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Almond Leadership Program: Mentor Spotlight – Q&A With Brian Dunning


Brian Dunning, President & CEO of ShoEi Foods USA, Inc and 4-year ALP mentor.

Q. How are you involved in the almond industry? 

A. After graduating from UCD, I started working in the food industry as a Quality Assurance Microbiologist for Campbell Soup. After 17 years with Campbell’s and having the opportunity to serve in many roles in their global supply chain, I joined Blue Diamond as the Director Corporate Quality Assurance in 2007. I joined the ABC’s Almond Quality & Food Safety committee shortly after and was very impressed with the industry’s collaboration and commitment to food safety. I currently work for ShoEi Foods USA in Olivehurst CA. Our ranch grows walnuts, prunes and almonds. ShoEi is the largest exporter of almonds to Japan. 

Q. How did you get involved with the Almond Leadership Program and how many years have you been a mentor? 

A. Since I was actively participating in 2 committees at the ABC, it just seemed natural to support the program to generate more participation with industry members in our committees. It always seemed to be a struggle to get qualified participation in our technical committees, and it was great to have a new program that could support this. 

Q. What is your favorite part of being a mentor in the Almond Leadership Program? 

A. It’s exciting to see the next generation getting involved and taking an active role in our industry. Technology across every aspect of our industry is rapidly changing, so I think there’s a lot we can learn from the tech savvy generation! 

Q. What is your favorite memory during your time as a mentor? 

A. I’ve enjoyed the field trips that I’ve been able to attend. Dressing up in a full bee suit was quite an experience. 

Q. What advice do you have for young almond leaders?  

A. As with all business, bringing in new ideas and innovating is critical. The ABC allows our industry to productively work together in so many critical areas, and this commitment needs to continue going forward to meet all the future challenges we face. 

Q. How do you like to eat almonds? 

A. I really enjoy snacking on all types of flavored almonds. I have to admit that once I start a handful of Honey Roasted, I’ll probably end up just finishing the can.