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Calavo Growers Inc. Appoints Kocher President And CEO

Mendizabal Kocher Calavo Growers Board

Santa Paula, California-based Calavo Growers Inc. has appointed Brian W. Kocher as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1.

“After conducting a thorough search, including interviews with several well qualified candidates, Brian Kocher was the clear choice of our board of directors to become the next president and chief executive officer of Calavo Growers,” said Calavo Chairman J. Link Leavens. “Brian’s deep knowledge, expertise and operational leadership in the fresh produce industry as a CEO, COO and CFO make him uniquely qualified to lead Calavo forward and position our company for growth. We are delighted to welcome Brian to our talented team.”

Prior to joining Calavo, Kocher served as the president and CEO of the Castellini Group of Companies, one of the largest distributors of fresh produce in the U.S. Before his time at Castellini, he held several executive roles, including CFO, chief operating officer and interim CEO at Chiquita Brands International, a producer and distributor of bananas and other produce.

“I am thrilled and privileged to join and lead Calavo for its next phase of growth and transformation,” Kocher said. “I’m excited about the actions and initiatives that are in place and look forward to accelerating the impact of those initiatives while capitalizing on consumer trends that support Calavo’s growth. Most importantly, I am honored to join a team focused on the success of our customers and each other.”

Kocher will succeed Steve Hollister, who has served as Calavo’s interim CEO since September. Hollister will return to serving as an independent member of the board of directors on Feb. 1.

“I am honored to have led Calavo as interim CEO during this important time for the company and would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and commitment,” Hollister said. “Along with the board of directors, I strongly believe the future of Calavo will be in great hands under the leadership of Brian Kocher.”

Calavo Growers’ Fresh segment procures and markets fresh avocados and select other fresh produce, including tomatoes and papayas. The Renaissance Food Group (RFG) segment creates, markets and distributes a portfolio of healthy, fresh foods, including fresh-cut fruit, fresh-cut vegetables and prepared foods. The Foods segment manufactures and distributes guacamole and salsa.

Founded in 1924, Calavo’s fresh food products are sold under the respected Calavo brand name as well as Garden Highway, Chef Essentials and a variety of private label and store brands.

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