2022 Nominees to the Board of Directors
Set forth below is biographical information for each of our Class II director nominees and a summary of the specific qualifications, attributes, skills, and experiences which led our Board of Directors to conclude that such nominee should serve on the Board of Directors at this time. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Board of Directors believe that each nominee brings a strong and diverse set of skills and experiences to the Company that strengthen our Board of Directors’ leadership and effectiveness with respect to our business and long-term strategy. If elected, the nominees for election as Class II directors will serve for a term of three years (and until their successors are elected and qualified) or, if earlier, until his or her earlier death, resignation, disqualification, or removal. There are no family relationships among any of our directors or among any of our directors and our executive officers.
In December 2021, the Board of Directors appointed Shaunte D. Mears-Watkins as a Class II director. Ms. Mears-Watkins was identified as a director candidate by an independent third-party search firm used by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee to assist with identifying qualified director candidates.
Luis A. Gonzalez:
Luis A. Gonzalez was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2011. Mr. Gonzalez is a private investor in real estate and other ventures. Previously, Mr. Gonzalez founded Austral Group S.A., Peru, which was the second largest fishing and marine based food producer in Peru. Mr. Gonzalez also founded Camposol S.A., a leading agroindustrial company in Peru. Mr. Gonzalez also co-founded Grupo Arato in 2011, which the Company acquired in 2018. Previously, Mr. Gonzalez also served as a director of our wholly-owned Peruvian subsidiaries – Grupo Arato Holding S.A.C., Beggie Peru S.A., Arato Peru S.A., Inversiones Agricolas Olmos S.A.C., and Avocado Packing Company S.A.C.– until November 24, 2021. In 2007, Mr. Gonzalez was honored with the “Comendador por Servicios Distinguidos” medal by the President of Peru for his contributions to the country.
Mr. Gonzalez studied mechanical engineering at Saarbrücken Fachhochschule in Germany.
The Board of Directors concluded that Mr. Gonzalez should serve as a director based on his extensive business and leadership experience in the avocado and agroindustrial industries and his first-hand knowledge of avocado farming and packing operations in Peru.
Bruce C. Taylor:
Bruce C. Taylor was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2001. Mr. Taylor founded Taylor Fresh Foods, a multi-billion dollar producer of salads, fresh vegetables, and healthy fresh food, in 1995 and serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Taylor received a Bachelor of Science degree (Business) and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Development Studies) from the University of California Berkeley and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University.
The Board of Directors concluded that Mr. Taylor should serve as a director based on his extensive business and industry knowledge and his long tenured leadership and management experience in the agriculture and farming sectors at Taylor Fresh Foods.
Shaunte D. Mears-Watkins:
Shaunte D. Mears-Watkins was appointed to the Board of Directors in December 2021. Ms. Mears-Watkins has served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of energy and nutrition foods, since June 2021. Previously, Ms. Mears-Watkins held increasingly senior roles in marketing, sales, and strategy at The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX), a global manufacturer and marketer of household goods, food, pet care, and commercial cleaning products, from 2005 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2021. From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Mears-Watkins was a Global Category Manager at Bare Escentuals Beauty, Inc. (NASDAQ: BARE), a retail cosmetics and personal care company. Ms. Mears-Watkins has served on the board of the Alameda County Community Food Bank since November 2021.
Ms. Mears-Watkins received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
The Board of Directors concluded that Ms. Mears-Watkins should serve as a director based on her broad commercial and marketing experience in the food and consumer products industries and her expertise in global branding and strategy.
The Board of Directors recommends a vote “FOR” each of the three named director nominees.