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Del Rey Avocado transfers leadership to next generation

Fallbrook, CA, Del Rey Avocado Co., Inc. BB #:112306 – Here, the senior leadership team and business partners Bob Lucy and Bob Siemer are proud to announce the transition of leadership of the company the two men have led and loved for decades. It will be passed to the next generation during the early part of 2022. The two will remain active in industry and will serve on the company’s board of directors.

“We will continue to be available to advise and consult thus ensuring the continuity of excellence the company is known for,” said Lucy.

“We are so proud and delighted to pass the torch to three highly talented and intelligent people, who just happen to be our kids,” Siemer said.

Bob Siemer’s career in the avocado farming industry began in 1974 when he started taking care of a 200-acre avocado grove in Goleta, California. After four years of learning and becoming an expert on planting, irrigating, fertilizing, pruning, and how to maximize production, he expanded his reach in grove management to multiple groves.

In 1988, Bob had the opportunity to purchase Del Rey Avocado from his father-in-law and continue to expand the legacy of their avocado packing house company for a third generation. He partnered Bob Lucy and Ruben Hofshi, two of his most trusted friends and business associates, to assist him in this new venture.

In the 1990’s, he began managing personally owned properties along with running the packing side of the business for Del Rey Avocado. He firmly believes to this day that his understanding of both sides of the coin will help both Del Rey farmers and the company to thrive in the avocado category. He and Lucy made it their mission to see to it that their growers succeed, and the California avocado market prosper.

Bob Lucy born in Western Massachusetts and one of four children, was an outstanding high school athlete and was drafted by the Montreal Expos. He chose to attend college at Columbia University where he majored in English and played both football and baseball. After graduating from Columbia in 1975, he was offered a unique opportunity by a family acquaintance, Gene Schnell, to move to Escondido, California and learn the avocado business. The Schnell Family at that time was one of the largest avocado growers in California. Bob had the good fortune to be mentored by Warren and Gil Henry of Henry Avocado and Bill Frey of Frey Nursery, where he learned the business from the “ground up.”

He developed and managed 1800 acres in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In the late 80’s, Bob switched gears and entered the marketing and sales part of the avocado industry. In 1989 he partnered with Bob Siemer to buy Del Rey Avocado Company. Bob’s responsibilities included the sales and marketing of fruit from California, Mexico, Chile, and Peru.

Both men passed along their passion and work ethic to their children who have worked side by side with them for over two decades.

“As with many other successful family agricultural companies in California, we began grooming the next generation for the eventuality and hope of them wanting to, and being ready for, leadership at the right time,” said Siemer.

“In our minds, we recognized in 2020 that the right time was upon us, and we began the process of nurturing a smooth transition of leadership to Jessica, Patrick and Donny,” said Lucy.

The final decision was made in late 2021 and the reins were turned over to Jessica Hunter (Bob Siemer’s daughter), Patrick and Donny Lucy (Bob Lucy’s sons) earlier in January.

Jessica Hunter, now CEO is primarily responsible for all growing, packing, and grower relations of Del Rey Avocado, with multiple operations in California, Texas, and New Jersey. Patrick Lucy, now President leads the company’s marketing, sales, and distribution efforts globally with the sales team. Donny Lucy, Vice President, is managing domestic and international sales, as well as global procurement. All three are part of the company’s board of directors, which also consists of the senior Lucy and Siemer.

Over the last several years the company has experienced considerable growth and is recognized as a leader in organics and innovators in sustainable practices, something the trio is deeply committed to. Their vision for the future includes grower development, continued market expansion, and providing their customers innovative solutions that add value while at the same time show reverence and care for our environment. The company is known for many industry firsts and continues to explore opportunities that support their growers, employees, and customers alike.

“The three of us make a good team,” said Patrick. “We are blessed that we work so well together and are thrilled and proud to carry on a legacy that our dad and Bob Siemer who worked so hard for so many years.”

“I have to say with all sincerity that working with my father, my brother Patrick and Jessica for all these years has brought me and my family so much joy. There are so many great people in this industry, and I don’t have to look very far, because I get to see them every day,” said Donny Lucy.

“Without a doubt Del Rey Avocado is positioned to continue to do great things and Siemer and I are excited to see that unfold in our kids. At the end of the day, we are truly blessed and are mindful that the good Lord has given us this tremendous opportunity,” said the senior Lucy.

“We are both looking forward to spending more time with our grand kids, our wives, and doing the things we love to do, while counting our blessings every day,” said the senior Siemer. “We will continue to be involved in our community and the industry, while supporting this amazing management team.”

About Del Rey Avocado

Since 1969 Del Rey Avocado has been a family-owned grower, shipper, and packer of avocados, located in Fallbrook and Vista, California as well as Vineland, New Jersey. Del Rey Avocado packs California avocados grown from San Diego to San Luis Obispo County. With over 50 years’ experience running a quality packing house operation, they continue to be both farmers at heart and in practice.

The owners of Del Rey Avocado own acreage in San Diego County and understand the concerns of the California Grower. Given their deep roots in this industry, Del Rey has a personal stake in every piece of advice they give to growers and every piece of fruit they sell to retailers globally.

At present, Del Rey Avocado has a significant presence in the California Avocado marketplace, in both organic and conventional fruit. They provide fresh avocados year-round through an international procurement team. This program allows them to sell avocados in season from Mexico, Peru, and Chile. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.delreyavocado.com.