SAHUARITA, Ariz. – President and CEO of the Green Valley Pecan Company, Dick Walden, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA). The award was presented to Walden by his grandchildren, William Ralls and Jackson Ralls, during the Closing Reception of the association’s Annual Meeting, held on Sept. 14 in Coronado, Calif. Representatives from pecan shellers and growers from across the country were present during the award ceremony.
According to NPSA, the Lifetime Achievement Award is, “the highest honor NPSA can bestow upon a member of our association in recognition of an individual’s significant contributions and lasting influence for the pecan industry.” Walden was one of two award honorees, both of whom were nominated by their peers and approved by the NPSA Board.
“Dick Walden has demonstrated a true devotion to the industry with his tenacity, good practices and his willingness to help others. He doesn’t hesitate to share his knowledge on technology and tips on efficiency with other members. He believes the industry has great room for growth with proper education and with the joined efforts of its players,” said Bruce Caris, Chief Operating Officer of Green Valley Pecan Company.
Green Valley Pecan Company’s roots date back to 1948 when Dick Walden’s father, R. Keith Walden, acquired the land that is today an expansive pecan orchard. After serving four years as a U.S. Army Aviator, Dick Walden returned to the family farm in 1968 and has continued to develop the land into one of the largest irrigated pecan orchards in the world. Green Valley Pecan Company remains in the Walden family, with three generations of Waldens now involved in the business.
As a member of NPSA, Dick Walden has been an advocate for the pecan industry, working on the NPSA marketing program, which has helped shine a spotlight on the health benefits of pecans for consumers, influencers, and governments. Walden has also served on numerous boards and civic organizations, many within the pecan industry, including Past Chair and board member of NPSA.