Deborah Rogers (right) with Mary Sue Milliken at the U.S. State Department for the launch of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative in September.

After 17 years of developing and nurturing The Olive Press, cofounder Deborah Rogers is stepping away. Rogers announced her resignation today and the start of a new consulting business.

Rogers indicated that she needed to leave her management role at the Olive Press to devote more time to the broader industry. “With the tremendous interest in olive oil today, my time is in great demand both here and in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Rogers.
Rogers will continue to own a share of The Olive Press, but will not be involved in its operation.

Dan Flynn, director of the UC Davis Olive Center where Rogers serves on its taste panel, called her “a pioneer in the California olive industry.” Flynn told Olive Oil Times “Rogers started in the olive oil business close to 20 years ago and was instrumental in the development of the modern industry… she was one of the first ones out there who believed that California could produce quality oil with the rest of the world.”

According to olive oil consultant Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, Rogers was the first female miller in California, and the extra virgin and citrus olive oils she milled received top honors in competitions in California, Italy, Spain, Israel and Japan. “In a craft that is dominated by men, it’s cool that the most awarded olive oil miller around is a woman,” Devarenne said. In 2010 Olive Oil Times recognized Rogers as Olive Oil Producer of the Year.

In her new venture, Deborah Rogers, LLC, Rogers will offer consulting services to the olive oil industry. “This is a great opportunity for others in the industry to benefit from that rare combination of experience, skill and creativity that Deborah brings to the party. I have no doubt that her dance card will be full in no time,” said Devarenne.

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