We’re doing something new for our Buzz Blog readers! Many of you are inspired each week by the recipes and farmer stories we tell you about, but there are lots of people here at California Giant Berry Farms who make us who we are as a company, and we want you to meet them in a new series of posts that will spotlight rockstars on our team.
If you didn’t already know, giving back to our community is something that matters greatly to us at California Giant, and Angel Sanchez has been one of our most dedicated volunteers and employees for more than 30 years. Angel’s role at California Giant is to manage accounts receivable, which takes a kind firmness and a LOT of patience. Anyone who’s tried collecting money for a shared tab at a restaurant understands how challenging this would be at a much larger scale. Yet, if you met Angel, you would see that her humble, motherly approach is what we all wish we could experience with finance professionals!
But that’s not what we love most about Angel – her dedication to family and her community is what makes her this month’s spotlight employee because she’s been a key volunteer in every one of California Giant’s philanthropic initiatives. Often, she is the one planning behind-the-scenes and spending countless hours cooking for the various events we host each year like our Spring Lamb BBQ, Skirt Steak BBQ, Santa’s Workshop, and Relay for Life.
Photo: California Giant’s Annual Skirt Steak BBQ
Angel’s sons have also been involved with the business from a very young age, gaining entrepreneurial experience every summer during their breaks from school at the local fruit stands by California Giant.
Photo: Angel with her sons Andres, Sebastian, and Ruben.
“The boys would set up a little fruit stand out at the original cooler—right alongside Mr. Moncovich’s daughters, until they went off to college—and they were allowed to buy fruit at-cost to sell and use for spending money the rest of the year,” Angel said. “By the time they were in high school, they had learned to balance a checkbook, manage their own bank accounts, and ultimately run a business. It is opportunities like that that really set this company apart—they treat my family like their own, and it is a joy coming to work every day.”
Photo: Angel with California Giant’s CEO Bill Moncovich
Here’s what some of our other employees have to say about Angel: Kathy Alciati, Human Resources Manager for California Giant, shares, “Angel and I were the Co-Captains for the companies Relay for Life team from 2005-2009. I will never forget that first Relay, we were determined to be there the whole time. If you have ever been to a Relay event you know it is a 24-hour commitment to have your team walking the track in honor of people fighting cancer. Everyone is supposed to stay awake to cheer on the team as they take turns walking laps all day & all night from Saturday to Sunday morning. We were determined to stay up for the full 24 hours, at 2am we were wrapped in blankets sitting along the side of the track encouraging our team mates and others walking the track. As it got closer to sunrise we were walking to keep warm and stay awake. It was the longest, coldest, 24 hours of my life, but we did it! I would never have been able to stay up for 24 hours or do the Relay for Life without Angel. The next year we brought cots and sleeping bags.”
Photo: California Giant’s Annual Santa’s Workshop Charity Event
Amber Isidro, Human Resources Coordinator for California Giant, added that “working with Angel has been a pleasure. She is so outgoing and her positive energy is so encouraging. Share your Holiday is the number one place I see Angel shine - she runs so much of the behind the scenes for that huge event. Decorating trees, setting up lights etc. She delegates to us what needs to be done and where things should be; all while staying in the spirit with her antlers on, and a smile on her face.”
We’re so appreciative of Angel’s dedication to California Giant Berry Farms, our mission, and the community and can’t imagine doing the work we love without her. Drop your comments for Angel below or give us a shout on social @calgiantberries to share your thoughts!