MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (December 05, 2017) – The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) today announced its annual passing of the baton with the election of a new executive committee, including a new chairman, after the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) Sonny Perdue’s appointment of new board members to the HAB. Chairman Chris Henry from Del Monte Fresh Produce is stepping down after two years of service in this role, and will be replaced by Scott Bauwens, a California producer of Hass avocados from Paradise Grove.
HAB offers a special thank you to outgoing Chairman, Chris Henry, for his outstanding leadership and dedication to our mission and work over the past two years as Chair, preceded by three years as treasurer.
HAB is grateful for the service and commitment of California producers Laurie Luschei from Berry-Horton Ranch, Bob Schaar (BobKat) from Rancho Los Lobos, Thomas Escalante from Uncle Herb’s and Mike Adams from Premium Quality California Hand Grown Hass Avocados, as well as importers Gahl Crane from Eco Farms and Jorge Hernandez from London Fruit, whom were recognized for their service to the board over the last three years.
Looking ahead to 2018, the board will continue to support the vision laid out in its five-year strategic plan aimed at being the catalyst for fresh avocados being the number one consumed fruit in America and industry stakeholders being successful. The board is responsible for ensuring the plan’s strategic priorities are met, including building demand, nutrition research, supply and demand data collection, quality, sustainability and industry engagement.
Other executive committee positions have been assigned to: Vice Chairman Jorge Hernandez, importer; Treasurer re-elect Laurie Luschei, producer; and Secretary re-elect Javier Medina, importer from Mevi Avocados, Inc.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the board, and am committed to ensuring the priorities outlined in the five-year strategic plan are being upheld,” said Chairman Scott Bauwens. “I am confident our board and staff has the talent, experience and commitment to achieve the goals of driving sustainable demand and consumption of fresh avocados in the U.S.”
Three additional members and seven alternates were chosen to serve. Appointed board members include Susan Pinkerton, producer from Strata Holding, LP; Ben Van Der Kar, producer from Pinehill Ranch; and Sergio Chavez, importer from Prometo Produce. New alternate positions include producers C.J. Shade from Shade Farm Management, Will Carleton from Las Palmitas Ranch, Jeff Dickinson from Dickinson Family Farms, Bob Schaar (BobKat) and Thomas Escalante, and importers Jose Antonio Gomez from Camposol Fresh USA and Nils Goldschmidt from Terra Exports.
“We are pleased to welcome Chairman Bauwens and our newest board members, and we are confident they will diligently work toward the goals set forth in our five-year strategic plan,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board. “It’s an exciting time for the avocado industry and we look forward to continuing growth in 2018 and beyond.”
About the Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group 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 HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States.
In 2010, HAB established a Nutrition Research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. Fresh Hass avocados are a delicious, cholesterol-free, whole food source of naturally good fats. The Nutrition Research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB’s multiyear, science-based, food and wellness education program. Love One Today encourages Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
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