John Toaspern
    The United States Potato Board (USPB) Members approved the restructuring of the domestic and international marketing departments to form one USPB marketing department.

    This decision was ratified by the USPB Administrative Committee during January 10, 2014 meeting in San Antonio, TX.

    This new structure will be effective July 1, 2014, the start of the new marketing year.

    The new USPB marketing department will implement USPB programs in all target markets.

    There will be no changes to the USPB’s Long Range Plan (LRP) associated with this restructuring, leaving current programs in place for the coming marketing year.

    The new USPB Marketing Department will be headed by John Toaspern, who has been the USPB’s Vice President for International Marketing since January 1999. He will assume the new position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Current staff members of the domestic and international marketing departments will assume new positions overseeing programs in both the United States and international markets, taking advantage of expertise they have built up over their many years of service to the Board.

    The USPB Domestic Marketing Vice President position will be replaced with two director positions to help develop programs and assure all requirements related to the USDA international market development funding programs are met. The USPB applies for and receives approximately $7 million in funding through these programs annually.

    USPB President and CEO Blair Richardson said, “The USPB Administrative Committee committee made the decision to combine both departments to improve the utilization of the many programs and messages which have bearing on domestic and international market development. They believe U.S. potato growers will gain a better return on their investment through the synergies that will be created.”

    USPB Chairman Rob Davis advocates this new restructure and said, “While all markets and sectors must be analyzed, and programs developed to overcome the constraints present in them, the similarities outweigh the differences, and the cross pollination will result in much more robust programs that should ultimately lead to increased potato consumption across the board.”

    Additionally, USPB Domestic Marketing Co-Chairman Brett Jensen explained, “By doing this the USPB will improve the leveraging of the assessment by better utilizing complimentary aspects from both programs. Combining these departments will help the USPB to make better use of its resources.”

    “I am excited about the new organizational chart realignment at the USPB,” said USPB Domestic Marketing Co-Chairman Mike Carter. “I believe it is important for any organization to continually look at ways to be more efficient in its delivery of services. It is clear to me this is precisely what this new plan will do by better sharing of information internally and coordinating staff’s efforts. The end result will be an even more efficient and effective USPB, which will translate into increased demand building opportunities for U.S. growers.”

    USPB International Marketing Co-Chairman Eric Halverson concurred by saying, “This new consolidation of marketing departments will enable improved leveraging of programs between the two committees. From a research and development perspective, there are obviously a lot of funds allocated for both domestic and international projects. This will help us become more efficient stewards with the grower dollars the USPB is entrusted with.”

    Toaspern expressed his gratitude to the Board members for putting their trust in him. “I am honored the grower leaders believe I am the right person to lead the new department. We have had a great deal of success in the international markets, but this will be a much greater task. However, we have an amazing staff at the USPB who truly understands the marketing of potatoes, in addition to a great team of agencies, consultants and international representatives that are more than up to the task. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with the industry to make it a success.”

    For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the “catalyst for positive change,” and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit