Raised in a family-owned meat business, third generation farmer and cattleman Dave Alwan, founded Echo Valley Meats Inc. in 1998 with his wife, Dawn. Together they’ve grown Echo Valley from and “Old Fashion Style” retail market, into a mail-order business, offering employee recognition, corporate gifts and incentives.
Dave purchased his first farm at age of 23 to breed and raise Angus cattle. With that experience, he knows the meat business from “conception to consumption.” Because of his desire to offer high quality products,Dave also decided to learn from the “best” and 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, the “Sharks” loved 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 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. Since his second appearance, Dave has expanded into the corporate gifts market and also become a regular on QVC, consistently receiving rave reviews and record-breaking sales.
Dave and Dawn Alwan, along with their company, Echo Valley Meats, are a growing success because of common sense judgment, hard work, leading by example, giving back to the community and above all, finding passion in life – all of which has been recognized by these significant awards and appearances:
- 2015-ABC’s “Shark Tank”- Invited for a second appearance, taking the deal with Mark Cuban
- 2015-Distinguished Entrepreneur Award from Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University
- 2015-Client of the Year from International Services, Inc.
- 2012-ABC’s “Shark Tank”-Successful auditions and first pitch
- 2008-Business of the Year by International Profit Associates Business Today Magazine
- 2006-Small Business of the Year Award from the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
- 2005-40 Leaders Under Forty, Central Illinois
- 2004-Distinguished Citizen Award from the Peoria and Bartonville Police Department