Meet Bold Class 1
Get to know the twelve members of the inaugural class of BOLD: The Hass Avocado Industry Board Leadership Development Program.
My name is Brock Becker, and I started my career six years ago at Mission Produce. During my time in the produce industry, I have become extremely passionate about procuring avocados from around the globe and am fortunate to have met incredible people along the way. I am honored to be a part of the initial BOLD program, which has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the avocado market and growing trends.
My name is Sean Bettles, and I grew up in Ojai, California. I attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business. After graduation, I went to work on organic and regenerative farms for six years, and in 2021, I started working for my family’s avocado ranch and packinghouse in Carpinteria. Our focus is growing and packing healthy produce for the community with high standards in responsible business practices while improving the health of our local ecosystem as well.
Jaime Rivas Campbell
My name is Jaime Rivas and I was born in the hearth of an avocado family. Ever since I can remember, I have always been surrounded by all this industry-business magic. Recently, I have been working in sales at our family business company.
I have also been participating in multiple board organizations such as HAB, MHAIA and APEAM, which I value very much. This is where I hope to meet and cooperate with all the capable and brain-powered people that are constructing the industry, and that I had the opportunity to grow along with.
My name is Gerardo Huerta, and ever since I can remember, avocados have been a part of my life and family business. I remember going to orchards that my father harvested, where I learned from the ground up. The knowledge passed down to me from my father is the foundation of who I am today.
I was hired at Del Rey Avocado 10 years ago and have grown thanks to the people around me. I believe that the BOLD program will help me keep growing as a person and help me in the future in whatever path I go in.
My name is Connor Huser, and I work for Mission Produce. I’ve been a California avocado Grower Relations Representative for six years. I’m very passionate about our industry and thoroughly enjoy working with and learning from our broad scope of experts. I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for all and am honored to be part of the initial BOLD Program to help further my knowledge of our industry.
My name is Rachael Laenan, and I am a sixth-generation Ventura County farmer who manages all aspects of my family’s 110-acre grove. With over a decade of experience in international sports sponsorship, partnership management, and events, I now focus my energy on overseeing my ranch’s food safety, OSHA, and grant programs while building the business-to-consumer sales channel. I believe strongly in a vibrant avocado industry and am excited to learn and develop in order to contribute in a meaningful way.
My name is Juan Monsalve, and I am an avocado category manager. This class has taught me the intricacies of the avocado from the point of view of all different organizations. Using this knowledge, I plan to elevate a popular item to benefit all parties involved.
In addition, I will use this knowledge to manage the quality of fruit and grow the category in the U.S. market demand, which aids foreign and domestic economies.
My name is Monica Robles and I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and raised in Los Angeles, California. I began my career in produce shortly after high school in 2007 and entered the avocado industry in 2015. I am currently the Senior Procurement Manager at Mission Produce Inc.
I graduated cum laude from California State University Northridge, where I earned a bachelor's degree in finance. My goals within the avocado industry are to continue the growth and expansion of the avocado business and promote sustainability.
My name is Peter Romero and I grew up in Ventura County, California on an avocado farm. Over the years, my interest in avocados produced in California has continued to grow, helping my family farm along the way.
I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in business and marketing. I currently live in Los Angeles, continuing my career in advertising while also being more active around my family avocado farm. I am a proud BOLD participant, hoping to marry my love for avocados and farming with my career background in marketing and advertising.
David Ruiz Jr.
My name is David Ruiz Jr., and I was born in Morelia, Mexico. I grew up in Periban, a town in the heart of the avocado area of Michoacan.
I wanted to add value to our family business so I attended Tecnologico de Monterrey campus in Morelia and studied International Business. I took marketing at Comillas Madrid, and value chain management at UB Barcelona.
I have worked in packaging for Index Fresh and currently work in a frozen food distribution company where guacamole is involved. I closely follow the family business to be able to get involved in the future.
My name is Erika Vega, and I am an alumna of California State Polytechnic University, where I studied in Pomona’s Agribusiness Program and am pursuing a career at Index Fresh. In my role in sales as an account manager, I maintain customer relationships while providing excellent customer service. I joined the BOLD program, eager to gain knowledge and become a future avocado leader while serving the industry.
Ricardo Vega Jr.
My name is Ricardo Vega Pérez, I was born in Uruapan Michoacan. Every summer I spent some time learning about avocados. I remember going with my father to the first APEAM meetings and all the process to start exports to the U.S.
I studied Agribusiness at the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores De Monterrey. In 2010, I worked with the Mexican government in a program for small and medium growers to support food safety certifications. Eventually, I started to work in the family business.
As a BOLD participant, I expect to learn and contribute with my knowledge to the industry.
Learn more about how you can get involved in the bold program.
Whether you are a potential applicant or an interested member of the industry, learn more about how BOLD brings out the best in all of us.