January 14, 2022

Steve Mangapit on Driving Operational Excellence in 2022

Wielding more than 20 years of experience, business mogul Steve Mangapit steps in as Western Growers (WG) first Chief Operating Officer. He focuses on advancing and elevating operational efficiencies, improvements and innovations throughout the Western Growers Family of Companies.

Q. Can you share a snapshot of your professional background?

A. When I was younger, I was a hotshot with data and analytics. I started in the business back when I lived in Las Vegas, cutting my teeth on reporting and financial reporting. I was very adept with the technical side of things. As I have gotten older and grown in my career, my strength has become in operations, strategy, leadership and communications.

Q. Looking back at your career collectively, what are you most proud of?

A. I am most proud of the people that I have mentored and helped further their careers—those who I have seen develop, get promoted and grow into leadership positions. Throughout my career, I’ve won big contracts, achieved goals and earned bonuses, but at the end of the day, what really excites me is seeing people be successful. This is the flashlight of my accomplishments.

Q. What are your priorities this first year?

A. I started on January 1 and plan on focusing on two priorities in 2022:

  1. Strengthening WG Assurance Trust (WGAT) by bringing in more efficiencies, making sure its competitive and innovating new processes to further bring value to customers.
  2. Enhancing our own team by ensuring we have the right tools and training for all of our staff to efficiently help customers.

Q. From 2010 to 2014, you worked at WG with WGAT/Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc. before accepting another position in Los Angeles. Why did you decide to return to the WG Family of Companies?

A. My initial tenure at WG was a great opportunity for me to take on challenges and have some wins. There was a lot of cross-functional efforts across different departments which resulted in many successes and the huge win of earning the Covered California contract.

Coming back, I’m excited about the opportunity and challenge. I’m not looking for a “feet on the desk” type of job; I’m looking for something that is exciting where I can build and enhance the team and win. I like winning.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in your role as WG’s very first COO?

A. Making a difference and improving the lives of both our members and employees. This includes helping our customers save money and provide better benefits to their team as well as guiding our own team in growing their careers.



Name: Steve Mangapit

Title: Chief Operating Officer

Family: Married to my wife, Chau, with 2 children: Audrey (5 years old) and Thomas (8 months old).

Favorite TV Show: Succession. It’s a good example of the company culture you don’t want to have.

Preferred Podcast: The Rewatchables (a podcast discussing must-see movies)

Hobbies: Basketball. Golf. Hiking. Spending time with family.

Favorite App: Twitter

Role Model: My Grandfather. I always admired how he treats people, his attitude toward life and how he puts family first.

Weekend Getaway: We have a cabin in Big Bear and go there regularly in the winter and spring.

Proudest Home Project: I dabble in woodworking projects, and the coolest thing I’ve built has been a massive pegboard wall with movable shelves.

Fun Fact: I’m a big fan of “The Office” and won a charity raffle to have actor Steve Carell do my son’s baby announcement and gender reveal.

Stephanie Metzinger conducted this interview.