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Dan Vache, formerly vice president of sales for the food division at Sensitech Inc., will head the United Fresh Produce Association's new Supply Chain Logistics & Technology Program as vice president of supply chain management, a new position.

In his new role, Mr. Vache will be responsible for leading the association's effort 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, packing and packaging needs.

"We are indeed fortunate to have someone of Dan's experience join the association to lead our supply-chain efforts," United Fresh Chairman Tom Lovelace of McEntire Produce said in a Dec. 30 press release announcing the development. "Dan has been a key player for more than 30 years in helping companies throughout the produce industry in managing cold-chain issues to maximize product quality all the way to the consumer."

The new Supply Chain Logistics & Technology Program is funded in part by a grant from C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

"All of us at Robinson are thrilled with Dan's selection," Jim Lemke, senior vice president at C.H. Robinson and chairman-elect of United Fresh, said in the press release. "Adding someone of Dan's stature will provide the means for our association to help all players in the produce industry - shippers, transportation partners, and receivers alike - address costs, efficiency and productivity in tackling some of their greatest challenges."

Mr. Vache will also serve as primary staff liaison to United's new Supply Chain Logistics Council, chaired by Dave Dever, president and chief executive officer of Pandol Bros. Inc.

Mr. Vache has served in numerous roles during his career in the produce industry. He joined Ryan Instruments in 1971 and was appointed vice president of sales in 1984. He continued to lead the food division sales efforts after Ryan was sold to Sensitech Inc., and spearheaded the company's foray into the radio frequency arena.

In 1998 and 1999, Mr. Vache was chosen to serve on U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service Cold Chain Market Assessment teams traveling to Thailand, the Philippines and Brazil, working on methods to improve sales of U.S. agricultural products by addressing constraints in the cold chain.

He has also served on numerous boards, committees and task forces for the United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, International Fresh-cut Produce Association, and the California Grape & Tree Fruit League. He served for eight years as a member of the United Fresh board of directors, including four years as secretary-treasurer of the board.

A 1976 graduate of Eastern Washington University, as well as a graduate of the Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized leadership program in Redmond, WA, Mr. Vache resides in Redmond, WA, with his wife, Carolyn, and two daughters.

Mr. Vach? will join United Fresh Jan. 19, and will be based in a new United Fresh office to be established in the Pacific Northwest.