MISSION VIEJO, CA – (March 30, 2023) – A new generation of leaders has graduated from the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) Board Leadership Development (BOLD) program with specialized training and real-world experience that ensures a stronger future for the industry. The robust, year-long program exposes emerging leaders from across the supply chain to experts and resources essential to forming a well-rounded understanding of the business and being considered board-ready. Newly added experiential learning opportunities, like the two-day, in-person briefing with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in D.C., exemplify how the program immerses participants into the complexities as well as opportunities to take the industry forward.
“With the avocado industry booming at more than $7 billion in retail dollars, there is constant, dynamic change that requires leaders to have a big picture overview of all the relevant market forces influencing growth,” said John McGuigan, Director of Industry Affairs for the Hass Avocado Board. “The rising stars of BOLD Class 2 graduate with greater strategic vision, a stronger professional network and overall, more excitement and confidence to lead by serving on a board.”
As supply strives to keep pace with avocado’s growing popularity, the strategic evolution of instruction and expansion of influential guest speakers is becoming one of the BOLD program’s signature qualities. The 2022-2023 curriculum kept its foundational deep dive into the rules of governance and financial and fiduciary responsibilities of board members at the University of California, Davis and added a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with USDA leadership. Through hands-on meetings with industry veterans, expert HAB staff and mentors with avocado board experience, participants take away from the program fresh insights and a broader perspective of what board service entails.
Energized by their success in the program and ready to contribute more deeply within the avocado industry are the following graduates of BOLD Class 2:
- Casey Evans Beltran, Producer/Importer, La Bonanza Avocados
- Maureen Cottingham, Producer, Camlam Farms, Inc.
- Caitlin Cunha, Producer/Importer, Del Rey Avocado
- Hillary DeCarl, Producer/Importer, Del Rey Avocado
- Elizabeth Flores, Producer/Importer, Mission Produce
- Gwen Jackimek, Producer/Importer, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc.
- Osvaldo Magaña, Producer, Limoneira Company
- Carlos Ignacio Valerio Medel, Producer, Fruitval S.A. de C.V.
- Jeff Onstot, Producer/Importer, Westfalia Fruit Marketing USA
- Jose Daniel Pardo, Producer/Importer, Westfalia Fruit Marketing USA
- John Patrick, Producer/Importer, Eco Farms
- LeighAnne Thomsen, Importer, Calavo Growers
As the first and only professional development initiative for the Hass avocado industry, BOLD inspires fresh thinking and provides participants with a network of connections and resources to facilitate innovation, thought leadership and effective problem-solving.
As Class 2 continues on their journey to make a difference in the industry, BOLD will welcome Class 3 in April. To learn more about the program and the benefits to the avocado industry, visit HassAvocadoBoard.com/bold-program.
About The Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) exists to help make avocados America’s most popular fruit. HAB is the only avocado organization that equips the entire global industry for success by collecting, focusing, and distributing investments to maintain and expand demand for avocados in the United States. HAB provides the industry with consolidated supply and market data, conducts nutrition research, educates health professionals, and brings people together from all corners of the industry to collectively work towards growth that benefits everyone. The organization also collects and reallocates funds to California and importer associations to benefit specific countries of origin in promoting their avocado brands to customers and consumers across the United States.