Luis Gonzalez handles Sales and Procurement with a focus on Taiwan and key Latin markets out of Issaquah, Washington for the Vanguard International arm of our business. He is hands down one of our very best, always setting an example through excellent sales growth and tenacity. We always hear wonderful things about Luis from our customers, which does not surprise us as his pleasant charm creates the same positive energy in the office.
Let’s get to know Luis a little more!
VG: Has Issaquah always been home or did you re-locate for work?
Luis: I have lived in the Seattle area since I started with Vanguard in 2006. I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lived there until I was 25, so in my heart I have two hometowns: Seattle and Buenos Aires.
VG: How long have you been with Vanguard?
Luis: I started in August of 2006 – almost 14 years.
VG: We must ask, how are you holding up in Washington during this pandemic? How has your day-to-day changed?
Luis: The main change is that I have been working from my home since the governor established the new guidelines to manage the pandemic. Still, my day to day consists of the same goals, processes, and dynamics, but executed from a more isolated home envirnonment. I am very social and enjoy the company of my work mates, so I must say it is not my favorite, however, these are the times we face and the actions that must be taken. From a personal standpoint, I am taking this opportunity to recognize how much I miss the liberties we all had before the crisis hit us.
VG: You have a sales focus on Taiwan. How do you strategize and manage multiple business relationships overseas, especially during these unprecedented times?
Luis: To me it’s about value and knowing where you can add value to your customer. I depend on my individual strengths and Vanguard’s strengths, as well as a thorough understanding of our customers’ needs to deliver and protect the relationships we have, however far away. This business is about relationships and executing the day to day with integrity and consistency. I work with several people in the market that know what I do to leverage my own knowledge and continue to keep in touch.
VG: Have you always been destined for produce? Where did your career start?
Luis: I didn’t know until I stumbled on it! But I am really happy to be in Produce as I find it fascinating in so many aspects. I have a degree in International Business but prior to making a decision as to what to study, I was also considering Agronomy. What I do now is related a bit to both of these fields.
VG: What has been a memorable moment for you during your time working for Vanguard?
Luis: I must say there are many. I really enjoy meeting our customers and suppliers and spending time together as we visit them abroad. I particularly enjoy the interactions during Asiafruit as we get the chance to meet our customers and many of the global Vanguard family members as well.
VG: During a regular week, what does your free time look like?
Luis: I have a 10-year-old daughter and I spend a lot of my free time with her walking to the park and the beach. I have also taken on a new challenge of learning to play guitar and am enjoying it quite a bit!
I grew up in Argentina and we spent most of our free time as kids playing soccer, something I still love to do. There is nothing else I could do to feel as good as I do when I play soccer. Also, (when it’s allowed again) hanging with friends is a must. I am very social and I would take any chance I can to hang out with buddies. If there is a barbeque and some red meat to grill at the same time… even better!
VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If so, how do you prefer to eat it?
Luis: You cannot go wrong with citrus. But out of all, I will never be tired of eating oranges. An orange it is.
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.