The California Avocado Society presented its 2013 Award of Honor to California Avocado Commission Vice President of Marketing Jan DeLyser at its 98th annual meeting Sept. 28 in Ventura, CA.
"Jan DeLyser has been specifically focused on the California avocado industry for the past 15 years," Chris Ambuul, an avocado grower and president of the CAS, said in making the presentation. "Her entry into the California avocado industry cameat a difficult time, when foreign imports cast an ominous shadow over our livelihoods. In just 15 years, U.S. consumption has increased five-fold and we are still in business. Jan hasn't just left a mark on our industry. She is a big reason why we are all still here."
Ambuul noted that the CAS award recognizes outstanding contribution and dedication to the California avocado industry. He shared comments about DeLyser from industry leaders, including Tom Bellamore of CAC, Rob Wedin of Calavo, Phil Henry of Henry Avocado, John Dmytriw of Index Fresh, Ross Wileman of Mission Produce, Bryan Silbermann of the Produce Marketing Association and Scott Bauwens of WestPak.
Bob Lucy of Del Rey Avocado, who is also CAC Marketing Advisory Committee Chairman, commented, "Maybe it was Jan's Midwest upbringing that made her so friendly and easy to be around. Maybe it was her Midwest roots that made her so credible. Maybe it was her Midwest values that made her so loyal to her colleagues. But, most importantly, maybe it was the Midwest weather that got Jan to Southern California. Our gain, their loss."
The California Avocado Society was founded May 15, 1915, at a meeting held at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles. It is CAS' mission to promote efficiency of production and orderly marketing toward assuring long term profitability for the business of avocado growing.