William Watson, who has served as executive director of the National Mango Board since its inception in 2005, will resign from that post at the end of this year, the board announced in an April 10 press release.
In his role as executive director, Watson had oversight of the Orlando, FL-based organization's strong marketing, research and industry relations programs, which helped increase consumption 53 percent to 2.87 pounds per capita since 2005.
"It has been an exciting ride at the NMB over the last eight or so years, and I look forward to watching the board's continued success after my departure," Watson said in the press release.
The board has appointed a subcommittee to fill the executive director position before Watson's departure.
"The mango industry owes a large debt of gratitude to William Watson for the formation and steerage of the National Mango Board," Bill Vogel, chairman of the NMB, said in the press release. "Under his watch, our fragmented industry became unified, consumption rose markedly, and the board and staff developed a high degree of professionalism. While we lament his departure, the board will earnestly pursue the course he has outlined for us. We wish him well and are sure of success in his future endeavors."
Prior to the NMB, Watson served as executive director of the National Watermelon Promotion Board, guiding the NWPB from its inception into a highly successful national promotion program. Prior to this, he worked as assistant to the manager of Texas Citrus Mutual and the Texas Vegetable Association in McAllen, TX.
Watson began his 26-year produce industry career as a grower-shipper of sweet onions, watermelons and blueberries from Tyler, TX, where he also owned and managed a retail/wholesale produce market.
In other personnel news, the NMB promoted Kristine Concepcion to director of industry relations from communications manager. Concepcion joined the board in 2012 as communications specialist and was promoted to communications manager in 2013. She was responsible for industry communications, including trade media, Mango Connection, crop report and industry outreach presentations.
Concepcion will continue to guide these communication initiatives in her new role as well as work more closely with the industry to understand their needs and help educate about the NMB's programs.
"I am excited by the challenge to take our industry relations program to the next level in an effort to further unify the mango industry," Concepcion said in the press release.
Concepcion's experience in marketing consists of helping organizations communicate their messages clearly, concisely and accurately to target audiences. Before joining the NMB, she worked in the nutrition field for five years as a consultant, and worked as an events and marketing Intern at the city of Orlando's Communications & Neighborhood Relations Department. Concepcion graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in interpersonal/organizational communications with a strong focus in marketing.