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.
Diane Mendez, Senior Production Artist, Western Growers
Diane is a 21-year-veteran of Western Growers, having joined the company in November 2000. She currently works with the Marketing team by doing graphic design—including laying out the very magazine you are reading right now for every single issue!
Her favorite WG memory? It’s hard to choose. “Since I’ve been here for so long, I have so many favorite WG memories. One is from when we were in the Fitch building and I worked in the Print Shop/Mail Room. I met so many people from other departments as they would stop by for their mail or print jobs. I made a lot of friends that way.”
Learn more about Diane’s favorites:
• Favorite hobbies: Travel—this photo is from a beach on the island of Hvar, Croatia—gardening, going to movies and concerts, listening to podcasts.
• Favorite movies: The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Duck Soup, Love Actually, Deadpool and anything by Pixar.
• Favorite sports team: The Los Angeles Dodgers. “We bleed Dodger blue. My favorite Dodger is Vin Scully.”
Human Resources Coordinator, Human Resources
Lili started at Western Growers in January 2020 and has thrived in her role of supporting the HR team despite the rigors of working remotely during the pandemic. In her typical day she runs reports and helps with company initiatives, including anniversary programs and WG Women.
“My favorite Western Growers memory was when we had a breakfast that was hosted by the executives,” Lili said. “It was in the first-floor break room, and there was a line of employees out the door and Dave Puglia and the management team were the ones serving the food. That’s cool for your CEO to be doing that.”
More of Lili’s highlights:
• Favorite movie: White Chicks. “No matter how many times I see it, it makes me laugh.”
• Biggest accomplishment: “I graduated college the same day as my brother, who is two years older than me.”
• Proudest moment: “Last year in October I got to be there for the birth of my twin nephews. I cut the umbilical cord!”
Editor’s Note: Diane and Lili 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 remarkable outward mindset.