Alina Obreja is a Staff Accountant for Vanguard International. She joined the company in July of 2018. You could call Alina the “queen of cash!” She is always on the quest, working hand-in-hand with our global sales teams, to ensure collections are coming in the door on time. Working with Vanguard’s offices around the world, she is a key member of the global Vanguard International team.
Let’s get to know Alina a little more!
VG: Has Washington always been home, or did you re-locate for work?
Alina: I was born and raised in Romania, and lived for 5 years in Cyprus before I moved to beautiful Washington state 12 years ago when my husband relocated here for his career. This was quite a change from the 9 months of hot summer every year in Cyprus to the almost 9 months of rain in Washington. With time however, I began to love the evergreen climate. Now, when I travel to a hot and humid destination, I can’t wait to come back home.
VG: As a relative new-comer to the world of fresh produce what has surprised you the most about the produce world?
Alina: I was fascinated to learn that the fresh produce world is so complex. When you buy fruits and vegetables from a grocery store, you don’t think of all the unique challenges and coordination involved from growing, packing, and shipping to the end consumer. Now, I am aware of all the hard work behind every beautiful fruit we end up seeing in a store.
VG: We are well into managing during a global pandemic – what have been the greatest challenges? Any positive outcomes of a change in SOP?
Alina: Not being able to visit my parents that live abroad has been the greatest challenge for me. It’s the first time we haven’t seen each other in over a year. Also, having my kids’ school virtually at home while working full time was quite challenging during the early stages of the pandemic, but now we have all adjusted well, learned our routines, and fallen into an efficient groove.
The best outcome for me was spending more quality time with my kids and doing more outdoor activities as a family. Biking became our favorite activity to relax after work.
VG: Whose day to you impact on a regular basis? Who hears from you the most?
Alina: The Finance and Sales teams hear from me on a daily basis, starting early in the morning with cash reconciliation and generating cash receipts reports. As my role covers a variety of accounting duties, I’m fortunate to work closely with many members of the Vanguard International family.
VG: What has been a memorable moment of your time with Vanguard?
Alina: One of my first memories at Vanguard was the Secret Santa company event at our Issaquah office. It was fun to get to know my co-workers outside of normal business.
VG: What does your free time look like! Spending time with family, friends?
Alina: Both myself and my husband enjoy watching movies, and especially during the pandemic we introduced our kids to the wonderful world of classic movies. I also love biking, hiking, and traveling with my family whenever it’s possible.
VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If yes how do you prefer to eat it (Snack? Signature Recipe?)
Alina: I love all fruits, but on the top of my list are cherries. There is no better snack for me than a bowl of fresh ripe cherries and I never refuse a slice of delicious cherry pie.
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.