ORLANDO, FL - A new Executive Director has been named for the Colombia Avocado Board (CAB). The avocado organization announced the hiring of industry leader Manuel Michel, who will soon step into the critical role.
“This is an exciting time to join the Colombia Avocado Board,” said Michel. “I have an unwavering dedication to enhance lives through agriculture development and trade, and my commitment is rooted in the profound impact ag development can have on the livelihood of farmers, local communities, and consumers and I see that reality at work in Colombia, and I am eager to highlight the benefits and advantages of Colombian avocados and be a champion for the Board’s mission and vision.”
Michel formally began his duties at CAB on July 17, taking the reins from William Watson, who has been acting Director and played an instrumental role in the establishment of the organization.
According to a press release, he joins CAB with a long history in agriculture, organizational administration, and food safety dating back over 25 years. This includes a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Oregon State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University, along with a license from the State Bar of Texas.
Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the National Mango Board, where he administered a national research and promotion program and increased the volume, awareness, and consumption of fresh mangos in the United States.
“We’re thrilled to have Manuel, and his special skill set, join CAB,” remarked Ricardo Uribe, CAB Chairman. “It was vital that we brought the right person into this role, and we appreciate William supporting us in our operational startup until we could. It’s clear that Manuel understands this opportunity with his past experience growing new organizations along with his international experience as we grow Colombian avocado exports to the U.S. We’re eager for Manuel’s leadership and innovative ideas that will help us accelerate our program.”
The warm climate and fertile soils make Colombia a year-round global Hass avocado producer and exporter with an increasing global footprint. As the organization noted, Colombian avocado production has grown immensely over the last two years, with orchard numbers more than tripling, resulting in the production of nearly 25 million pounds during the 2023 season.
Congratulations to Manuel Michel on this appointment!