Produce Processing 7: Q+A with Dan Vaché
Dan Vache was born and raised in West Richland, Washington, and graduated
from Eastern Washington University with a degree in education. As vice president-supply chain management for United Fresh Produce Association since 2009, Dan leads the association’s efforts to deliver education, hands-on tools and direct services to assist companies throughout the fresh produce supply chain in meeting challenges in transportation, cold chain management, information technologies, traceability, facilities management, energy efficiency and packaging needs. As part of Dan’s role at United Fresh, he leads the Supply Chain Logistics Council and the Fresh-Cut Processor Board. He also serves on the board of the International Federation of Produce Standards and is an industry point person for the Produce Traceability Initiative.
Prior to United Fresh, Dan served as vice president of sales at Sensitech. Dan was with Ryan Instruments for 26 years, starting as an instrument technician culminating in the senior position as vice president of sales. Dan currently lives in Redmond, Washington, with his wife of 35 years, Carolyn.
What are the best words of advice you received?
The first CEO I worked for as I entered sales said to me, “If someone asks you to do something unethical and you say NO – that leaves only one unethical person!” Great advice and I have had experiences to use the advice without hesitation!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
To help launch a successful inaugural Global Cold Chain Expo in June at United Fresh 2016. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, so I continue to explore and learn more about the emerging technologies that are going to change the fresh produce supply chain from the field to the consumer. Continue to share my fresh produce and supply chain knowledge with industry colleagues and anyone who has interest in our wonderful and healthy industry.
What do you do to relax?
I am a life-long runner and it is one way I relax, clear my mind and get creative juices flowing. As odd as it may seem, an early morning or noontime 10K is a great way for me to relax and reenergize. I also enjoy beach time with my family, where I relax and catch up on all the books on my reading list.
What would you like to be your lasting legacy?
We all leave a footprint on this earth, and my lasting legacy are my daughters and one day grandchildren who will remember me as a kind, thoughtful, honest and respectful father who truly loved them for who they are. Professionally I would like to think I was a helpful industry professional who strived to improve the industry.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
A lengthy trip to Italy with my wife to explore the culture and experience Rome and the Vatican. Ride in the Tour de Fresh to support the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail with my daughter.
What job or work would you have pursued if you had not become involved in the produce processing industry?
I have a degree in education and was seeking a teaching position when I was recruited to operate a sales and distribution office in Fresno, California, for Ryan Instruments. I still had a desire to teach and coach at the high school level until I had an industry publication interview and the staff writer said, “great fit — now you can help teach the industry about the cold chain.” I was hooked on the industry and continue to help our members improve their cold chain practices through my experiences.
What is the one truth you’ve learned about the produce processing industry?
It is a great industry with gifted individuals who love what they do and willing to share their knowledge. You never have to justify helping to bring healthy, fresh produce to the consumer. I have learned that there is always something new to learn and experience in the produce industry. If you think you know everything about the industry wait a day and you will learn something new!