Jan DeLyser has announced her plan to retire as VP of marketing from the California Avocado Commission after 24 years of service. The tentative timing for her retirement is mid-February.
“Jan DeLyser is an icon in the produce industry and has been instrumental in the development of the avocado category and the premium California avocado brand,” said Jeff Oberman, president of CAC. “No doubt Jan’s family would have loved for her to retire a bit earlier; instead her commitment to California avocados, the growers and supporting the Commission through its recent leadership transition has been invaluable and appreciated.”
DeLyser’s spent her entire 47-year career in the produce industry. Prior to working for the commission, she held a number of positions in the produce industry, working with The Packer newspaper, the Fresh Produce Council (now the Fresh Produce & Floral Council), Sun World International and Westlake Produce. She joined CAC in 1998 as merchandising director for the Southwest region. In 2000, she was promoted to VP of merchandising and to VP of marketing in 2003.
“As a director of the California Avocado Commission, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jan and witnessing firsthand her exceptional leadership, creativity, and unrivaled understanding of the produce industry,” shared Rob Grether, chairman.
“It is as a California avocado grower that I am most grateful to Jan for her tireless efforts over the past 24 years to not only increase demand for our state’s avocados, but to also lay the foundation for sustainable demand for years to come.”
DeLyser was the chairperson of the Produce Marketing Association and served on the board of directors of the United Fresh Produce Association, now known as the International Fresh Produce Association. She serves on the IFPA’s DEI committee, represents the commission on the Buy California Marketing Agreement as a board member and is a member of the Brighter Bites Los Angeles committee.
“California avocados have been a significant part of my life for nearly a quarter of a century, and my entire adulthood has revolved around the produce world that I love,” DeLyser said. “Now I’m looking forward to new experiences, more time with family and staying in touch with colleagues who have become dear friends.”