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.

Lee Thai Clinical Pharmacist III, PBM Do you have a favorite WG memory? Attending the last few WG annual meetings is a great opportunity to meet our members face to face and spend time with WG leadership, especially after the pandemic. I was so used to seeing everyone’s face on video calls, but it made me realize how much I missed seeing everyone in person.

Terry Wagner Executive Assistant Do you have a favorite WG memory?

In the short time I have been with Western Growers, I have had so many wonderful experiences and memories, including my first interview with Steve Mangapit, with whom I connected and felt an immediate kinship. To this day, it has been my true honor and joy supporting and collaborating with such a brilliant, compassionate, and thoughtful leader. Do you have a work accomplishment that you are proud of? I have many, but I am proudest of my contributions that save time and money for the company, and for taking a lead role on our Employee Engagement Committee, organizing and hosting company events. Do you have a passion or hobby? I am passionate about spending time with family and friends, and in Do you have a favorite quote or motto you live by? To do my best to treat people, animals and our planet with kindness and respect. What’s your favorite movie/TV show/song/book? Too many to list, honestly! Do you have a favorite sports team? Michigan football Do you have a favorite place where you have traveled? It is a tie between Maui and Paris. Do you have a connection to agriculture? Growing up in Michigan, I was surrounded by strawberry, raspberry, and honey farms, along with apple and cherry tree orchards. Picking fruit and making pies and jams from my haul was a normal part of life. For most of my younger years we lived adjacent to Pine Hill Tree Nursery in Kewadin, Michigan which my family owned. Several of my friends’ families owned cherry orchards and dairy farms where I would help them with their chores. supporting our company leaders, contributing to theirs and the company’s successes.

Do you have a work accomplishment that you are proud of? My proudest accomplishment was taking our clinical review for pharmacy and medication utilization review in-house instead of relying on contracted outside companies. It has saved the organization and the trust a lot of time and money to accomplish I’ve always been a gadget/tech nerd—anything from consumer electronics, electric vehicles, etc. I’m used to being everyone’s electronics/computer fix-it guy, but I wanted to keep it a hobby instead of a career, so I ended up in medicine because I find it much more rewarding. Do you have a favorite quote or motto you live by? “Be kind, especially when we don’t know what’s going on.” — Waymond Wang from Everything Everywhere All At Once. these things within our organization. Do you have a passion or hobby? Considering how polarizing everything feels in the current climate, it’s important to remember that it’s essential to treat people kindly amid the chaos. What’s something most people don’t know about you (special talent, unique interest)? I used to play ice hockey. Growing up in Canada meant that most of my free time in the winter was spent in ice and snow. I started playing hockey when I was eight until 15, when I took a hockey stick to the head without a helmet and was injured. Mom wouldn’t let me play after that.

What’s your favorite movie/TV show/song/book? Everything Everywhere all at Once and Beef on Netflix.

Editor’s Note: Lee and Terry 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.

MAY | JUNE 2023


Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com

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