2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Angela Lavorato Salinas

Age: 38
Manager of Sales Analysis and Credit
D’Arrigo Bros. Co., of California
Salinas, CA

Throughout her 13 years with D’Arrigo Bros Co. of California, Lavorato Salinas has assisted in the increase of revenue and efficiencies while working between and within multiple departments. As manager of sales analysis, she analyzes all aspects of revenue. Collaboratively with the vice presidents of sales, post-harvest, operations and finance, operational structures and new revenue streams have been constructed and workflow has been organized. She began her career with D’Arrigo Bros. as a sales analyst, which was a new position. She quickly built a strong relationship with the sales management team and found herself involved in every contract renewal and overall weekly profitability outcomes.

Her position grew to a senior financial analyst where she found herself in customer meetings and management discussion. She became an advisor on all streams of revenue. Lavorato Salinas was then promoted to manager of sales analysis and credit. She works with a team of analysts to increase revenue and efficiencies as well as cash flow. The accounts receivable team reports to her as well. As a numbers whiz, she is considered a key part of the sales, finance and executive team and her role is crucial in making business and partnership decisions to drive forward the company. She provides input and leadership into various departmental decisions from food safety to quality — to help ensure D’Arrigo is not only at the frontline of the important decisions, but also that financial support is given to ensure these areas are supported for success.

Hobbies: Coaching sports, Exercising, Reading, Trying new cuisines, Traveling, Spending time with children, friends, family

Personal/Community: Two boys, School volunteer, St. Joseph’s Catholic church, Board of Directors for Ariel Theatrical, Board of Directors for Toro Pony Baseball, chaired a Relay for Life team for her company.

Motto in life: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Q: How did you begin working in the produce industry?
It was not my original plan. Entering college, I was unsure of my own passion. I planned to follow in my father’s footsteps, obtain a degree in Business, with an emphasis in Accounting and work for his CPA firm. But I realized early on in my studies that was not the path for me. I took a course in economics and everything changed. The subject just clicked. I was able to use my mathematical skills and couple them with data interpretation. I changed my major to Economics and set my sights on the produce industry. I had always planned on moving home after college and being that the largest industry in the Salinas Valley is produce, it was an easy choice.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
In my tenure the accomplishment I am most proud of is the development and management of a complete and concise contract system. This system has provided the means to analyze our open and contracted sales — providing visibility into compliance and performance of contracts and open sales at both a macro and micro level.

Q: What do you see as the most critical “hot button” issue facing the industry in the next decade?
Labor and mechanization. With increases to the minimum wage rates, decreases to overtime hours and a smaller labor force, the need to mechanize our labor is essential. The steep increase in payroll taxes and benefits have put a lot of cost pressure on the supplier. As well, increased labor demand for other crops not traditionally grown in the Salinas Valley, such as cannabis, berries and wine grapes, has spread the labor force very thin. Mechanization will not only help to combat the pressure of increased payroll tax and benefit expense but will also decrease crew sizes to help allocate labor across the thousands of acres planted in this valley.