We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave Richins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Teamwork. I believe in hiring good, smart, capable people and empowering them to do their jobs. As a food bank, it is as important to talk about the success of meeting the needs of the community as it is to ask for support for the organization. We are successful in responding to what is asked of us in charitable feeding but we always need help. We have to message both and not just always act like the sky is falling.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
United Food Bank is an East Valley legacy non-profit that has served Arizona for over 35 years. United Food Bank is a distribution company masquerading as a non-profit in a lot of ways. We have warehousing, trucking, inventory management, etc. It is humbling to have the opportunity to guide such a great organization through growth and renewal as well as pandemic response. In order for it to be successful we have to have the same types of systems in place as any large distribution company. I have worked in private sector, government and non-profit roles which have shaped my ability to lead a non-profit which needs to regularly interact with all three in order to successfully meet community need. I have learned that sharing credit accomplishes so much more than taking credit. Professionally I enjoy building up the team, whether its folks doing the hard work on the warehouse floor on members of my C-Suite, helping each person accomplish goals, add skills and grow professionally is very satisfying.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start with lunch in Mesa’s Asian Culture district along Dobson Road. So many different types of Asian cuisine are available. Always start with the food. I love the drive up to Saguaro Lake. It’s a beautiful drive. On the way back we can stop at Jalapeno Bucks for some great BBQ. I know, again with the food but I can’t help it. There are lots of places for family oriented entertainment in the East Valley. If we had more time, I would go up to Pine, AZ, the best little mountain community around. We could continue up through Happy Jack to Flagstaff, take in Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monuments. It’s a must to drive through Sedona, maybe take a train ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad in the great community of Clarkdale. The Verde River has become quite the attraction as well. Another great day trip is to head East to Superior, hike their network of trails and on to Miami or Globe for the best Mexican food in the state. My last favorite trip is to Tucson to visit Tubac, San Xavier del Bac, El Guedo Canelo and Saguaro National Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Laura and my children support me in all that I try to achieve. They have patiently shared in my service to the community and we couldn’t accomplish what we do each day without each other’s support.
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All photos credit to United Food Bank