Employee Spotlight: A year in review
As the year comes to an end, we are here with an entire year in review featuring our amazing employees. In 2021, we spotlighted 7 Ocean Mist Farms’ employees from various departments. Each spotlight featured the employee's important role within the Ocean Mist Farms family. The employees were given the opportunity to share a typical workday as well as a personal message. If you missed any feel free to click here.
1. Danny Martinez
When catching up with Danny Martinez, Coachella Plant Manager, we had the opportunity to learn about his role at Ocean Mist Farms. A typical day for Danny includes overseeing product inventory including the number of products we have on order, what product we are short on for the day, and ensuring the product doesn’t age at our cooler. He works closely with Receiving, Shipping, Logistics, Food Safety, and Accounting teams to make sure they are operating as efficiently as possible to deliver the best quality for our customers every day.
2. Lisa Fuentes
Lisa started working at Ocean Mist Farms almost 3 years ago now as the Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance. We caught up with Lisa to learn more about her role and the essential work her team does at Ocean Mist Farms. Externally, Lisa works outside local government and agency officials when conducting audits at the field level and in our cooling and processing facilities. Internally, she oversees her own Food Safety and Quality Assurance teams to ensure her organized practices, procedures and ongoing training set the strictest quality and food safety standards that make Ocean Mist Farms the gold standard.
Lisa gave us a great piece of advice for someone coming into the Food & Safety space. She said, "Always have a goal in mind, be consistent, work as a team, keep educating yourself, and be professional."
3. Johnny Rivas
Johnny Rivas started working at Ocean Mist Farms nearly 10 years ago, and has been our Cooling & Receiving Manager over the last 2 years. We caught up with Johnny to learn about his job and the important work his team does to maintain our Gold Standard cut-to-cool policy and product traceability. A typical work week begins when the first harvesting truck rolls in around 10:00 AM and ends after the last harvest for the day comes in, which ranges from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. His receiving team cross-checks PTI labels, applies receiving tags, and enters product information into our system. With the Receiving team's approval, the 12-Pallet Forklift Operators move the product for cooling before going into the cooler.
For fun, Johnny has spent lots of time in the garage working on his '37 Pontiac!
4. Liz Garcia
Liz Garcia started working at Ocean Mist Farms in February 2003 as a 12-Pallet Forklift operator. After 2 years, she transitioned to a Hydrovac "Tube" Operator role, which is what she's been doing at Ocean Mist Farms since! Her role is within the Cooling Department where she manages the day-to-day operations done by Hydrovac "Tube" Operators, 12-Pallet Forklift Operators, and Ice-Injector Operators. A typical Monday through Saturday begins after the Receiving team gives the "green light" to cool product after the first harvesting truck rolls in. The 12-Pallet Forklift Operators unload the pallets of uncooled product from the harvesting trucks, which is then staged for cooling on the Hydrovac equipment. After the product is scanned in and cooled, the 12-Pallet Forklift Operators move the cooled product to the cooler until it's ready for shipping.
Liz says the best three words to describe her job at Ocean Mist Farms is fast-paced, enjoyable, and teamwork.
5. Candy Guzman
Candy Guzman has worked at Ocean Mist Farms for nearly 2 years as our Freight Coordinator, an essential function to ensure our field fresh vegetables are scheduled to leave our cooler to reach your favorite restaurants and retailers across North America that much faster. With transportation being round-the-clock, Candy's logistics team has to be very responsive. Her typical workday involves many emails, phone calls coordinating freight, timelines, and payments. That includes calls to inquire about different rates for upcoming truckloads, truck carrier calls to quote freight rates, schedule appointment loading times, and provide ETA’s if there are transit delays.
In her free time, she loves listening to music, going to concerts, and going to karaoke with her friends. Candy also loves spending time with her daughters and 6 grandchildren.
6. Jose Ibarra
Jose Ibarra joined the Ocean Mist Farms' Shipping Team about 2 years ago. For Jose, a typical Monday through Saturday in Castroville is action-packed with a full line of semi-trucks on the loading dock mid-morning into the late evening. During the winter season, most of the growing, cooling, and shipping operations transition down south to our Coachella region. The Castroville shipping staff works continuously loading product transfers between Castroville and our growing regions down south. Recently, Jose was promoted to Operations Manager for Value Added.
Jose likes to spend his free time with family and also enjoys watching the NFL, especially the Dallas Cowboys!
7. Lupita Renteria Galvan
Lupita is our HR Manager and Wellness Committee chair. The Wellness Committee promotes healthier, more balanced wellness practices in the workplace— specifically with our Blue Zones Project Approved Worksite designation. She has been involved in the Ocean Mist Farms' Wellness Committee since October of 2013.
Lupita stated that Ocean Mist Farms may be recognized as a community leader in workplace wellness, but none of this would be possible without the tireless work of the Wellness Committee, the external support from organizations like the VNA, SVMH, and The Blue Zones Project, and the personal steps our own employees have taken to lead healthier lifestyles in the workplace, in their homes, and within our community.