Olive Center Founder Steps Down After 12 Years

Dan Flynn has announced he will resign as the executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center. His successor’s main challenge will be expanding the center’s financial base.
Sep. 21, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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After more than a decade at the helm, Dan Flynn has announced that he is step­ping down as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the University of California, Davis Olive Center.

I had accom­plished what I had set out to do,” Flynn told Olive Oil Times. We wanted to advance California olives using the play­book that had worked for California wine.”

See Also:UC Davis Olive Center Turns 10

That model is based on a strong part­ner­ship between UC Davis and farm­ers,” he added. I appre­ci­ate that we had a sub­stan­tive impact. The cen­ter has room for a lot more growth.”

In spite of step­ping away from the day-to-day duties of the posi­tion, Flynn plans to con­tinue work­ing as an infor­mal advi­sor to the Olive Center.

I will con­tinue to advise the cen­ter and stay in touch with grow­ers,” he said. I expect to serve on the center’s advi­sory coun­cil in an emer­i­tus role.”


Since help­ing to found the cen­ter in 2008, Flynn and his col­leagues have made their mark on the California olive indus­try.

A land­mark 2010 olive oil qual­ity study found that a sam­pling of olive oils on California’s super­mar­ket shelves did not meet the stan­dards spec­i­fied on their labels. These rev­e­la­tions proved to be a water­shed moment for the indus­try and led to numer­ous sim­i­lar tests across the olive oil world.


Dan Flynn at the 2014 NYIOOC

Under Flynn’s tenure, the Olive Center also hosted the International Olive Council’s first sci­en­tific con­fer­ence in the United States in nearly two decades.

However, Flynn said that his biggest accom­plish­ment at the Olive Center was help­ing to cre­ate what have been called the strictest gov­ern­ment olive oil stan­dards in the world.”

In spite of all the suc­cess achieved by the Olive Center over the past 12 years, Flynn fore­sees plenty of chal­lenges for its next exec­u­tive direc­tor.

The cen­ter is self-sup­port­ing. While our finan­cial base is solid the cen­ter needs more fund­ing to expand its research and part­ner­ship net­work,” he said. The center’s advi­sory coun­cil has devel­oped promis­ing fund­ing strate­gies for the next direc­tor to con­sider.”

Applications for the exec­u­tive direc­tor posi­tion will be accepted until October 4th. A job descrip­tion and instruc­tions on how to apply may be found here.

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