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Avocados From Mexico CEO praises new team

In announcing the new senior executives on his marketing and retail promotion teams, Avocados From Mexico Chief Executive Officer Tim O'Connor said the organization is well poised to move forward and develop some exciting new programs.

Kathleen Triou, formerly vice president of domestic marketing for the U.S. Potato Board, has joined Avocados From Mexico as chief marketing officer, and Maggie Bezart, who was previously with the Tim-OConnorTim O'ConnorChilean Avocado Importers Association, has come aboard as vice president of trade and promotions.

"I am very excited about Kathleen and Maggie joining my team," O'Connor told The Produce News July 18. "We have an outstanding team, and this gives us senior leadership on both the marketing and retail sides."

O'Connor said that he has worked with Triou since 1999 when he came to the U.S. Potato Board and she worked for The Perishables Group. Ultimately she joined him at the organization and he said, "I have always been very impressed with her marketing capabilities."

He said that while potatoes and avocados are different products and will require different strategies, the process used to develop those strategies is basically the same, and Triou excels at that.

"Maggie brings a long history of working in the avocado industry to us," O'Connor said. "With Chile, she set up promotions and called on retailers, albeit with a much smaller budget. The triouKathleen TriouAvocados From Mexico board has always been impressed with her efforts, and we are delighted to have her as part of our team."

Bezart will have direct responsibility over AFM's retail merchandising team, which includes Retail Market Director Eduardo Serena, based in Illinois, and regional directors Alejandro Gavito based in Texas, Ryan Fukuda based in California, Oscar Garcia based in Florida, and Tanya Edwards based in Georgia.

In a press statement released by AFM, Triou said, "I am truly in the right place, at the right time. As the only avocados available year round, Mexican avocados are always fresh, delicious and in season. The consistent quality ensures a good eating experience, and as CMO it will be my charge to ensure consumers know and understand that avocados are not just for guacamole at parties -- they can be so much more. I am excited to bring our versatility story to life."

O'Connor, who joined AFM several months ago as the CEO, said he is still building his team and will have at least one more announcement down the road.