This year, in an effort to address both the extraordinary opportunities and the extraordinary challenges the industry faces, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), with industry participation, launched BOLD: The Hass Avocado Industry Board Leadership Development Program. Helping the industry face an increasingly complex marketplace with sophisticated problem-solvers, BOLD is designed to develop emerging leaders who are both motivated and equipped to meet those opportunities and challenges.

The 12-member inaugural class of the BOLD program includes both importers and producers representing all corners of the Hass avocado industry. Class members backgrounds include future leaders from many prominent importers and marketing companies as well as many participating in the program to gain knowledge and insights to further their family avocado businesses. BOLD Class 1 participants reflect the industry’s diverse range of emerging leaders.

Mentored by industry veterans, BOLD participants took part in courses on the essential knowledge, skills and relationships necessary for motivated individuals to develop themselves into industry leaders. Course content was developed and taught by relevant professionals, ranging from industry veterans to top academic professionals in food and agriculture at the University of California-Davis.

“This is the first program of its kind for the avocado industry and we’ve received enthusiastic and unanimous support from our stakeholders,” said Emiliano Escobedo, HAB executive director. “We’ve been pleased to see a diversity of class participants that are Hass avocado producers and importers and we are very proud of all the inaugural BOLD class has accomplished so far.” 

BOLD is intended to bring out the best in both participants and boards, ultimately resulting in an ever-growing group of credible and steadfast advocates for the industry. The program offers individuals who want to make a difference in the industry with a productive pathway to do so. BOLD also provides industry boards with a continuous infusion of well-rounded professional perspectives to help them stay ahead of market opportunities and to address industry challenges. 

Backed by HAB and financially supported by industry associations, BOLD focuses on nurturing the potential of the individual for the benefit of the entire industry.   

The 12-member inaugural 2021 class of the BOLD program includes:

  • Brock Becker – Importer
  • Sean Bettles – Producer
  • Gerardo Huerta – Importer
  • Connor Huser – Importer
  • Rachael Laenen – Producer
  • Juan Monsalve – Importer
  • Jaime Rivas – Producer
  • Monica Robles – Importer
  • Peter Romero – Producer
  • David Ruiz, Jr. – Producer 
  • Erika Vega – Importer 
  • Ricardo Vega, Jr. – Producer 

For more information:
Jake Ferguson
Hass Avocado Board
Tel: +1 (916) 492-5312