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Pundit’s Mailbag — Obregons Celebrate New Life

Our piece, Hass Avocado Board Promotes Jose Luis Obregon To Managing Director, brought a quick response from Jose Luis who was, understandably busy at the moment:

Thank you for the very nice coverage regarding my promotion. Your ability to sum up the Mexican revolution in two paragraphs was unbelievable. Your comments regarding the organization and your closing lines are greatly appreciated.

I am currently in the hospital expecting Jose Luis Jr., who should arrive in a few hours, but did not want the day to go by without thanking you.

— Jose Luis Obregon
Managing Director
Hass Avocado Board
Irvine, California

That is dedication. The man is practically in the delivery room and still fulfilling his professional responsibilities.

Jose Luis’s father Francisco “Pancho” Obregon, waited a day to send us this note:

As your daily reader, I always enjoy the latest and most accurate information around this fascinating industry of fresh produce. I was very happy to learn this morning through today’s Pundit the details about Jose Luis’ promotion as the newly created role of Managing Director of the Hass Avocado Board

He told me last week that “he was promoted” and would further elaborate in person about his new responsibilities. I explicitly learned about his new roles through the Pundit… thanks!

I am very proud of Jose Luis and his personal growth and self development throughout his professional life. You mentioned in the article that “I might be smiling” because of his success, and let me tell you that my smile is much wider because Jose Luis and Karina’s first baby was born tonight in Irvine. Jose Luis Jr., my third grand child, is doing well and is pretty healthy. Here goes the 6th generation of produce farmers.

In another subject, I do need to make one important clarification from the same article from the Pundit. This is regarding when you mentioned that I was currently “consulting under the Novelle Consulting umbrella”. It was during December 2006 when I stopped all of my consulting practice with Novelle and all of my other customers; Al Vangelos, Danny Lopez, Win Winogrond and my other partners at Novelle’s, which are some of my best friends, respected and supported all of the decisions that I made then.

All of that happened so quick because of a good and valid reason: I was invited by C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., Minneapolis, to operate their newly formed Latin America Business Development Division and in January 2007, I officially started full time being part of the CHRW Team. It is for me very exiting and challenging to work with one of the World’s largest third-party logistics (3PL) companies, which is directly involved in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Could you imagine having our own labels (Fresh1), our prestigious Brands (Welch’s, Mott’s, Tropicana, etc.), growing and marketing our own proprietary seeds (Bambino, Mirai, etc.), developing value-added packaging, distributing our own Fresh-N-Easy line of pre-cuts, being part of a 102-year-old company with multi-modal transportation, one of the most admired companies by Fortune; and now, in addition to sourcing the highest quality products from preferred growers, we integrate value-added logistics and distribution services every step of the way. Rather than simply providing our retailers in the NAFTA countries with the best commodities, we customize a complete supply-chain solution that meets each individual customer’s needs.

This has been a great experience, hard work and real fun! Can you imagine? For a produce veteran, this is like a dream, isn’t it? Just take a look at this:

I did not know that you were also an historian, but you forgot something very important: Alvaro Obregon was also a fruit and vegetable farmer. He grew melons, tomatoes, peas, peppers, citrus, and chickpeas.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Houston in two months and share with you some good coffee; my best regards to Mrs. Pundit and the Jr. Pundits!

— Pancho
Francisco Obregón
Director of Produce
Latin America Business Development
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

First, a hearty mazel tov to Jose Luis, to Karina, to Pancho and to the whole family. May Jose Luis Jr. be a source of both joy and pride to his parents and grandparents.

Second, if we are now telling parents about their children’s promotions we must be ahead of the curve. We are honored.

Third, we apologize for not mentioning Pancho’s work with C.H. Robinson and are happy to correct the record. We knew Pancho was working with CHR but mistakenly thought it was under the Novelle umbrella.

How thrilling that the opportunity is so vast and C.H. Robinson’s commitment so strong, that Pancho’s work in Latin American business development is a full time position.

Look at the website link Pancho sent us right here. It stands as testimony to the commitment C.H. Robinson has made to this project.

Finally, yes, if Jose Luis Jr. takes to produce, he will be the 6th generation active in the field. Way back when Pancho was President of BioNova Produce, Pundit sister publication, PRODUCE BUSINESS, ran a “Blast from the Past” featuring a 1926 photo that included “…melons del General Alvaro Obregón….” being displayed at a fair in Mexico City. You can see the page right here.

With a new baby and a new job, our experienced advice to Jose Luis is to pay maximum attention to his wife. With immense responsibilities for building this division for a major multi-national corporation, our advice to Pancho is to find time to play with his new grandson.

And with a whole world to discover, our advice to Jose Luis Jr. is to soak it all in and enjoy it. With a family like yours, you begin life as a lotto winner.

Congratulations to all.

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