"You get what you work for, not what you wish for." Dave Alwan
Third generation in a family-owned meat business, Dave Alwan decided to take his dream beyond the security of the family business to found Echo Valley Meats Inc. in 1998 with his wife, Dawn. Together they've grown Echo Valley from an "Old Fashion Style" retail meat market, into wholesale products, a mail-order gift catalog, fundraising division, and gourmet catering. Dave's faith in himself and belief in his vision have fueled his passion for the business and life in general.
Dave purchased his first farm at age 23 to breed and raise Angus cattle. With that experience, he can say he knows the meat business from "conception to consumption." Because of his desire to learn from the "best," Dave also traveled to Germany and Denmark for training in the art of making smoked hams and sausages, completing a 3-year apprenticeship in just six months.
Not satisfied with his local success, Dave decided to audition for the ABC TV show "Shark Tank." He flew to Los Angeles California, gave his "Pitch," and impressed producers enough to make it to the show. Though he didn't secure a deal with the "Sharks," he impressed them with his meat products, authenticity, and enthusiasm. Not getting a deal has still been successful in many ways. Online sales have increased over 600%, and Dave is now being recruited to speak at colleges, universities, corporations, and business organizations across the country.
Not only has Dave been recognized by these audiences for his inspirational story, he also earned the attention once again of ABC-TV. In 2014 Dave received the invitation for a return visit to "Shark Tank", where he had the rare opportunity for a second pitch to the Sharks during Season 6. This time he secured a deal with billionaire investor, Mark Cuban, making Dave the only entrepreneur in the show’s history to pitch the same business successfully the second time around.
Success, however, has not come without sacrifice and challenges. Along with growing the business Dave and Dawn had their first child, Jessica, who was diagnosed with Rhett's Syndrome and will never talk or walk. They experienced fear and disappointment, but just like their desire to succeed in business, the challenge fueled them to push forward and not give up. The gift of their special needs daughter allowed them to see themselves and others for who they are and the special gifts they have. Today, they are active in community service and are also raising a fourth generation in the meat business, their son Jordan.