Mission Produce, Inc., a company sourcing, producing and distributing fresh avocados, today announced that James (“Jim”) Donovan, Sr. VP of Global Info. & Industry Affairs, is retiring after over 36 years with the organization.
During his expansive stretch at Mission, Jim garnered a strong reputation in sales, operations, and industry relations, but spent the better part of his career in a senior level global sourcing position. He joined the Company as an Export Sales Manager in 1984 after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business.
Among his career accomplishments, Jim played a key role in developing major the growing and distribution sources in Mexico, Chile and Peru, as well as Colombia and New Zealand. He also laid the groundwork for forming relationships with leading retailers and buyers in Asia and Europe. Throughout his time at Mission, Jim helped establish and served on many avocado industry associations including the Hass Avocado Board, Mexican Importers and Handlers Association, Peruvian Avocado Committee, Chilean Avocado Importers Association and the World Avocado Organization.
From left to right: Jim Donovan, Steve Barnard, and Ross Wileman.
Helping avocados become mainstream
“Jim was instrumental in establishing our sourcing and sales strategies abroad, which has contributed to Mission’s global success today,” said Steve Barnard, President and CEO at Mission Produce. “He conceptualized the potential of the avocado from a niche fruit to a global, mainstream food. On behalf of everyone at Mission, I would like to thank Jim for his outstanding contributions to our company.”
“As both his friend and colleague, I’ve greatly enjoyed working alongside Jim over the past 35 years,” said Ross Wileman, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing at Mission Produce. “He is a loyal and fun leader who has dedicated much of his life to building Mission and navigating our exciting industry. Though we will miss his enthusiasm in the office, I wish Jim all the best in his retirement.”
“It’s been an honor to be a part of Mission’s journey since its infancy, from a small California-based avocado packer to a global, successful publicly-traded Company,” said Jim Donovan, Sr. VP of Global Info. & Industry Affairs at Mission Produce. “I’ve met and worked with some of the most remarkable and passionate people in the global avocado and produce industry. I am extremely humbled by the success we’ve experienced in my tenure at Mission and look forward to its continued growth.”