Ken Melban and Terry Splane to Serve as Co-executive leaders of California Avocado Commission

  • Nov 22, 2023

At its November 16 Board meeting, the newly-elected California Avocado Commission Board of Directors named current CAC Vice President of Industry Affairs and Operations, Ken Melban, and Vice President of Marketing Terry Splane as co-executive leaders of the organization, effective immediately. During 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 Lamb Cottingham, treasurer.

“Since the departure of CAC’s former president, Ken and Terry have been managing the Commission together very effectively,” said Jason Cole. “Our Board of Directors has utmost confidence in their leadership and the strength of their combined expertise to oversee CAC’s staff, programs and finances.”

Ken Melban joined the Commission in 2011 as director, issues management. He was 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 for the benefit of California avocado growers, sustainability initiatives, development of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the California avocado industry, training and widespread adoption of the program.

Food industry veteran Terry Splane was hired in March 2023 to be the organization’s new vice president of marketing. Since joining the Commission Terry developed a new strategic plan and approach to marketing communications, led the search for a new agency of record and reorganized the marketing staff. He has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the foodservice and retail channels, most recently as head of partner success & strategy for Impossible Foods. Before working at Impossible Foods, for more than a decade Terry was Vice President of Marketing for Ventura Foods, LLC.

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