The Produce Marketing Association will honor two industry veterans with leadership awards at its annual Fresh Summit Convention & Expo Oct. 17 in Anaheim, California.

Rich Dachman, CEO of 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.

The annual leadership awards honor individuals who have demonstrated exceptional volunteer commitment to PMA and the fresh produce and floral industry, and outstanding collaborative leadership, respectively.

“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,” says 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.”

Dachman’s tenure in the produce industry spans more than 40 years, 28 of them at broadline food distributor Sysco where he retired from in June. He has volunteered with PMA and Center for Growing Talent for well over a decade and has been a CGT Career Ambassador since the beginning of the Career Pathways program.

He’s served on PMA’s Fresh Summit Committee, Foodservice 2020 Steering Committee, and the Produce Traceability Initiative. Dachman has served on the PMA Board of Directors twice, once as Chair during his second term. He’s also been a longtime supporter and advocate for CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives. Now CEO at Brighter Bites, Dachman served on the Brighter Bites Board of Directors for more than three years. 

Smith was selected as this year’s Silbermann Award honoree due to his long track record as a convener and collaborator who is not afraid to take on challenges and find solutions. He has 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. He has also been a longtime supporter of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and has supported many charitable causes in his community including Power Plate, which encourages young Arizona schoolchildren to eat more fresh produce.