The California Avocado Commission announced two staff additions March 16.
Jonathan Dixon, a former research scientist at the New Zealand Avocado
Growers' Association & Industry Council Ltd., has been hired as research
Dr. Dixon has 30 years of experience in the avocado, horticulture, plant
science, plant health and molecular bioscience realms. He has strong
research and industry networks in California, South Africa, Spain, Australia
As research program director, his responsibilities will include research
project management, outreach and communications, and development of
research strategy, such as identification of industry research priorities aimed
at strengthening industry competitiveness, sustainability and profitability.
While at the New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association, Dr. Dixon's
achievements included developing and implementing a plan to commercialize
11 new avocado cultivars, designing and implementing research aimed at
improving productivity, and introducing a traceback system for royalty
He earned a doctorate in plant physiology, a master's degree in horticultural
science in post-harvest physiology and a bachelor's degree of horticultural
science from Massey University in New Zealand.
The commission also announced that Angie Hanson has joined the
organization as communications manager for industry affairs. Ms. Hanson,
who brings nearly five years of produce industry experience to the position,
comes from Christopher Ranch, where she worked in public relations and
marketing since August 2008.
Ms. Hanson, who earned a bachelor of science degree in print journalism
from Kansas State University, served as a staff writer for The Packer
newspaper for three years prior to her stint at Gilroy, CA-based Christopher
Ranch. In her new commission role, Ms. Hanson will assume multiple
responsibilities, including maintaining communications with growers and
handlers; managing technical programs; assisting the research program
director; and coordinating industry statistics related to the production and
distribution of domestic and imported avocados.