by David Barshears
David “Dave” Frank has been with Garner Foods for 15 years and has been an important member of the team over his career. We spoke with Dave about his career, what inspires him, and how Garner Foods has impacted his professional and personal life. Here’s what he had to say!
Brashears: When did you begin working for Garner Foods?
Dave: I’ve been with Garner Foods since June 30, 2006.
Brashears: What attracted you to the Garner Foods organization?
Dave: The family personality of the business. My father was part of Garner Foods team as I was growing up. As I was building my own professional career, my dad recommended I consider joining Garner Foods. I was pretty happy where I was, so I didn’t really consider it the first three or four times he brought it up. However, my dad was insistent that I at least consider it. Garner Foods has always been a great organization that had meant so much to our family. I started considering the opportunity to actually act as the successor for my own father, and how rare that is these days. I was fortunate to get hired and have cherished the opportunity to get so sell something I genuinely love and grew up with.
Brashears: What was your prior experience before coming to Garner Foods?
Dave: I was in sales as VP of specialty foods and new item innovations in the food industry working with other great brands. I also had the chance to work as a broker and learn the needs of retailers and brands.
Brashears: What motivates or inspires you the most?
Dave: It’s utilizing my creativity to create a better way of doing things. As an example, we are undergoing a sales force reorganization this year which should help us to grow and be better at serving our partners in every area. This also helps us add more structure and paths of professional growth within the organization. I have a strong belief in “walking in another person’s shoes” by considering the perspective of other members of the team and how our work and decisions impacts others. I also enjoy finding creative new ways of using the Texas Pete® products in my own cooking, and helping create new product ideas for customers.
Brashears: I noticed your Pittsburgh Steelers flag behind you there. If Garner Foods was a sports team, who would they be and why?
Dave: Oh yeah, the Pittsburgh Steelers have always been my lifelong team that I’ve loved and cheered for since childhood. Like the Steelers, Garner Foods is an underdog team that is respected by their peers, and still consistently achieving at the highest level. I think there’s a lot of similarities between these two organizations.
Brashears: What are your favorite ways to unwind and recharge?
Dave: I love tapping into my own creativity by designing outdoor living spaces and landscaping in my backyard. Anything that gives me the ability to be creative, I’m going to have a good time.
Brashears: What is your favorite food or cuisine?
Dave: Spaghetti! Same as my father. We both love Italian food, but spaghetti is the absolute top. I also have a Texas Pete® pasta dish that is really popular.
Brashears: What are your top 3 favorite places to travel?
Dave: Home to Pittsburgh, I just love the food there. Also I enjoy going to Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. They say it’s the most European city in the U.S. and we love it. We also love going to Sedona, CA. It’s just so beautiful!
Brashears: What was the last Garner Foods product you used?
Dave: That’s easy—Texas Pete® Original Hot Sauce. You just can’t beat it! We were just at the 801 Southern Eatery and Pancake House in Winston-Salem, NC and I put it on everything.
Brashears: If a movie was being made about your life, what celebrity would you want to play you?
Dave: I’d have to say John Cusack. He’s just so down to earth and sincere in every movie he’s been in.
Brashears: What are you binge watching right now?
Dave: Yellowstone. I’ve really been enjoying it. In the later episodes it gets ridiculous but is still a lot of fun.
Brashears: Who is your favorite musical artist?
Dave: Robert Earl Keen is a current favorite for me. When I was a kid, I loved Aerosmith and I guess I still do.