As the $7 billion avocado industry in the U.S. continually navigates opportunities as well as challenges that impact its future, emerging leaders are investing their time for the betterment of the whole industry through the Hass Avocado Board’s Board Leadership Development (BOLD) program. With one inaugural class graduated and the second class of 12 seated and soon to finish the curriculum in March 2023, the fresh avocado industry follows closely the growing promise tied to participants and their path forward to board participation and beyond.
“This program’s strategic approach to prepare future leaders has quickly earned the respect and support of all major avocado grower associations doing business in the U.S.,” said John McGuigan, director of industry affairs.
The year-long program engages industry experts to teach business skills through custom modules at the University of California, Davis and in partnership with the Agricultural Trade Education Council (ATEC). Highlights include diverse, in-person speakers from the avocado grower associations, HAB Executive Team and the USDA sharing firsthand knowledge of industry resources, priorities and procedures. The consolidation of essential information and recommendations is a core benefit as it would otherwise take years to gather these valuable insights. Graduates are well-rounded and better problem-solvers thanks to a more sophisticated understanding of the complex needs that have shaped the past and continue to challenge the future of the avocado industry in the U.S.
“This program’s strategic approach to preparing future leaders has quickly earned the respect and support of all major avocado grower associations doing business in the U.S.,” said John McGuigan, director of industry affairs. “We are pleased to have been able to bring the industry together to prioritize identifying, motivating and equipping the next generation of leaders. BOLD brings out the best in all of us.”
The members of Class 2 are:
- 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
In March 2023, the graduates will be board-ready potential candidates for the Hass Avocado Board, California Avocado Commission (CAC), Mexican Hass Avocado Importer Association (MHAIA), Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC), Colombia Avocado Board (CAB) and Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA). The immersion provided by BOLD will help them better meet business goals for their companies which in turn strengthens the industry and creates jobs and benefits for surrounding communities.
Click here to learn more about BOLD.