Kevin Moffitt leaves his position at Pear Bureau Northwest after 35 years  

2016 Moffitt_sm

Kevin Moffitt will be stepping down after 35 years

Pear Bureau Northwest has announced its president and chief executive Kevin Moffitt will be stepping down after 35 years with the organisation. 

Moffitt will relinquish day-to-day duties as president and chief executive on 1 July. To help ensure a smooth transition for his successor, he will continue in a part-time mentoring and training role until the end of the 2024/25 season. 

Moffitt will also be transitioning out of his role as manager of the Fresh Pear Committee of USDA’s federal Marketing Order 927’s, overseeing all regulatory functions for the nation’s longest-running marketing order. 

Moffitt joined Pear Bureau Northwest in 1989 as the director of international marketing. In this position, he developed and managed marketing programs for US pears in more than 30 countries. He also drew on his prior experience as a banana ripening technician with Dole to compile pear ripening research and develop the industry’s first ripening guidelines and handling manual in 1999; this manual is still the go-to guide today.  

Moffitt was named president and chief executive of the Bureau in 2001, and he immediately began to encourage more creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes among the staff.  

“As president, I led the Pear Bureau team to embrace change, as it is inevitable, and to adapt and evolve to stay relevant to consumers, the retail trade and our industry,” Moffitt said. 

As one of his earliest major innovations, he began experimenting with online shopping site promotions in 2001 with Webvan, one of the first online grocery delivery companies in the US. He and his team evolved and refined these initiatives over the years, and activations such as sponsored search and shoppable recipe ads are now a cornerstone of the organisation’s retail promotions. 

Also in the early 2000s, he developed consumer how-to guides for using pears in decor and created a wine, cheese and pear pairing wheel. In addition, he invented and patented the reusable, recyclable Pear Packer to protect delicate, easily bruised pears. Other accomplishments include petitioning the USDA to declare December as National Pear Month, introducing the first World Pear Day and having pears named as the official state fruit of Oregon. 

“Kevin has embraced the role of being an advocate for growers and a champion for pears,” said Jordan Matson, chairman of Pear Bureau Northwest. “During his 23 seasons in this position, he has served as president for one-quarter of the Bureau’s 93-year history. Throughout this time, he has demonstrated a passion for creative marketing with a high level of execution. He has been agile and open to change, ready to make bold moves and stay ahead of trends. We thank him for his decades of dedication and effective leadership as he moves into his next chapters in life.”