a leader in produce.”
Escobedo most recently served as the Director of Global Marketing and U.S. Operations for the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacán (APEAM), the largest avocado producer and exporter association in the world, which represents avocados from Mexico. He began working at APEAM in 2005 as an industry representative and marketing strategist. He held the position for three years before being promoted to marketing director.
“The Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) congratulates Emiliano in his new position as executive director of the Hass Avocado Board and wishes him the best of luck in his new venture,” said Jorge Covarrubias, Chairman of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association. “CAIA is looking forward to working with him and the HAB directorship in making the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Order (HAPRIO) a fair and equitable program for the stakeholders of the program.”
“We’re excited for Emiliano,” said Adrian Iturbide, Chairman of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in marketing and promoting avocados to the Hass Avocado Board and has proven himself to be a diehard advocate for this important commodity. The entire avocado industry will benefit from this move.”
“On behalf of the California Avocado Commission I would like to welcome Emiliano to the Hass Avocado Board,” said Ed McFadden, Chairman of the California Avocado Commission. “We look forward to working with him to both continue and strengthen the strong relationship that has benefited our organizations. Emiliano’s unique background and experience will certainly help enable our industry to move forward together as we work towards our shared strategic priorities.”
“The Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC) congratulates both the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and Emiliano Escobedo,” said PAC Chairman Enrique Camet. “We know it’s been a long search to find the right person to fill the position of executive director of the HAB and we are certain that it will be a good match for the category because of Emiliano’s excellent skills and experience gained from working for the Mexican Hass avocado industry. The PAC is looking forward to working with the directors of the HAB and its new executive director in advancing the strategic priorities under discussion and further making the HAB a clearinghouse network of information, data and research for the HAPRIO associations.”
In October 2010, Escobedo was named by The Packer as one of 25 leaders in the fresh produce industry. He is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish and French, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2003 and currently lives in Southern California with his family.
About the Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs the HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the US from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.