Obregon
Obregon

Six years after joining the Hass Avocado Board as its first managing director of information technology, Jose Luis Obregon, the board’s current executive director, will leave the Irvine, Calif.-based board at the end of October.

Obregon is resigning to become president of IPR Fresh, Nogales, Ariz., owned and operated by his brothers, Alvaro and Enrique Obregon.

“I’m very privileged that my brothers invited me to become a partner,” he said. “I’m sad to leave the avocado industry, which has been very good to me, but I’m happy that I’ll be staying in the (fresh produce) industry.”

IPR Fresh packs and markets a range of vegetables including peppers, corn, tomatoes, eggplant and squash in addition to providing purchasing programs and load consolidation services.

Obregon delayed his departure to help complete projects currently in motion and to assist with planning for 2012. The HAB board of directors has begun a search for his successor.

“I’m disappointed to see Jose go, but wish him the best of luck,” said Giovanni Cavaletto, vice president of operations for Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif., and vice chairman of the board.

The two have worked closely during Obregon’s tenure with the HAB, Cavaletto said, and the industry has benefited from Obregon’s efforts.

“The prices and volumes speak for themselves,” he said. “He’s traveled all over the world presenting hass avocados.”

A native of Mexico, the move to Nogales means “returning to my second home,” Obregon said. In addition to his brothers and parents, his wife’s family lives near Nogales, he said.

“Being around family is important to my wife and me,” Obregon said.

IPR Fresh represents the fourth Obregon generation in the fresh produce industry in Mexico and the Southwest, he said.

“Jose Luis has played an important part in the growth of HAB, and he will be missed,” Jim Donovan, chairman of Hass Avocado Board’s board of directors, said in a letter to board members. “His leadership through the development of HAB into an independent, marketing and research association has been very much appreciated.”

Obregon joined the board in 2005 and was promoted to executive director in 2007.

Before joining the board, he worked for two years at the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales.