U.S. Potato Board restructures marketing staff
By John O’Connell
DENVER, Colo. — The U.S. Potato Board has consolidated its domestic and international marketing departments and is seeking to fill two new positions created by the restructuring.
John Toaspern, who had been USPB’s international marketing vice president, will head the combined marketing department.
The restructuring will take effect when the new marketing year begins on July 1.
The position of domestic marketing vice president had been vacant since Kathleen Triou left USPB several months ago to join an organization promoting Mexican avocados. Rather than filling that position, USPB is taking both internal and external applications for newly created directors of marketing programs and marketing operations. Salaries for the new positions haven’t been determined, said USPB President and CEO Blair Richardson.
Though staff members will retain areas of emphasis, Richardson said the restructuring will entail utilizing their talents for both domestic and international issues.
“It will allow us to utilize the strengths of all of our staff instead of separating them out,” Richardson said, adding the change will give staff an opportunity to broaden knowledge about the industry.
Richardson anticipates the consolidation will improve efficiency, but he said USPB hasn’t set specific goals for cost savings. He said the restructuring won’t change USPB’s long-range plan.
In addition to his promotion with USPB, Toaspern was also recently selected to chair the U.S. Agricultural Development Council. Toaspern has been an executive committee member and officer of the organization for six years and had been its vice chairman. The council is a nonprofit trade association comprising agricultural groups receiving Market Access Program or Foreign Market Development funding from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The organization represents about 80 commodity groups, farmer cooperatives and trade groups, according to a press release.
“It reflects the experience John has and the past record he’s put forth,” Richardson said of Toaspern’s new post with USAEDC. “I think John should be able to handle that and all of his other responsibilities very well. It’s good to have somebody like that on our team.”