David is retired but continues to serve as a consultant on contract with Avoca as a mergers and acquisitions consultant. David also provides this service to Universal Leaf Tobacco. In essence, he evaluates companies and determines their value.
Peele and his former business partner, David Holmes, co-founded Avoca in 2003, using the name known by local historians as a former plantation. The entrepreneurs bought it from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which decided to divest its then-small sage-growing enterprise.
RJR purchased Avoca in 1960, said Peele, former chairman of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Eastern Advisory Committee. A self-described “educated farmer,” he joined RJR in 1978 as a staff agronomist after earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University, a master’s in soil science at The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in crop science at NCSU.
B.S. Agricultural Engineering NC State 1973
M.S. Soil Science The Ohio State University 1976
Ph.D. Crop Science NC State 1994