PULLMAN, Wash. — A leader in the state tree fruit industry has received the Alumni
Achievement Award from Washington State University.
Leo A. Sax of Wenatchee was recognized “for outstanding contributions and service to the
tree fruit industry, his community and his alma mater.”
He retired in the fall of 1997, after nearly three decades as manager of the Washington
Growers Clearing House Association in Wenatchee. The organization tracks changes in fruit
prices so growers know when and where to market their crops.
Sax came to Pullman from Peshastin, where he was raised on a family apple and pear ranch.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture in 1955. He was president of Phi Kappa Fraternity
and a member of the WSU Horticulture Club and the Newman Club. After two years in Korea
with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he returned to WSU and completed a master’s degree in
agricultural economics in 1959.
After completing his master’s degree, Sax joined the Washington Growers Clearing House as
assistant manager. Nine years later, he was named manager.
During his 39 years in management positions in the fruit industry, Sax served on many
boards and committees, including the National Council of Agricultural Employers, the
Washington Tree Fruit Advisory Committee and the International Apple Institute. From
1976-1996 he chaired the Washington Horticultural Association Legislative Committee. He was
appointed to the Washington Apple Education Foundation in 1996 and continues to serve as
In 1997, Sax received the Apple Citizen of the Year Award from the Washington State Apple
Blossom Association. The previous year, he earned the Washington State Horticulture
Association’s Silver Apple Award.
He remains active on the Tree Fruit Industry Task Force, which includes WSU
representatives. He worked with the Washington Tree Fruit Advisory Board to help develop a
cooperative four-year horticulture degree program through WSU that is now offered in
Wenatchee in conjunction with Wenatchee Valley College.
Sax currently serves as a commissioner of the Chelan Housing Authority, is a member of the
AZ Wells Foundation, and is a past member of the Wenatchee Area Chamber of Commerce
board of directors and the St. Joseph’s School board. He has served as a director with United
Way and the National Council of Agricultural Employees. He also is a Paul Harris Fellow in
Rotary International.