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Pear Bureau Northwest announces CEO departure

kevin moffitt pear bureau

MILWAUKIE, OREGON – Pear Bureau Northwest BB #:162426, a nonprofit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote the fresh pears grown in Washington and Oregon, today announced that Kevin D. Moffitt, president and CEO, will be stepping down after 35 years with the organization.

The responsibilities in his role as President include developing and overseeing the strategic communication, research, marketing and promotion programs designed to help bring profitable returns to the 700 grower families located in Washington and Oregon by increasing awareness and consumption of fresh pears.

Moffitt will relinquish day-to-day duties as president and CEO as of July 1, 2024. To help ensure a smooth transition for his successor, he will continue in a part-time mentoring and training role until the end of the 2024/25 season.

Moffitt will also be transitioning out of his role as manager of the Fresh Pear Committee of USDA’s federal Marketing Order 927’s, overseeing all regulatory functions for the nation’s longest-running marketing order. In the most recent grower referendum, held in 2023, 99% of voting producers favored continuing the order.

Moffitt joined Pear Bureau Northwest in 1989 as the director of international marketing. In this position, he developed and managed marketing programs for USA Pears in more than 30 countries. He also drew on his prior experience as a banana ripening technician with Dole to compile pear ripening research and develop the industry’s first ripening guidelines and handling manual in 1999; this manual is still the go-to guide today. Moffitt has continued to advocate for conditioning pears, working with a 3rd party consultant since 2001 to train shippers and retailers on best practices and advantages for conditioning pears to increase consumer satisfaction and repeat sales of fresh pears. The program has grown exponentially under his guidance and today, there are 58 retail banners in the US and Canada carrying conditioned pears.

Moffitt was named president and CEO of the bureau in 2001, and he immediately began to encourage more creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes among the staff. “As president, I led the Pear Bureau team to embrace change, as it is inevitable, and to adapt and evolve to stay relevant to consumers, the retail trade and our industry,” described Moffitt.

As one of his earliest major innovations, he began experimenting with online shopping site promotions in 2001 with Webvan, one of the first online grocery delivery companies in the United States. He and his team evolved and refined these initiatives over the years, and activations such as sponsored search and shoppable recipe ads are now a cornerstone of the organization’s retail promotions.

Also in the early 2000s, he developed consumer how-to guides for using pears in decor and created a wine, cheese and pear pairing wheel. In addition, he invented and patented the reusable, recyclable Pear Packer to protect delicate, easily bruised pears. Other accomplishments include petitioning the USDA to declare December as National Pear Month, introducing the first World Pear Day and having pears named as the official state fruit of Oregon.

Educating consumers has been a priority for USA Pears under Moffitt’s leadership. He developed the USA Pears website to be the world’s largest website dedicated to pears, adding innovations such as making every recipe in the site’s deep database shoppable, so consumers can download and order all the ingredients in the recipe to be delivered to their home. Marketing activations have also had a strong educational component. For example, in 2022, he developed an augmented reality activation as a fun and innovative way to demonstrate the versatility of pears in recipes and provide consumers with helpful information on ripening and storage.

“Kevin has embraced the role of being an advocate for growers and a champion for pears,” said Jordan Matson, chairman of Pear Bureau Northwest. “During his 23 seasons in this position, he has served as president for one-quarter of the bureau’s 93-year history. Throughout this time, he has demonstrated a passion for creative marketing with a high level of execution. He has been agile and open to change, ready to make bold moves and stay ahead of trends. We thank him for his decades of dedication and effective leadership as he moves into his next chapters in life.”

Over the years, Moffitt has also been actively involved with national and international produce associations. His past and present appointments include chairman of the World Apple and Pear Association, chairman of the United States Agricultural Export Development Council, member of the Board of Trustees of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, member of the board of United Fresh Produce Association, member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Technical Advisory Committee for Fruit and Vegetables, and chairman of the Produce Marketing Association’s International Trade Conference Committee.

For more information about Pear Bureau Northwest, please visit the organization’s retail trade site,, or consumer site,