– Sysco Corporation Vice President of Produce Rich Dachman was recognized for his longtime commitment to attracting talent to the fresh produce and floral industry, receiving the Center for Growing Talent’s (CGT) inaugural Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award on Oct. 17. The award was presented at CGT’s Contributor and Volunteer Reception, held in Orlando, Florida, USA, in conjunction with Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2018 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo.
The award was presented by its namesake, Jay Pack, and CGT Vice President Talent Portfolio Alicia Calhoun. On hand for the award presentation was an appreciative audience of industry members, volunteer leaders and staff from CGT and PMA, a Sysco delegation, and – fittingly – dozens of university students participating in CGT’s Career Pathways program at Fresh Summit to learn about industry careers. Dachman’s colleague Nancy Johnston received the award on his behalf, after Dachman’s air travel was delayed.
An industry leader and influencer who is well known to both the fresh produce and the foodservice communities, Dachman also actively participates in or supports programs that attract and develop industry talent. For example, he has mentored Career Pathways students at Fresh Summit every year since 2008. Sysco FreshPoint has gone on to hire several Career Pathways students, and Dachman remains a mentor to many of his now-industry colleagues.
“Rich personifies what this award stands for. He works tirelessly not only to increase access to fruits and vegetables, but also to invest in the future of our industry’s talent – as a mentor, as a recruiter, as an advocate for young people and women in our industry,” said CGT’s Calhoun in presenting the award to Dachman.
“Rich never turns down an ask from a member of the industry for a sit down or a call for coaching and mentoring,” said Johnston in accepting the award for Dachman. Johnston is Sysco’s senior sales manager, produce; she also co-chairs CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee, which guides CGT’s women’s programming. “He is also a great supporter of women in our industry.” Sysco FreshPoint is a longtime major sponsor of Women’s Fresh Perspectives programming.
‘I could not be more proud to receive this recognition,” stated Dachman. “The students teach me more than I could ever instill upon them. For me, this is what it is all about. I believe when you make an investment in people, it continues to pay off long after you are gone. To be recognized for this important and rewarding work is so humbling. Thanks to Sysco for the continued support in this endeavor, and thanks to Center for Growing Talent for allowing me the opportunity.”
The Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award was created earlier this year to recognize an industry member each year who is striving to attract talent by sharing their passion for and insights about industry careers, and to encourage others to do the same. The award is named for Pack, former CEO of Standard Fruit & Vegetable Co., who with then-PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann envisioned a new program to attract top university students to industry careers. The first Career Pathways, then sponsored by the Pack Family Foundation, was held at PMA’s Fresh Summit in 2004.
Career Pathways is a great industry success story; to date, more than 1,000 university students have participated in Career Pathways; about two-thirds took jobs or internships in the industry, and about three-quarters of those remain in the industry today.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to have Center for Growing Talent offer an award in my name recognizing an individual who supports attracting talent to our industry. While the original Pack Career Pathways Program has exceeded expectations and its success has been extremely gratifying, on a personal note, this award is certainly a career highlight,” said Pack.
The Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award is one of two talent-centric leadership awards offered by Center for Growing Talent. The other is the Women’s Catalyst Award, which will be awarded at CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast on Oct. 20.
Center for Growing Talent is a charitable nonprofit organization. CGT’s work is made possible by generous donations of visionary industry leaders who want to show their commitment to industry talent and to give back to their industry. To learn more, visit www.CenterforGrowingTalent.org
About Center for Growing Talent
Center for Growing Talent (CGT) was created by the produce and floral industry to grow the people across our industry. We help attract, develop and retain the talent needed to feed our industry’s growth, including educational programming and networking events. We offer a variety of industry-specific solutions across the career continuum, for university students, young professionals, women, emerging leaders, mid-level individuals and senior executives. For more information, visit CenterforGrowingTalent.org.