FreshSource's Natalie J. Machado, Shannon Dambach, and Dave Juarez Discuss Growth and Differentiation
SANTA ANA, CA - Legendary coach John Wooden once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you need a team.” With one eye on the horizon and the other on its partners’ success, FreshSource has put in place a strong team of national directors to oversee marketing, retail, and sales and help lead the way into the future. Together, these three industry pros are wielding their prowess to ensure the company provides the best solutions for its allies.
“We consider ourselves an extension of our vendor partners and are passionate about what we do,” Natalie J. Machado, National Director of Marketing, explains, telling me what sets FreshSource and its team apart from other industry brokers. “We pride ourselves on partnering with the best and most innovative brands in the industry and invest heavily in our retail team to ensure we have boots on the ground, merchandising our vendors’ best-in-class products at retail.”
Born and raised in the produce industry, Natalie knows what goes into the products that FreshSources’ partners offer and remains inspired to share these commodities across retail. Inspired by this, she brought her skills and tenacity to FreshSource to become a part of a like-minded team working to promote the industry that played such a pivotal role in her upbringing.
“Robert Thompson, our Chief Executive Officer and Founder, is an entrepreneur and an extremely hard worker,” she says. “That spirit and passion is contagious, and with him serving as our company’s backbone, we gravitate toward others who have that same drive and mindset. All of us at FreshSource truly pride ourselves on innovation, hard work, and dedication in all that we do.”
Like Natalie, Shannon Dambach, National Director of Sales, also boasts the benefits of joining forces with the broker, showcasing FreshSource's commitment to the growth of the company and its partners.
“FreshSource isn’t a traditional food broker, we are a sales and merchandising solutions company. We respond quickly to the needs of our retailers and principal partners. Our goal is to be their solution,” she shares. “We have a vast array of principle partners to coordinate tie-in promotional opportunities, industry event sponsorships, and a one-of-a-kind approach to the business. Overall, we have the most feet on the street making sure the stores look great!”
Shannon herself is one of the key players on the FreshSource team helping to make this success a reality. Having started in the produce industry in 1991, she brings a developed portfolio of expertise to her role.
“I have been here since the beginning, helping to create the company you see today,” Shannon comments. “I love FreshSource because we are like a family; we encourage one another, build each other up, and mentor our new associates. We then pass that sense of support on to our customers to help make them more successful too.”
Dave Juarez, National Director of Retail, echoes the sentiments of Natalie and Shannon when it comes to his admiration for FreshSource and its ability to boost its clients.
“FreshSource is 97 percent produce specific, and we have four times the number of boots on the ground as our competitors. We spend our time working in the produce department, which benefits our principles by better visibility on their product lines day in and day out.”
Starting his career in grocery back in 1986, Dave has a deep understanding of the retail sector and uses his experience to promote growth across FreshSource’s operations. With almost a decade of produce expertise under his belt as well, he understands what it takes to keep the company moving and has a team metaphor of his own to elaborate.
“I feel FreshSource’s market strategy is based on execution,” he begins “Our sales team gets the ball rolling with the work done at the corporate level. Then, our Merchandising team keeps the ball rolling by setting up, merchandising, and maintaining displays for maximum sales. Finally, our Marketing Team finishes kicking the ball by recapping work in the field.”
With its leaders’ hivemind focused on providing the best service for its partners and the development of the company, Dave assures me that one thing is certain for FreshSource: Growth.
“The growth mindset starts at the top and propels the brands we represent. With that being said, growth is in our future,” he relays.
Taking to the court with their heads in the game and their eyes locked on success for not only FreshSource, but its partners, these leaders are playing at the championship level and won’t stop until they’ve won.