State of the Union with Art Vega – VP of Sales & Marketing A Quick Bite by Sev-Rend Feature

Art Vega – VP of Sales & Marketing

Well, we’re coming to the close of another year. Goodbye 2021 and hello 2022! As I sit down to write this, I must reflect on the past year and it is so difficult because we have seen exponential change in the last 18 months. I would have thought that back in 2020 the “change” would start to normalize in 2021. I have come to realize that we transitioned from thoughts of “change” to more of a positive “evolution”. How can “I” become better, and how can “we” become better?

In this reflection, I must remind myself that we are a service provider and simply stated, if we don’t provide that service, the customer can simply go elsewhere. With all the confusion in today’s landscape we transition our thought process to “Lets simply make it easier to conduct business”, and that is what we set out to do in the past year.

We installed a new more intuitive way to schedule print work, creating efficiencies not realized in the past, thus reducing the lead time to get product to the market quicker than our competitors. We added to our ever-expanding customer base and thankfully grew our business to record levels. We were able to do this with the help of our entire team including Regional Managers and our Marketing department. Jeff (Director of Marketing) had a very busy world in 2021. Jeff and Sev-Rend were fortunate enough to be featured on several podcast this year, such as “The Produce Moms” podcast with the amazing Lori Taylor and the “Produce Industry Podcast” with the ever-energetic Patrick Kelley. I would have never thought that podcasts would have been as fun as they are. Even in the negativity of Covid, we can find bright lights and people coming together, having fun and enjoying the complexities of our world. Be the change you want to see, right?

All this fun and happiness wasn’t always the case in 2021. We had major setbacks as well. The continuing issues with Covid, supply chain and overall market confusion had us spinning. Retailers didn’t have a clear picture of how they were going to pivot. Packers had fruit that couldn’t go anywhere, and we were getting backed up with extended lead times. In times of confusion, we had to regroup and put some game faces on. So that’s what we did. We created more leadership roles within the organization to set out more strategic visions of where we need to go in such areas as sustainability, technical efficiencies, and production forecasting.

“Technical Committee” lead by Russell Reta, this team focuses on how our materials run on existing machinery at a packing facility. On this committee is James Nyssen – who is a fully trained technical expert on automation. “Production Committee” led by Damien Yank, this team focuses on the bridge between sales and production. As I’m sure you all know sales can be somewhat (Critically) demanding in what production can do. This committee bridges the gap for communication between sales and production. Helping both departments run at maximum capacity. “Sustainability Committee” Led by Luigi Indacochea, Sev-Rend has always been focused on environmental impact but the complexity in this category forced us to create a committee to further discuss topics that are necessary for us all and more importantly, Mother Earth. This committee was a leading factor in the creation of our groundbreaking technology “Bio-Able” packaging. A packaging style that is not only FDA approved for food contact and can run efficiently on your current machine but is specifically formatted to be 100% recyclable and to degrade in both marine and landfill environments.

We were also lucky enough to have some new faces join our company. Callie Shimmer in CS, Ken Homza as CFO and Suzanne Zurn in HR. These new members have made great impacts already and we look to learn from them every day! However, were still looking for our next leadership roles so if you are interested in a collaborative, fast paced, visionary company, give us a call!

Planning ahead is necessary when it comes to operating a business. But there is much to be gained by reflection. Looking forward with open eyes is next to impossible without an honest assessment of the past. Keeping an eye on the future is important, but so is evaluating the past. Where you are is not only the starting point of where you want to go, it’s also a direct result of where you’ve been. We along with our family of customers, look toward the future and see nothing but mutual respect, continued growth, and successful collaboration.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their efforts throughout 2021. The success of our company is built on the efforts of our partners, clients and even our competitors that push us to be more. In this past year, we have enjoyed many successes. Thank you for the dedication, loyalty, commitment, and overall partnership that each one of you has shown our team.

We offer our best wishes and happiness to you and your families as we all look forward to a successful 2022.