Rich Dachman and Vic Smith to Receive Leadership, Collaboration Awards at Fresh Summit
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
ANAHEIM, CA - As one of the year’s biggest events, Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit takes a beat to highlight what makes our industry one of the best around—not only to work in, but to benefit from. This year, PMA will honor two industry veterans with leadership awards at the event. Rich Dachman, CEO at Brighter Bites and former Vice President of Produce at Sysco, will receive the 2019 Robert L. Carey Leadership Award. Vic Smith, CEO of JV Smith Companies, will receive the 2019 Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award.
“In my time at PMA, I have seen Rich and Vic consistently share their gifts of leadership and collaboration to help drive important PMA and industry supply chain conversations forward,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “Both are dedicated to helping strengthen our global fresh produce and floral communities, which in turn will help the association deliver on its vision to grow a healthier world."
Prior to Cathy Burns’ “State of the Industry” address, the 2018 recipients will present the awards. Joe Pezzini, President and CEO of Ocean Mist Farms, will present the Carey Leadership Award to Dachman. Dave Corsi, Vice President of Produce and Floral for Wegmans, will present the Slibermann Collaboration Award to Smith. The annual leadership awards honor individuals who have demonstrated exceptional volunteer commitment to PMA and the fresh produce industry, and outstanding collaborative leadership.
Established in 2012, the Robert L. Carey award honors PMA’s former President, who led it from 1958 to 1996, taking it from an organization with under 100 members focused on produce packaging to a vertically-integrated association of thousands. His vision of bringing buyers and sellers together positioned PMA to become the global association it is today.
Dachman has worked in produce for 40 years, 28 of them at Sysco, where he retired from in June. He has volunteered with PMA and Center for Growing Talent for over a decade and has been a CGT Career Ambassador since the beginning of the program. He’s served on the Fresh Summit Committee, Foodservice 2020 Steering Committee, and the Produce Traceability Initiative, and has been on the Board of Directors twice, once as Chair in his second term. He’s also been a longtime supporter and advocate for CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives. After serving on the Brighter Bites Board of Directors for more than three years, Dachman is now its CEO.
"I am humbled to be considered in the company of the past recipients of this award," said Dachman. “I have gotten far more from the industry than I have given. Thanks to PMA and the industry overall for a great ride.”
The Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award was established in 2016 in recognition of Silbermann’s 30-year career at PMA, including 20 years as its President. The award recognizes an individual’s collaborative leadership style in uniting industry members or organizations, including those outside the honoree’s own organization, to realize mutually-beneficial solutions to an industry issue.
Smith was selected as this year’s honoree due to his long track record as a leader who is not afraid to take on challenges and find solutions. He served on the industry’s Romaine Task Force, worked extensively with Western Growers and the Center for Produce Safety, and was a key player in the Produce Traceability Initiative. Smith has volunteered with PMA and the Center for Growing Talent for more than 10 years and has been a longtime supporter of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He supports many charitable causes in his community including Power Plate, which encourages young Arizona schoolchildren to eat more fresh produce.
“I am certainly honored in receiving this prestigious award, more so by recognizing who it is named after,” said Smith. “To follow Dave Corsi as the previous award winner is even more humbling. I thank PMA for including me in this elite circle.”
The presenters will share additional information about Dachman and Smith, including a glimpse at what motivates each. Fresh Summit registrants with an all-access badge are invited to join colleagues in the Anaheim Convention Center ballroom October 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. for the awards presentation and “State of the Industry” address.
Additional industry awards will also be presented, so be sure to check the schedule! And, as always, keep reading us at AndNowUKnow.