Dec. 13, 2017 – -Almond Alliance President Kelly Covello has announced her resignation effective Dec. 31, 2017. In making the announcement, Kelly said that while she was very proud of the role she had played in the development of the association over the past seven years, the many long days came at a price of spending time away from her family and it was time to put her family first. “I have enjoyed my tenure with the association, and I am more than grateful for the encouragement and support you have given me in pursuing my professional and personal growth objectives,” she said in her letter to the board.

Almond Alliance Chairman Brad Craven thanked Kelly for her dedication to the association and acknowledge how hard the decision to step down must be. “The board supports Kelly’s decision to put her family first, and we wish her all the best in her new career direction,” he said. “Kelly came to the AHPA with a vision for our trade association and a remarkable ability to implement that vision.  We can credit her for the many great steps we have taken:  our almond food safety program, the Almond Board of California Memorandum of Agreement, the Strategic Planning retreat and the resulting rebranding of the AHPA as the Almond Alliance of California, the Almond PAC and the tremendous advocacy effort, and the initiation of almond hull research on a shoestring budget that has blossomed into a major industry focus with ample resources.  The entire almond industry owes a great debt to Kelly for the asset that the Almond Alliance has become.  She will be sorely missed, and difficult to replace.”

Chairman Craven pointed out that the board was unanimous in its strong belief that, “Thanks to Kelly, the Alliance has taken a giant leap toward its vision to be the premier advocate dedicated to the California almond community and is in a strong position going forward.”

Craven said the board was working with Kelly to come up with a transition plan and that all of the associations programs will continue uninterrupted. “We appreciate Kelly’s willingness to work with the board during this transition phase and ensure that the transition to her successor is seamless.”

Past Chairman Dick Cunningham pointed out the major contributions Kelly had made in transitioning the association from the Almond Hullers and Processors Association to a much more aggressive advocacy organization. “Kelly has been the best thing to ever happen to our association. I’m so grateful to her for all her hard work on behalf of our membership. She has set down the foundation of a great trade association that we must continue to build on. I fully support her decision to seek a new path for herself and wish her all the best going forward. Kelly has offered to help in our transition to new leadership and I welcome her assistance in that regard.”

Long-time director Barbara Smith thanked Kelly for her service, noting, “Kelly’s enthusiasm and sincere personality to assist any one of our members when needed was amazing.   It is something one cannot purchase with salary or benefits, it comes from within.  I completely understand her decision to put family first.  I wish Kelly the very best and there is no doubt she will succeed in whatever new endeavor she wants to tackle.”