Here at Kingsburg Orchards, we feel we have assembled one of the most talented and diverse sales team in the business and no one personifies that talent and diversity better than Roman Sowala. Roman’s adventures began at an early age. Although he was born in Hanford, California, Roman was immediately spirited to Venezuela where has would spend the next 10 years. As an only child, he attended school and led a normal life. His father eventually moved the family to the U.S. in search of something better. However, as the discussion continues, he concedes that there was an element of danger in Venezuela. “We spoke English in the house and Spanish outside. We didn’t want people to know we were Americans” he says. Once stateside, Roman continued his education, graduating from Hanford High in 1989 and moving on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Business from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. He mentions, however, that his first career choice out of college was not in the produce industry: “I wasn’t smart enough to be a stockbroker, so I decided to get into the produce business” he quips.
His experience in produce is extensive. He got his first taste of the business doing field inspections for American Stores in Salinas, CA. This was followed by a stint as an apple buyer in the Northwest. He then returned to California to take a position as sales rep for a vegetable transplant nursery on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley while working on the family farm. After the sale of the farm, Roman landed at Sunkist Growers where he teamed up with Dan Spain (now Kingsburg Orchards’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing). When asked why he gravitated back to the produce sales side of the business, Roman didn’t hesitate: “I’m an action junkie!” he exclaims. In June of last year, Spain was able to lure Roman to Kingsburg to join our sales team where he immediately became an asset. His Latin American upbringing has given him an understanding of the culture and business practices in that part of the world. His education and work experience in the United States has given him the ability to navigate the often treacherous retail waters. All of us here are pleased to have Roman on board and hope he’s around for many seasons to come. Bienvenido Roman!!