Oct 2, 2023American Pecan Council, promotion board names CEO
The American Pecan Council (APC) and the American Pecan Promotion Board (APPB) have named Anne Warden and chief executive officer of both organizations.
The appointment marks the addition of a “new but seasoned leader to grow pecan demand at home and abroad” and signals “another important step these organizations are taking to deepen the industry’s unity and further expand the role nutrient-rich pecans can play in the diet,” according to a news release.
For the past four years, Warden was group executive vice president and head of marketing, communications and affairs for Dairy Management Inc, an organization that oversees the national dairy research and promotion program and its affiliated organizations representing 30,000 dairy farmers and importers. She was responsible for growing dairy consumption through consumer marketing campaigns, strategies to strengthen U.S. dairy’s reputation and efforts to engage customers and health professionals around dairy’s nutrition and sustainability efforts.
Before entering dairy, Warden was an executive vice president for the Edelman ad agency and was a chief of staff and communications director for U.S. Representative Mike Thompson of northern California’s Solano, Sonoma and Yolo Counties. She also worked as a communications and public affairs officer for the University of Chicago, the Pew Charitable Trusts and other foundations and firms beginning in 2002.
“The American Pecan Council has helped reawaken many Americans – and increasingly consumers in key global markets – to the incredible versatility and nutrition of pecans,” Larry Don Womack, APC chair, said in the release. “With so many more opportunities to grow our industry, Anne is the leader with the marketing experience and business vision to take us to the next level.”
Warden begins her role on Oct. 1, succeeding former executive director Alex Ott. “Both boards share deep appreciation for Alex’s dedicated work on behalf of the pecan industry since 2018 and expect a smooth transition,” according to the release.
“Over the past two years, we’ve built a strong foundation for delivering consistent value back to the growers and importers who created the American Pecan Promotion Board,” David Salopek, APPB’s chair, said in the release. “Anne’s track record for unifying the supply chain around shared business opportunities and then delivering results makes her the CEO pecans now needs to accelerate our market share growth.”
Warden also led business planning and marketing for 20 Dairy Management farmer-funded organizations.
“I am honored to bring my experience to an industry so primed for growth and so willing to align against shared priorities,” said Anne. “The all-natural nutrition and taste of pecans paired with the sustainability as North America’s only native nut provides so many ways to win share with today’s changing consumer. I’m looking forward to listening closely to the industry and carving a clear path to bring new value and increased usage occasions to this powerful product.”
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the APC represents pecan growers, harvesters and processors. Founded in 2016 through a federal marketing order, APC’s mission is to promote the benefits of pecans. The organization is funded by pecan handlers in 15 pecan-producing states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
Started in 2021 under USDA oversight, the APPB is an industry research and promotion program comprised of pecan producers and importers dedicated to promoting the benefits of pecans, growing its position in the marketplace and developing new uses for pecans.