Marlene Goomansingh joined Vanguard in 1994 so she has seen a lot of changes in her time with Vanguard; in her words always positive. Marlene has been the “go-to person to support sales, finance, operations and the management team in her super-admin role. Whether its reports for the Management team or confirming that documents are ready to be couriered to our customers, Marlene has always rolled up her sleeves and attacked all projects with a smile, energy, and an eagle-eye for details. In her 27 years with Vanguard, she has supported the various Vanguard teams from creating, collating, and distributing reports to making sure everyone was well fueled with coffee, tea, and water! Marlene’s smiling face is the first to greet visitors to Vanguard and what a great experience she provides for all of Vanguard’s global guests. We hear so often from our guests that they feel so welcomed and well cared for by Marlene, she really goes above and beyond. In earlier days this “energizer–bunny” also worked for the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders on weekends – talk about the 12th man!
Let’s get to know Marlene a little more!
VG: Has Issaquah always been home, or did you relocate for work?
Marlene: Since moving to Washington in 1980 I’ve lived in both Bellevue and Kent, Washington.
VG: Have you always been destined for fresh produce? How did your career begin?
Marlene: Over the years my passion for fresh produce has increased. In the early days with Vanguard, I was working part–time and just beginning my love of the fresh produce business.
VG: We are well into managing in a global pandemic – what have been the greatest challenges for you? Any positive outcomes of a change in SOP?
Marlene: While there have been many challenges during the global pandemic, a positive is learning new ways to efficiently complete work remotely. I do miss the daily interaction with my co-workers but find that I am more focused on my work with less distractions remotely.
VG: Whose day to you impact on a regular basis? Who hears from you the most?
Marlene: Overall, I am lucky to be the first person our business partners see when they come through the door or when they call. Internally, I collaborate with all work teams, and our offices around the world including finance, sales, and operations.
VG: What has been a memorable moment of your time with Vanguard? I’m sure there are more than a few memorable moments!
Marlene: Yes, there have been many memorable moments since I started with Vanguard. One is having to yell across the room in our old office space to the Sales team when they received a call. I can now look back and laugh on how things were done in the old days. Another is a 6.8 earthquake in 2001 that did damage to our building while throwing many of us to the floor our along with our equipment and filing cabinets in our office. Most of us working were in shock for a while. Lastly, going to the Mariners games as a team hosted by Maersk was very memorable. We got to know each other a little better away from the office.
VG: What does your free time look like! Spending time with family, friends?
Marlene: During the pandemic, I’ve been able to spend more time walking after work and gardening. In normal times, working at our Sounders soccer and Seahawks football games during their seasons was especially enjoyable. I also enjoy watching professional basketball, football, and soccer games on TV with my husband and traveling. I also love spending time with my grandchildren and attending their sporting events.
VG: Do you have a favorite produce item? If yes, how do you prefer to eat it (Snack? Signature Recipe?)
Marlene: I eat a variety of produce since I do not eat meat. I love to cook, and I cook often. I love broccoli! I prepare it with olive oil, garlic, onions, and tomatoes, and serve it along with pasta, over salads, and just as a side.
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.