California Avocado Commission Appoints Ken Melban and Terry Splane as Co-Executive Leaders; Jason Cole Comments
IRVINE, CA - The California Avocado Commission (CAC) recently made a major leadership decision at its board meeting on November 16. There, the newly elected Board of Directors named Ken Melban, current Vice President of Industry Affairs and Operations, and Terry Splane, Vice President of Marketing, as co-executive leaders of the organization, effective immediately.
In the same meeting, the board elected its new slate of officers, including California avocado growers Jason Cole, Chair; Rachael Laenen, Vice Chair; Daryn Miller, Secretary; and Maureen Cottingham, Treasurer.
Melban joined CAC in 2011 as Director, Issue Management, according to a release. He was then promoted to Vice President of Industry Affairs in 2015 and to Vice President of Industry Affairs and Operations in 2022.
He spearheaded the expansion of the California avocado export program, persisting to secure market access to China in 2020 after nine years of process and negotiation.
Other highlights of Ken’s tenure with CAC include working with government organizations to benefit California avocado growers, sustainability initiatives, development of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the California avocado industry, training, and widespread adoption of the program.
CAC hired Splane in March 2023 as its Vice President of Marketing.
In his time with the commission, he has developed a new strategic plan and approach to marketing communications, led the search for a new agency of record, and reorganized the marketing staff.
Splane has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the foodservice and retail sectors, most recently as head of partner success and strategy for Impossible Foods. Before working at Impossible Foods for over a decade, he was Vice President of Marketing for Ventura Foods.
“Since the departure of CAC’s former president, Ken and Terry have been managing the Commission together very effectively,” said Cole. “Our Board of Directors has the utmost confidence in their leadership and the strength of their combined expertise to oversee CAC’s staff, programs, and finances.”
Best of luck to both leaders as they guide CAC toward growth.