My Recent Interview For Food & Wine
Our work at Blue Diamond Growers offers me the opportunity to form real partnerships with our growers and customers – partnerships that are personal and sincere. Quite often I am asked about my business philosophy and personal interests.
So, I’d like to share with you a recent interview from a special issue of “Food & Wine,” prepared for our Global Ingredients Division!
Q. What are you most passionate about professionally?
A. I am blessed that I get to work at a company where my personal mission and the company mission are aligned. I believe that eating good, nutritious food and getting regular exercise is the best medicine and critical to a sense of well-being.
Fortunately for our team, we have an incredibly attractive product to pitch. Almonds taste great and offer a plethora of health and wellness benefits. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and many other minerals. Oprah recently described almonds as a super food. And, they can be used in so many different applications.
Q. What one problem are you best at solving?
A. I am best at looking at data, consumer trends and customer needs and finding future opportunities before others see them. As a result, we are always adding new capabilities at Blue Diamond: new factories, innovation centers and expertise.
Even while experiencing success, we are changing and that is healthy for an organization. This allows us to work with The world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies who entrust their brands to Blue Diamond Almonds.
Q. How does Blue Diamond create such strong customer partnerships?
A. At Blue Diamond we see the future, take that vision and deliver on the promise. Our new state-of-the-art almond-processing plant in Turlock, California is now a reality. Our R&D allows us to offer our customers growth opportunities using our almond ingredients. We share our knowledge and insights with our customers. And our customers truly appreciate our superior customer service.
Q. With customers all over the world, how do you keep them apprised of crop and market conditions?
A. I see my role as distilling the key themes and trends, then communicating in an understandable way to our customers, growers and industry partners. Our Almond Facts magazine and President’s Corner are collectively the most read publication and column in the industry. I’ve also added a blog, AlmondInsights.com, to provide more immediate communication of key industry developments.
Q. What are you passionate about personally, what do you really enjoy?
A. My priorities and greatest joys are my family and Blue Diamond. When I have free time, I am passionate about active pursuits outdoors. Since moving to Northern California, I have particularly enjoyed running and snowboarding.
Q. What is your ideal weekend day?
A. My favorite Sunday is to wake up early, make breakfast, go for a long run with my trail running group, and then go to church with my family. We like to go out for a family lunch. My children are 18, 14 and 8 and this is one of the few times we all get a meal together. I play basketball with my son, call my mother, make dinner on the grill and top off the day by enjoying a glass of a great California red wine with my wife outside by the pool.
Q. Who do you admire the most?
A. I still admire my father. Even though he has passed, I am profoundly grateful for the time we had together. He inspires me everyday.