Board Member Spotlight: Dwaine Brown, Tree Top

   The Washington Apple Education Foundation is grateful to have a board of directors that is made up of a dedicated and diverse group of tree fruit industry members and affiliated professionals with industry ties. For the past five years Dwaine Brown, treasurer for the WAEF board of directors, has effectively provided financial guidance and oversight of the growing tree fruit industry charity. He has been a large part of making a significant impact in the lives of students and our tree fruit community.

Dwaine grew up in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, a small town along the Mississippi River. He graduated from Pleasant Valley High School and set off to attend Iowa State University where he studied Business and in 1986 earned a Bachelor's of Business Administration. Dwaine is also a Ceritifed Management Accountant.

    Dwaine started his career in finance soon after graduating, with IBP, Inc. (a large meat packing company in Denison, Iowa) as a cost accountant. His last stop with IBP was in Wallula, WA. It was here that Dwaine learned and secured his first position within the tree fruit industry in 1991. Dwaine worked as a cost accounting manager with Tree Top until 1995.
    During this time, he married his wife Julie, from Naches. Dwaine and Julia made a big move to Florida where Dwaine spent two years working as a controller for Ocean Spray.

    They relocated back to Washington in 1997, where Dwaine worked as the supply chain finance manager then operations logistic manager for Small Planet Foods/General Mills until 2004. During this time, Dwaine and Julie had three daughters (Lindsay, Rylee and Sara) while they lived in western Washington.   
    Dwaine returned to Tree Top in 2004, and has served in various major roles over the past 13+ years. Positions held were product manager, director of financial analysis, controller, VP of finance and CFO and vice president of integrated business planning, his most recent role.

    Dwaine has had many accomplishments to be proud of in his 30+ years of industry achievements, "...the item I am most proud of is that I am a trusted leader and co-worker, that works with all levels within an organization to facilitate change and growth."

    It was in 2004 when Dwaine returned to Tree Top that he learned about the scholarships through the Washington Apple Education Foundation. An announcement poster of the Tree Top Scholarship winners caught his attention. "When we moved back to Selah my wife and I wanted to be heavily involved in the local school district because of the importance of education for our daughters. She is a certified teacher and works consistently as a substitute teacher and PTSO. We both were involved in Friends of Selah Schools to pass levies and bonds. As I became more involved I was asked to be on the Selah school board. As my responsibilities at work increased I did not run for re-election, but wanted to stay involved with furthering education for others. When I was asked to be involved with WAEF, this was the ideal opportunity I was looking for."

     He joined the board of directors in 2012, and has been the treasurer for most of that time. "WAEF has a great reputation so our first priority is to maintain the established values and integrity while growing in size and services." He also served time on the Scholarship Selection Committee in 2014. "I believe that education is the key to allow individuals to reach their full potential... I appreciate that WAEF not only awards scholarships to worthy candidates, but it is the start of the relationship with these students to help them be successful with their education and professional life."

   In his spare time, Dwaine enjoys spending his time his family and working on home improvement projects. Dwaine's daughter Lindsay is a current WAEF recipient of the Tree Top scholarship who will soon start her second year at CWU. She is in the Douglas Honors College with a declared major in Actuarial Science. 

And lastly, Dwaine's favorite tree fruit to eat is the Rainier cherry.

Dwaine with wife Julie and daughters Lindsey, Rylee and Sara.

Dwaine with wife Julie and daughters Lindsey, Rylee and Sara.

Thank you, Dwaine, for supporting the mission of WAEF, and helping to impact lives by providing access to educational opportunities. Your service is greatly appreciated.