From production lines to sales desks, we sit down with Vanguard’s valued employees each month and get to know their side of the business – and their favorite snack!
Behind the Produce with Shawn Caldwell
Shawn is the Sales Manager in our Bakersfield, California office representing the Vanguard Direct side of the Vanguard International Group. His role involves connecting our customers, both retail and wholesale distributers in the USA and Canada, with the product we grow, pack and ship from Vanguard’s own ranches in Ica, Peru. Taking on this role means satisfying a wide variety of key players in the produce supply chain. Shawn does this seamlessly, and with a smile on this face!
Let’s get to know Shawn a little more.
VG: Has Bakerfield always been home or did you re-locate for work?
Shawn:We moved to Bakersfield when I was 10, (from Hawaii of all places—still haven’t forgiven my Dad for that). I went on to Fresno State for College and came back to start my Produce career with Sun World International.
VG: Have you always been destined for produce? Where did your career start?
Shawn:My first stint in Produce was an internship while I was in college. I worked in Nogales, AZ.
A family friend had an import company. They were importing grapes at the time. This is where I got my first behind-the-scenes look at how produce made its journey to the produce shelf. I was fascinated by the process.
VG: How long have you been with Vanguard?
Shawn:I have been with Vanguard Direct for 3 years, previously working for Columbine Vineyards and Sun World International. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work for outstanding companies and with a great group of people throughout my career.
VG: What has been a memorable moment for you during your time working for Vanguard?
Shawn:Seeing the overall progression of our program over the last 3 years. With the completion of our packhouse/cold storage in Peru, it really brings the entire program together and allows us to do things a lot of other companies are unable to do.
VG: Whose day do you impact on a regular basis? Who hears from you the most?
Shawn:I’m in Sales so we’re fortunate to not only deal with our customer base, we get to interact with our field personnel as well as other divisions of the company. It’s great to be able to deal with such diverse segments of our business.
VG: What does your free time look like?
Shawn:I have been into sports my entire life. Now that our sons are older and we’re not at the soccer field every weekend I can indulge in some of MY favorite athletic pursuits. I love to play golf and do different sports to stay in shape. Over the last several years I have been doing triathlons. This is a great way to stay in shape and be engaged in three different sports at once.
VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If so, how do you prefer to eat it? Signature Recipe
Shawn:Grapes of course 😊. Bananas in my smoothies, and potatoes any way I can get them (Wasabi Mashed Potatoes would be one of my signature recipes!).
Every day is different at Vanguard; with new growers joining our community, new crops and fresh varieties being introduced, and new markets opening. Keep up to date with what’s happening in our expanding world.