HAB – Preparing for the Future

In produce, we all know the only constant is change. In keeping with our produce roots the Hass Avocado Board had much positive change over the course of 2021, and we want to share those changes with you.

Three board decisions in 2021, will continue to propel us toward our vision of making avocados America’s most popular and desired fruit – a goal we work towards every day.

The first decision was a commitment to support nutrition research programs financially for the long haul.

HAB committed to invest 15 percent of its net revenue toward research and science in critical areas that will further position avocados in ways that positively influence demand in the U.S. As volume increases, so will funding for nutrition research, ensuring a consistent pipeline of scientific research to advance our demand building priorities.

The second decision was to further focus our marketing and communications program on the health professional community.

Health professionals make recommendations to millions of Americans about food and diet. Recommendations that can both improve Americans overall health and have long-lasting influence on avocados in the marketplace.

The third decision was to restructure HAB’s internal management and company structure.

This will help HAB to be better equipped to support the board’s overall mission, vision, and strategic priorities. Recognizing our strengths and opportunities, we redesigned our organization, designated new roles and responsibilities to our current staff, and developed and filled new positions to support our long-term program goals.

Gina Widjaja, Director of Marketing and Communications, will lead the marketing and communications department. In her new role, she will be responsible for managing HAB’s marketing team, which consists of Natalia Arias, Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist, Amanda Izquierdo , MPH, RD, LDN, HAB’s new Public Relations and Advertising Manager, Ivonne Gomez, Content and Community Manager and Jason Garthoffner, Web and Graphic Designer.

Dr. Nikki Ford, Sr. Director of Nutrition, will lead the nutrition department. In her role, she will be responsible for managing HAB’s nutrition research team, including Dr. Feon Cheng, Nutrition Epidemiologist, and Dr. Ella Bauer, HAB’s new Nutrition Research Associate Manager.

We strengthened our finance department to ensure streamlined services for our stakeholders and to ensure accountability within the organization. Robert Rumph, Sr. Director of Finance and Administration, leads the department with support from Monica Acosta, Associate Manager of Finance and Administration.

We created an operations department to ensure our board member’s voluntary service can positively impact the organization and to provide best in class administrative support. Silvia Standke, Sr. Manager of Operations heads the department with the support of HAB’s latest hire Pam Ortega, Executive Assistant of Operations.

Alejandro Gavito, Sr. Business Insights and Data Services Manager and John McGuigan, Director of Industry Affairs will continue in their existing roles supporting our stakeholders with business support tools and information, industry engagement, and sustainability programs, respectively.

For twenty years, the Hass Avocado Board has successfully advanced our industry here in the U.S., as well as positively impacting the market for fresh Hass avocados around the world. The ultimate success of HAB programs has been the board’s strategic vision and the determination and knowledge of our staff, who embrace it with passion.

As we look toward the next decade of HAB supporting our industry, we couldn’t be more excited about the strategic commitments made by the board and the phenomenal talent that we have attracted and retained, to get us there.

Stay tuned.

Other Happenings

Leadership at the Avocado Nutrition Center Joins the Foundation for Fresh Produce Board

July 8, 2024

Dr. Nikki Ford’s new role on the FFP Board heralds a fruitful era for the avocado industry, aligning with ANC’s health-driven research and initiatives.

Research from the Avocado Nutrition Center and the Benefits of Fiber in Avocado Shared at the Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium

June 17, 2024

On Monday, May 20, HAB Staff Ella Bauer, PhD, and Amanda Izquierdo, MPH, RD, LDN, presented to nutrition professionals the benefits of the fiber in avocados on gut health and chronic disease risk reduction.

Introducing BOLD Class 4

June 3, 2024

We are pleased to announce the participants who make up our fourth Board Leadership Development (BOLD) Class 4 that was initiated the last week of March.