A Fresh Veg Blog

Dads, Grads and the Road Ahead

by Loree Dowse | June 2018

Loree’s note: I asked Ryan Sigala, the newest member of our marketing team, to write today’s post. Ryan came to us as an intern last fall, and we were so impressed with his hard work, positivity, and can-do nature that we were happy to offer him a full-time position here. The best part: Ryan’s dad also happens to be a 27-year veteran of Mann’s. Because as you know, we love a good family story.

The end of college should be an exciting time for a young person. That wasn’t the case for me, though. I was feeling a little lost about what direction my life should take.

Ryan’s FFA days (center, right)

In high school, I had been an active member of the Soledad FFA (Future Farmers of America), but I wasn’t your stereotypical FFA member with cows, plows, and sows. I took an active role in chapter communications by creating our first website, producing promotional videos, writing articles, working with local newspapers, and serving on the California FFA press corp team.

In college, as a Communications and Journalism major, I still had an interest in public relations – it just wasn’t so ag driven. It wasn’t until last fall, when I discovered that Mann Packing was looking for a Marketing Intern, that my path started to come into focus. I submitted a resume, and was called within a week for an interview. I was offered the internship on the spot.

Mann Packing has been a part of my family since before I was born. My father, Patrick Sigala, has worked here for 27 years, and is currently the company’s Engineering Manager. Tracing our company’s roots, we have to recognize the extraordinary people that made us successful. It is clear that our founder, Mr. Mann and his business partners Don Nucci and Bill Ramsey were a huge part of this success – but I like to consider my father in this group, too.

Patrick Sigala in Mann’s office, 1992

My father started as a mechanic at our Hansen Plant in Salinas. He would put in long hours at the plant, then attend night school at the local community college. When he would come home, I would take off his work boots and socks for him to give him some relief from his long day.

Patrick with Bill Ramsey, February 2018

My father worked his way through the ranks, from a mechanic, forklift mechanic supervisor, plant manager, to his current role. The odds were stacked against him: raised by a single mom, he grew up with nothing. But here he is, living the American Dream. From him, I learned the importance of hard work, education, and personal drive.

To work in Marketing, you need to be passionate about the products and the company in order to communicate them out to the world. If I was going to start a future in marketing, Mann’s was the best place for me, given the respect I already had for them. In addition, the importance of any internship is finding the right people to teach and mentor you. The Mann’s marketing team is made up of creative, experienced, and talented people who welcomed my ideas and opinions.

I do have to give you future interns a warning: you are going to have to do the work that nobody wants to do. My advice is to not see this as a negative, but as a positive. This is the opportunity to show your character to everyone, to demonstrate that you are good at what you do and that you’re reliable. This can make or break the outcome of the internship on both ends.

Interns to employees (L to R): Ryan Sigala, Victoria Delgado, Eduardo Hernandez, Rivka Garcia

Mann’s internship program has been a great way to find young professionals that will carry on the legacy of the hard-working people that make our company great – people like my father. This year alone, we have hired four interns to full-time status. I was lucky enough to be one of them, and am now officially a Marketing Assistant.

As I walked across the stage at graduation a few weeks ago, I did’t feel lost anymore. Officially on the Mann’s Marketing team, I know that a lot of opportunity and great things are to come, and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

Your hard work paid off, Dad!

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