In Conversation with Dave Alperson

Working his way up from an Amazon temp employee to Vice President of Amazon Logistics, Dave Alperson brings more than 24 years of experience to Second Harvest’s Board of Director. We recently sat down with Dave to discuss his career background, his experience in operations, and why he is passionate about Second Harvest’s mission.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in New York City. Both of my parents were public school teachers. My goal in life was to be a broadcast journalist. When I went to college at the University of Delaware, I did a lot of jobs in radio broadcasting – whether helping support sporting events, running remote broadcasts, or DJing for some “Oldies” stations. I worked extensively as the Student General Manager of my college’s radio station and eventually got inducted into the University of Delaware Radio Hall of Fame.

I realized that I did not have a voice for radio and that radio was moving heavily towards automation. Amazon was opening its first warehouse outside of Seattle, a 200,000 square foot building in Newark, DE. The shift was 4 AM to 1 PM and it worked with my radio hours. So, I took a job as a temp employee at Amazon. A few months later they offered me a full-time position. About a year later I became a frontline manager. I have now been with the company for 24 years, living in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Delaware, Ohio, and Tennessee, to name a few places.

Tell us a little bit about your company and your role.

Today I am a Vice President and lead Amazon’s North American AMZL, or Amazon Logistics, which is our last mile operations. So, if you ever see an Amazon logoed delivery van come to your door or someone in an Amazon delivery uniform, I lead all of those operations. It’s about 400 buildings across the country and 150,000 Amazon and third-party contracted employees.

Working my way up from a front-line employee to where I am today has really given me a great perspective and opportunity to work with a whole, diverse group of employees and experiences. I like to think as a result, it has made me a very grounded leader.

Why did you become involved with Second Harvest?

I joined Second Harvest as a board member in August 2021. Beforehand, I had the opportunity to tour Second Harvest’s Nashville facility with Nancy shortly after relocating to Nashville. The sense of mission and deep focus, high level of integrity and commitment to the community, and the vision of the food bank, was very impressive. This was an organization I wanted to be a part of.

I consider Amazon a highly competent organization with a bunch of smart people dedicated to the mission of delighting our customers. What I found at Second Harvest was a group of equally passionate, very smart people that valued and used their precious resources well to maximize the value and make an impact in the lives of the people we serve.

How does your expertise help advance Second Harvest’s mission?

Second Harvest gave me the opportunity to further give back to the community. It aligns nicely with my professional work. So much of what we do at Amazon – especially last mile delivery – is embedded in our community.

Leaning on my experience, I enjoy working with Second Harvest’s operations and transportation team. Second Harvest is always looking for innovation opportunities. It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that wants to innovate in this space.

What has been one of your favorite memories?

My family and I had the chance to volunteer at one of Second Harvest’s Mobile Food Pantries and it was a powerful experience. It was so moving to see my daughter packing up the food and then delivering it out to the clients’ cars. It is something we hope to do again soon.

Why should someone become involved with Second Harvest, whether volunteering or becoming a donor?

Just jump in. It’s a great cause. Look at the financials, they are impressive. It’s important when you get involved with a nonprofit to not only feel good about the mission but feel good that your time and your funds are well utilized. There are plenty of good causes and charities that you can get involved with and there are many great choices. I don’t know that you’ll find one better. You will find yourself welcomed at Second Harvest, appreciated, and – most importantly – you will make a difference.

Sign up for our emails to get updates and inspiration straight to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.