Calavo Growers Appoints Helen Kurtz as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Calavo Prepared; Brian Kocher Comments
SANTA PAULA, CA - Global avocado provider Calavo Growers is boosting its leadership ring with Helen Kurtz now on board. Kurtz has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of Calavo Prepared, the company’s prepared foods segment.
“I’m excited to join the Calavo team at this stage of the company’s transformation, and I look forward to working with our team and customers to drive long-term growth in the Prepared segment,” commented Kurtz on her recent appointment.
Kurtz brings more than 25 years of experience and joins the company from Foster Farms, where she was the SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. There, she led the poultry business and orchestrated its sale to private equity. She also spent time with General Mills, where she led a number of brands, including Betty Crocker, Chex Mix, and Fruit Snacks, in addition to serving as Vice President of Yoplait.
In April, Calavo announced it would reorganize its business into two segments, Grown and Prepared, with a Senior Vice President and General Manager responsible for each. The dual segment structure aligns product fulfillment responsibilities with P&L management.
Starting August 16, Kurtz will lead Calavo’s Prepared segment, which consists of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, ready-to-eat sandwiches, wraps, salads and snacks, and guacamole and salsa sold at retail and foodservice in addition to avocado pulp sold to foodservice.
Ron Araiza, who is retiring from a long career in the produce industry in October, will assist in onboarding and transitioning.
“Helen is a results-driven leader with a wealth of experience in the packaged foods industry, and we are excited for her to lead and grow our Prepared segment,” said Brian W. Kocher, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her operational and marketing expertise will help drive Calavo forward under our new segment structure.”
Congratulations to Helen Kurtz for this start on her next chapter.