` College Recognizes Olive Center's Dan Flynn with Award of Distinction - Olive Oil Times

College Recognizes Olive Center's Dan Flynn with Award of Distinction

Oct. 10, 2011
Lori Zanteson

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Dan Flynn, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the University of California at Davis Olive Center, will be hon­ored with an Award of Distinction on October 14th by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The award is part of the College’s annual cel­e­bra­tion when fac­ulty, staff, alumni and friends of the university’s found­ing col­lege are rec­og­nized for their con­tri­bu­tions and achieve­ments that enhance research, edu­ca­tion, and out­reach.

Nine oth­ers will receive the honor along with Flynn, who is being rec­og­nized for his exem­plary work lead­ing the Olive Center from its estab­lish­ment through tremen­dous growth and devel­op­ment into what is now an inter­na­tion­ally known pro­gram for olive research and education.

Flynn estab­lished the Olive Center in 2008, four years after he’d writ­ten a fea­si­bil­ity study and began man­ag­ing its olive har­vest, over­see­ing extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­tion and work­ing on a mar­ket­ing strategy.

From those begin­nings, one would hardly rec­og­nize the Olive Center today — the only one of its kind in North America. Flynn’s job has grown along with it and he now over­sees strat­egy, indus­try net­work­ing, rev­enue gen­er­a­tion, the UC Davis olive oil pro­gram, and pub­lic edu­ca­tion programs.

Flynn and his expert team of fac­ulty mem­bers, exten­sion spe­cial­ists and UC farm advi­sors pro­vide a resource for olive grow­ers and proces­sors with the dri­ving vision to do for table olives and olive oil what UC Davis did for wine.” With Flynn at the helm, the Olive Center has tripled the num­ber of UC Davis edu­ca­tional events for olive grow­ers and processors.

The Olive Center has done great work to facil­i­tate the growth of the indus­try,” said Gregg Kelley, of California Olive Ranch, California’s largest pro­ducer of extra vir­gin olive oil. Dan deserves great applause for his efforts.”

Kelley con­tin­ued, Without him, it wouldn’t have hap­pened. He’s shown a pas­sion for the indus­try and under­stood the oppor­tu­nity early on. He’s a very deserv­ing recip­i­ent of this award as he has done a tremen­dous job of bring­ing folks together and break­ing down bar­ri­ers. Dan has been a valu­able asset.”

Flynn’s pas­sion is clearly his moti­vat­ing force, but his abil­ity to make things hap­pen cap­tures head­lines. From the July 2010 report that exposed qual­ity prob­lems with imported olive oil, the enact­ing of olive oil grade stan­dards in California, the estab­lish­ment of an inter­na­tion­ally accred­ited sen­sory panel and a chem­istry research lab­o­ra­tory, to three suc­cess­ful indus­try spon­sored leg­isla­tive mea­sures, Flynn has led the way on many notable achievements.

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