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Fort Worth-based Pecan Council names new executive director

Alexander J. Ott, an agriculture industry leader with more than a decade of experience leading category organizations, will join Fort Worth-based American Pecan Council as its new executive director beginning July 1.

Ott currently serves as executive director of the California Apple Commission, the California Olive Committee and the California Blueberry Commission, the release stated. Ott will be relocating from California to Texas to lead the APC.

The APC’s mission is to help build demand for pecans, America’s native nut.

“I’m excited to join an organization that has built such strong momentum in such a short time, thanks to the dedication and passion of the people behind it,” Ott said in the release. “I’m humbled to be able to work on behalf of the thousands of American pecan growers, shellers and handlers across the entire pecan belt to help drive production, support research, educate trade and ultimately grow consumer demand for the American Pecan.”

The Council recently launched the pecan industry’s first-ever consumer campaign: American Pecans, The Original Supernut. The campaign aims to get Americans to think about pecans in a new way.

According to the release, in his new role, Ott will oversee domestic marketing for pecans, in addition to working with the Council to conduct research, gather industry data, assessments, oversee grades, standards and packaging — which are enabled by the recent passage of the Federal Marketing Order for pecans.

Ott brings 14 years of experience to his work at the APC. He holds a B.A. in Government from California State University, Sacramento and an M.A in International Relations and Political Science from California State University, Fresno. Ott also graduated from the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

“Alex Ott has the experience, the education and the vision to lead APC well into the future,” APC chairperson Mike Adams said in the release. “An 11-member working group was charged with selecting the new executive director and unanimously chose Alex – a true testament to our collective confidence in what he brings to this organization and industry.”

Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search firm, assisted the American Pecan Council and its search committee in the recruitment of the executive director.

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