A Look at WG Employee Champions Inside Western Growers

Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Western Growers provides a lobbying voice in state and federal government, affordable health benefits, technology and innovation development, transportation solutions, legal and human resources guidance and more. Behind the association are more than 400 employees who are dedicated to serving America’s food heroes; here is an inside look at two of Western Growers’ champions.

Kelly Graves Paralegal I am a paralegal work mainly in the area of ERISA

James Runez Licensed Vocational Nurse I have been with Western Growers for three years. I am the LVN Utilization Management Nurse. I review authorizations and claims, along with being involved in health management for our members. Do you have a favorite WG memory? My first annual WGA Christmas/Holiday Party 2019. Do you have a work accomplishment that you are proud of? Completing UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and going live with Medecision platform. Do you have a passion or hobby? Camping and enjoying watching my two daughters in tap/ballet . What’s something most people don’t know about you (special talent, unique interest)? I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is a self-defense martial art. What’s your favorite movie/tv show/song/book? My favorite song is Bedshaped by Keane. Do you have a favorite place where you have traveled? Rome, Italy

(Employee Retirement Income Security Act) compliance, drafting summary plan documents, FAQs, and legislative guidance. I started at Western Growers about two weeks before the COVID shutdown in 2020. Do you have a favorite WG memory?

I recently returned to the office for the first time in over two years and couldn’t find my desk. Since I wasn’t there that long before the shutdown, I’d always used the photos of former CEOs on the wall near the elevators as a guide, and they were gone. I wandered around for about five minutes before realizing I got off the elevator on the wrong floor. Do you have a work accomplishment that you are proud of? I almost never miss deadlines. Do you have a passion or hobby? Hiking and genealogy. Do you have a favorite quote or motto you live by? Words matter. I try to weigh my words before speaking them—it is something I’m going to regret later. Do you have a favorite sports team? I bleed Dodger blue. Do you have a favorite place where you have traveled? Northern Spain. I badly want to walk an entire route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I walked about 170 miles of it right before COVID. Do you have a connection to agriculture? My grandparents were sharecroppers in Oklahoma who came to the Central Valley with my father during the Dust Bowl, living in a boxcar in Tulare for several years. I’ve traced my family in America back to the 17th century, and mine is the first generation who never lived on a farm.

Editor’s Note: Kelly and James were recently honored as recipients of the Employees’ Choice Award, a WG program where employees select and honor fellow team members for their exemplary work and embodiment of the outward mindset.



Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online