Joe Vargas has been hired as the director of business intelligence for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and North American Blueberry Council (NABC). In this newly created role, Vargas is responsible for developing and leading a best-in-class data and insights program for the blueberry industry.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Joe to the team and can’t wait for him to lend his expertise to providing the blueberry industry with the data insights that are needed today to make smart business decisions,” said USHBC and NABC President Kasey Cronquist. “His experience and strong communications skills make him a perfect fit to develop and lead this part of our program at a critical time for the industry. He’ll help us use data to connect the dots to help us drive even greater demand opportunities for blueberries!”
Prior to joining the councils, Vargas was the director of marketing, business development and business intelligence for FirstFruits Marketing in Yakima, Washington, and a lecturer at Central Washington University where he taught graduate and undergraduate data analytics courses. He also has experience in sales and management for firms including Copiers Northwest, Ecolab and MDC Promotions.
He holds a master’s degree in information technology, with a focus on data structures and analytics, from Central Washington University, and a bachelor’s in economics, also from Central Washington.
In his new role, Vargas will collect, analyze and communicate data that helps growers and industry experts make effective business decisions. He’ll also lead the USHBC and NABC Data and Insights Program, and will be responsible for building a production, inventory and historical price reporting program.
“I’m thrilled to be joining USHBC and NABC in this critical new role for the industry,” Vargas said. “We live in an information age – data can be useful, but it’s even more valuable when combined with intelligence, research, context and professional judgment, and that’s where I’ll focus.”