Meet Bold Class 2

Get to know the twelve members of the second class of BOLD: The Hass Avocado Industry Board Leadership Development Program.

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Casey Evans Beltran

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My name is Casey Evans Beltran and I am from Dallas, Texas. I have always had a passion for food, which has led me to a 10+ year career in the food service industry throughout various sectors. My passion for avocados landed me in my previous role leading food service marketing promotions at Avocados From Mexico, which then led me to my current job position of two years as Director of Food Service Sales and Business Development at La Bonanza Avocados in Mission, Texas. I am honored to be a part of the BOLD Program so I may continue to fill my thirst for knowledge about the avocado industry as a whole and network with my fellow producers and importers so that we can continue to grow this industry together.

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Maureen Cottingham

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My name is Maureen Cottingham, and I am a sixth-generation member of a farming family in Camarillo, California. I attended Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in agri-business. After almost two decades working with the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, a marketing and educational trade organization, I have joined the family business at Camlam Farms, Inc. where I am proud to be continuing our family’s farming tradition as well as learning the various business and farming aspects of an avocado and citrus operation. As a BOLD participant, I am eager to learn about the global avocado industry so that as a local grower, we can leverage the key elements of continuing to produce the highest quality fruit for the marketplace.

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Caitlin Cunha

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My name is Caitlin Cunha and I graduated from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness and a minor in Spanish. Four years ago, I was presented with the opportunity to join the Sales Team at Del Rey Avocado in Fallbrook, California. Mentoring under these leaders has opened countless doors for my career. Del Rey encouraged me to apply for the BOLD Program and I'm so honored to participate in this year's BOLD Class. I look forward to building lasting relationships with my classmates as the program shapes us into the avocado industry's leaders of the future.

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Hillary DeCarl

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My name is Hillary DeCarl, and I grew up in Temecula, California. I attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where I played volleyball and earned a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. After graduation, I was presented with the opportunity to work at Del Rey Avocado in Fallbrook, California. I started by helping growers implement food safety plans and certifying Del Rey’s groves and facilities. This experience helped me transition into the role I am in now as a field representative procuring fruit. I am very grateful for the people I have met and the relationships that I have built in this industry. I am honored to be a part of the BOLD Program, where I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the avocado industry and learn how I can contribute to its success.

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Elizabeth Flores

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My name is Elizabeth Flores and have been working for Mission Produce, Inc. in Oxnard, California for almost five years. As the North America Quality Assurance Manager, I am responsible for the quality of avocados at Mission Produce. My career in the avocado industry, and where I fell in love with this work, started when I worked for a packing house in Jalisco, Mexico. I am excited to be a part of the BOLD Program because it will allow me to expand my knowledge on other aspects of this industry, which I am so passionate about.

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Gwen Jackimek

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I have spent the entirety of my career within the produce industry with the last few years focused on avocados. My background is in sales, marketing, and category management where I enjoy being customer-facing, promoting healthy avocados, and working through supply chain capabilities. My most recent position is Director of Sales – Avocados at Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. I am excited to be a part of the BOLD Program to enhance my perspective from other industry professionals in other roles, for a heightened understanding of how all the functions work together to grow, develop, and improve this dynamic category.

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Osvaldo Magaña

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My name is Osvaldo Ambriz Magaña, and I am the Pruning Manager at Limoneira Company in Santa Paula, California. I oversee all pruning operations company-wide, including the avocado orchards. I own Bear State Ag, Inc. where I provide ag services. I have an interest in the future of the agriculture workforce and industry services to continue to farm and harvest avocados. That’s the reason why I am excited to be a part of the BOLD Program to see others’ perspectives on these issues and learn more about how to improve the avocado industry here in California.

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Carlos Ignacio Valerio Medel

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My name is Carlos Ignacio Valerio Medel from Michoacan, Mexico where I currently reside. I am the General Manager of Fruitval S.A. de C.V, an avocado packing company in Michoacan. My main responsibilities are to coordinate the collection of the fruit from the field and attend to its production throughout the year. I also manage avocado sales to the United States in large part. My main interest in participating in the BOLD Program is to acquire new leadership skills and I intend to hold a board seat in the near future on one of the best associations in the industry.

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LeighAnne Neary

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My name is LeighAnne Neary and I am a Senior Account Manager with Calavo Growers. I manage key retail and food service accounts for the company. For seven years prior, I worked for Mission Produce where I managed business development in the Northeast and Midwest and later switched gears to work on Mission’s marketing initiatives. I earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business marketing with a minor in communications studies from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. Over the years I’ve served as co-chair of Produce Marketing Association (PMA)’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee as well as a board member of the Center for Growing Talent by PMA. I currently serve on the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)’s Talent Development Committee.

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Jeff Onstot

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My name is Jeff Onstot and I am a Ventura County resident who has been active in our local agricultural community my entire life. I am extremely excited to be selected and participate in this BOLD class as I search for ways to contribute to the growth of our precious avocado industry. My passion for fresh produce, and its role in our community, has grown through my nine years in avocado sales. My current role in Avocado Sales and Sourcing at Westfalia Fruit and participation in the BOLD program has given me the platform to continue to follow my passion. I hope to champion responsibly-sourced fruit as I continue to expand my understanding of the role the Hass Avocado Board plays in our industry.

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Jose Daniel Pardo

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My name is Jose Daniel Pardo and I was born in Colombia. I have been involved in the produce industry all my life in my family’s business. I started in the avocado industry about 10 years ago and I immediately fell in love with the whole dynamic of this industry. Starting with Index Fresh as a Procurement Manager, then helping La Bonanza Avocado develop their program in the U.S. sales department, and now at CalMich Produce as their Business Development Manager. Currently, I am managing a blended project helping develop new strategies in Mexico and creating strategic relationships here in the U.S. and Canada. As an avocado grower in Colombia, I’ve been involved in the U.S. market with this incredible industry! By being part of the BOLD Program I like to keep growing, getting more knowledge from industry experts, and reaching the goal of one day being part of the boards that help shape this industry to be greater day by day.

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John Patrick

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My name is John Patrick, and I have been at Eco Farms-Oppy for four years, and my current role is East Coast Sales Manager. Prior to this, I was at Mission Produce for five years working in marketing and sales. My desire is to learn more about the production and farming side of the avocado business, so I may pass this knowledge to my customers. Everyone loves avocados, and I feel committed to educating our customers, and the public in general, about all aspects of the avocado industry. Hopefully, this knowledge will result in better decisions and increased returns to our growers.

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.