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Brent Portell joins Del Rey Avocado

With the expansion of Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc.'s new state-of-the-art facility in Vista, CA, the executive management team made a decisions to search for an individual who would fit in with the company culture and family environment, while at the same time have the talent and ability to help take the company to a new level. The several-month search lead to find a very capable and enthusiastic operations manager in Brent Portell, the company announced June 19.Brent-Portell-Del-Rey-Avocado

Portell has several years' experience in the fresh produce industry, having worked for Green Thumb Produce Inc. in Banning, CA, for over 11 years. Portell brings a tremendous range of skills to Del Rey Avocado, including production, sales, business development, product procurement, pricing and food safety. Portell is an accomplished operational manager with a solid record of success in cross-functional management expertise who brings a lot to the Del Rey Avocado management team.

Portell received his bachelor of science degree in architectural engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology and a master of business administration from the University of Redlands. Jessica Hunter, vice president of operations for Del Rey Avocado, said, "The combination of his highly relevant industry experience, work ethic, enthusiasm and education made Brent an ideal choice for our family-owned company."

When Del Rey Avocado decided to expand its operations in Southern California, the company knew it would require tremendous attention to detail, the ability to think through challenges that would arise and to maintain the highest levels of customer service in the industry. From day-one, Portell immersed himself in the proven business practices Del Rey Avocado has developed since its founding. In addition to training in Fallbrook, CA, the company's headquarters, he spent over a week in Vineland, NJ, at Del Rey Avocado's new facility there. Reflecting on his experiences, Portell said, "I was looking for a new challenge in my career, and tackling the challenges and opportunities associated with opening a new facility really appealed to me. Best of all, I get to be on the ground floor of customer base expansion."

Del Rey Avocado's new facility is equipped with four state-of-the-art ripening rooms, highly efficient refrigerated storage, and a large staging area to load trucks quicker, thus getting product to retailers and foodservice operators faster. The packingline is directly adjacent to the cooling facility and is designed for expansion, ever-evolving food-safety requirements and overall work place comfort. Additionally, the new facility has ample and comfortable waiting areas for drivers along with excellent restroom facilities. In the end, Del Rey Avocado's goal is to extend the great service it is known for throughout the entire distribution process.

"One of the best things about working for a company like Del Rey Avocado is that today is not going to be the same as yesterday, and no challenge is too big to tackle because of the engrained spirit of team work," said Portell.

Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey, said, "We could not be happier with our decision to hire Brent. He is a dynamic leader focused on team building, personal responsibility and creating a positive work environment for our employees. He is the type of person that is not afraid to get his hands dirty and lend a hand when needed in order to meet our customers expectations."

The family-owned company has been in operations since 1969 and is headquartered in Fallbrook, CA, which is in beautiful northern San Diego County. Del Rey Avocado is one of the few California-based companies that owns its facilities on both the West Coast and the East Coast and has a total of six packing and distribution centers strategically located throughout North America. Additionally, the company grows in five unique geographic regions, including Mexico, Peru and Chile. -30-