Hass Avocado Board Enters 20th Year With Expanded Staff Roster

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – To keep pace with the growth of fresh Hass avocados sales, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) has expanded its staff with four new additions. As research projects have nearly doubled in the past five years and promotion has been proven to play a fundamental role in expanding demand, the science-based expertise, marketing, and administrative support from these four hires will be instrumental in driving HAB’s vision to be America’s most popular and desired fruit by 2025. 

“As HAB enters its 20th year, we have invested in developing our organizational structure,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of HAB. “To maximize our impact, we have expanded the roles and responsibilities of our current staff based on their strengths and added new positions for strategic support. As a team, we are now poised to work more effectively and more efficiently to reach our long-term program goals.” 

Four new staff members have recently joined the organization: 

Feon Cheng, PhD, MPH, RDN, CHTS-CP, Nutrition Epidemiologist is a nutrition scientist with a passion for evidence-based research. After four years with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Cheng will individually contribute to research that aligns with the board-approved long-term nutrition research strategy and manage external epidemiology studies. Leveraging her expertise in managing analysis of large datasets, specifically in older adults with obesity, she will also oversee a fellowship program to support secondary analysis and publication of the ground-breaking Habitual diet and Avocado Trial (HAT) study findings. 

Ella Bauer, PhD, Nutrition Research Associate Manager will manage the day-to-day monitoring of clinical research being conducted at universities and other prestigious research institutions. She will leverage her diverse background in research and organizational skills to help grow the contracted projects and subject participation each year. Additionally, her training in neuroscience will be utilized in developing the healthy living pillar, one of the program’s primary focuses of investment for the next ten years.  

Amanda Izquierdo, MPH, RD, LDN, Public Relations and Advertising Manager, is an experienced communicator responsible for helping ensure strategic alignment on messaging, outreach, and organization goals. She is the day-to-day point for multiple agency teams, leveraging her experience as a health professional as well as marketer to set and promote new context for the nutritional benefits of fresh avocados. Through the diverse touchpoints of Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®, Izquierdo will strengthen engagement with health professionals and consumer audiences.   

Pam Ortega serves as the Executive Assistant of Operations, a new role to help organize and assist the active leaders holding HAB’s 12 board positions. Ortega will support the current leadership as they map the vision for the future as well as help coordinate the annual board nominations process which just opened. 

The Hass Avocado Board, the only independent avocado organization, equips the entire industry for success. Adding the expertise and skills of these new staff hires to the roster bolsters the overall “HAB Effect,” strengthening the ability for members to do things they wouldn’t be able to do without the collective power of the Hass Avocado Board. For more information about avocado consumption and programs visit hassavocadoboard.com

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About The Hass Avocado Board 

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) exists to help make avocados America’s most popular fruit. HAB is the only avocado organization that equips the entire global industry for success by collecting, focusing, and distributing investments to maintain and expand demand for avocados in the United States. HAB provides the industry with consolidated supply and market data, conducts nutrition research, educates health professionals, and brings people together from all corners of the industry to collectively work towards growth that benefits everyone.  The organization also collects and reallocates funds to California and importer associations to benefit specific countries of origin in promoting their avocado brands to customers and consumers across the United States.