Del Rey Avocado announces leadership transition
Del Rey Avocado's leadership team and business partners Bob Lucy and Bob Siemer have announced the transition of leadership of the company.
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.
Siemer said: "We are so proud and delighted to pass the torch to three highly talented and intelligent people, who just happen to be our kids."
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.
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.