Mike Wade joined his father at Columbia Fruit Packers in 1979 when the company was preparing to grow with additional packing shifts and development of the Columbia Marketing International partnership. Mike became general manager of Columbia Fruit in the early 1980s.
In addition to packing its own conventional and organic apples and cherries, Columbia Fruit Packers provides packing and storage services for approximately 100 local growers.
Mike and his wife, Karen, are also known for their highly praised wine they create and market through Fielding Hills winery. Fielding Hills publically released its first vintage in 2002 and soon developed a following from wine enthusiasts from across the state.
The Wade family was an early supporter of the foundation joining together with the McDougall, Glady Bellamy and Nick Buak families to create the CCM scholarship to provide access to education for their employees’ families. Annually two new students are selected for this scholarship. The CCM scholarship covers nearly the entire cost of tuition, books, room & board for four years.
In addition to his involvement in WAEF, Mike has served the industry as the chairman of the US Apple Association, chairman of the Northwest Horticultural Council, and as a board member on both the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Fruit Exporters. He was honored as the 2016 Apple Man of the Year at the US Apple Association conference in Chicago this fall.
Mike and Karen have three girls: Robin, Megan and Jennie, and one grandchild, Colton. They raised their family in East Wenatchee.