Alex Ott is leaving the California Apple Commission and other commodity boards to become the full-time executive director of the American Pecan Council.
With the change, the pecan group is launching its first national campaign and a new brand: American Pecans, the Original Supernut.
Ott joins the pecan council July 1. He was the second executive director at the California Apple Commission, succeeding Kenton Kidd in 2005. He also was executive director of the California Blueberry Commission for the past eight years and head of the California Olive Committee for almost 9 years. He also led the California Kiwifruit Committee when it merged with the apple commission 2006.
Before joining the apple commission, Ott was director of government relations for the California Grape and Tree Fruit League.
According to the American Pecan Council, the position is full-time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture established the pecan marketing order in 2016.
The new “Original Supernut” campaign seeks to drive home three main points:
- Pecans are super nutritious;
- Pecans are versatile as a snack out of the bag, or in smoothies, salads and other recipes; and
- Pecans are local. Pecans are the only major tree nut that is indigenous to the U.S., according to the release.
Pecan growers/handlers in 15 states fund the council.