American Egg Board President and CEO Anne Alonzo has shared with AEB members and staff her decision to step down from office in mid-April 2020. She was afforded an opportunity to join an agribusiness company in a key role out of its Washington, D.C., office.
In sharing the news with the board, AEB Chair Jeff Hardin remarked that “Anne substantially transformed and strengthened the AEB; AEB is in a much better place. We are so very grateful for her dedication, many contributions and friendship. We will miss her lots but we’re happy for her new opportunity.”
Alonzo will remain with AEB until mid-April to assist in the transition and help deliver two major events—the annual board meeting and the White House Easter Egg Roll. The search for her successor is underway.
The following is her letter, dated Feb. 6:
Dear American Egg Board Members and Alternates:
I am writing to inform you that I will be stepping down as AEB’s president and CEO mid-April 2020. Please know that it was an extraordinarily difficult decision to reach—I genuinely love my team, AEB members and the egg industry. I was not looking to leave.
A challenging professional opportunity recently found me, though, affording a unique opportunity to join a newly-public agriculture company and lead its Washington, D.C., office. I’ve been commuting to Chicago for the past four years and really miss spending time with my husband, Wolf, and at my D.C. home.
Over these past years, I’ve worked hard to drive needed change necessary to transform AEB in to a more modern, efficient and high performing organization. Enhancing and strengthening AEB’s highly important relationship with the USDA; steering past FOIA/email retention challenges; driving a draft board reapportionment plan; revamping AEB’s HR/employee processes resulting in a more professional workforce and culture; moving AEB’s office locale; replacing long-standing public relations and creative agencies; championing exports and Latinos as strategic targets as well as improving AEB’s footprint and visibility at the White House’s largest public event, the White House Easter Egg Roll, and our signature event, are some of my and my team’s proudest achievements!
I genuinely believe I was the right person at the right time to lead this organization at a pivotal juncture in its history. Collectively—the board, the staff, our agencies, consultants and USDA overseers all share in turning AEB in to what is now, arguably, one of the country’s “best in class” commodity checkoff boards. Egg demand for eggs and egg products is also at its highest level in more than 50 years!
Throughout my time at AEB, I was blessed to have the support and friendship of so many folks. A heartfelt thank you goes to several past and present AEB Chair(s)—Paul Sauder, Blair Van Zetten and Jeff Hardin for their tremendous support and counsel. My admiration and gratitude go to my entire staff including my leadership team—John Howeth, Sofia Therios, Mickey Rubin, Bo Gasic, Nate Hedtke and a special mention to my right hand, Gwen Ramirez, for their efforts advancing AEB’s mission. A special shout out to USDA’s Jason Julian and, more recently, Craig Shackelford, as well as consultant David Fraser for their dedication to the AEB.
Going forward, I am confident that AEB’s next leaders can powerfully take AEB’s strong foundation and marketplace value and achieve even greater success in the coming decade. For now, though, there’s a lot to be done! It’s my personal desire to help successfully transition some of my work duties and deliver a stellar annual board meeting and White House Easter Egg Roll before my departure.
Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve this important industry.