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30 Under 35 | Next question — Jay Zimmerman

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The Wenatchee Valley Business World’s “30 Under 35” honors young community leaders. We tap the thoughts of the 2013 honorees in this Sunday interview series.

When Jay commits himself to a vision, cause or an organization, he begins the process of creating opportunities that will lead to success,” read Zimmerman’s nominating letter. He proves that commitment in his career and community.

A business administration program graduate from the University of Idaho, Zimmerman was working at a wealth management firm in Vancouver when he was hired 18 months ago at Crunch Pak. His skills at Crunch Pak help the company analyze the competition and find opportunities to expand its product lines. He handles East Coast production for the Cashmere-based company as well as general marketing activities, including social media marketing.

He recently joined the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team because he wanted to better connect Crunch Pak to the community.

Q. In college, did you ever imagine you’d be selling sliced-apple snacks in Mickey Mouse-Shaped containers? Or were you interested even then in the food industry?

A. I never thought I’d be working on marketing campaigns to sell sliced apples, but I did know that working in the fruit industry might be an option. Before coming to Crunch Pak, I had heard and read a lot about the company, and it sparked an interest in me. The growth the company has experienced truly amazes me.

Q. Crunch Pak is the national leader in apple snacks with about 40 percent of the market and ambitions to grow. What’s the next step for the company?

A. At this point we are trying to keep up with demand and make sure we’re running our production facilities in Cashmere and Rosenhayn, N.J., as efficiently as possible. I think over the next few years you will see a lot from Crunch Pak. Growth should occur in both existing product lines and new product development.

Q. Crunch Pak has some pretty slick social media marketing — from Facebook contests to texting coupons. How effective has this been in reaching new customers?

A. It’s very important for us to communicate with our consumers and keep them involved and interested in both our company and the products we offer. We’ve found that using social media is the easiest way for us to connect directly with our product consumers. Our texting campaign was a successful back-to-school marketing strategy for reaching new and existing customers.

Q. Fantasy time: Ten years from now (2023), how have you contributed to the Wenatchee Valley’s social, educational or business communities?

A. Continued Crunch Pak growth should enable us to provide additional job opportunities and I believe this will have a positive impact on our local social and educational systems.

— Mike Irwin, World staff

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.