When did you start working for Kingsburg Orchards?
I started working for the Jackson family in 1990.
How has the produce industry changed over the years while you have been here?
The biggest change this industry has seen has been a result of the computer. We now have inventory systems, e-commerce platforms, accounting systems, etc... The produce industry is now almost paperless. It has been a very tough transition for those of us who used to write orders on napkins and matchbooks.
When you are not running a hectic sales office, what are you doing?
I like to spend my spare time working on my house, spending time with family, and golfing.
If your career in the produce industry had not been successful, what would you have done?
I actually have a lifetime teaching credential from the state of California. I have always had a passion for education and I feel that I would be in the classroom if I were not in a sales office—and actually a sales office is a classroom sometimes.
How did you start out in the produce industry?
I started working at the loading docks in Philadelphia, then on to Houston, and finally in Los Angeles. Then I moved back to Philadelphia and worked as a quality control inspector. 30 years ago I began working some wholesale accounts and finished my sales career working primarily retail accounts.
What has been your greatest challenge while working in the stone fruit industry?
Dealing with down markets is always very difficult. In order to deal with down markets, it is necessary to keep up the morale of your salesman because in down markets, they can easily become discouraged which affects their performance. You must be an optimist even when markets are not behaving the way you would like them to. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”— I try to be a prime example of an optimist in my day to day business.
How has Kingsburg Orchards changed since you have been working here?
Obviously the company and the Jackson family has grown drastically over the last 23 years. The best part about Kingsburg Orchards is what hasn’t changed; and that’s the family values and the quality of the fruit that this company is built around. It truly is a special place to work.
What is your vision for Kingsburg Orchards in the future?
I see Kingsburg Orchards continuing to develop a proprietary program that provides their customers with one of the most unique experiences in the produce industry. I believe Kingsburg Orchards has always strived to increase their value to their customers.