“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.”
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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.
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.