A decade’s worth of wisdom from Bloomia’s Planting and Greenhouse Supervisor
Rigoberto Mendez is originally from Chiapas, Mexico. For the past ten years, he’s been in Virginia steadily advancing his career at Bloomia. He began with cutting flowers and cleaning the greenhouses. Today he is Planting and Greenhouse Supervisor with over 40 people working for him. The secret to his success, he’ll tell you, is no secret: work hard and treat people well.
A career in the agricultural industry can be challenging because it’s seasonal and there’s high turnover. Rigoberto’s experience at Bloomia defies that conventional wisdom. He enjoys working at Bloomia, interacting with the people, and embraces the challenges. He says, “There are always things to do and improve.” He points out that Bloomia is growing and innovating all the time. Rigoberto sees this as an opportunity for him to grow with the company.
For example, Rigoberto grew tulips for many years. Recently, Bloomia introduced other varieties like Ranunculus, anemones, peonies, and a dozen more species. He sees the expansion as a way to learn new things, which he says gives him a lot of energy. He’s using that energy to focus on improving production and productivity on his teams. He wants people to do their best and is giving them the best tools to do high quality work. He likes this style of management because it makes the job more fun for him and everyone else.
By working hard, focusing on his employees and expanding his skills, Rigoberto hopes to become a production manager. He likes to challenge himself and devotes his energy to moving forward rather than thinking about what can’t be done. “Some people get the impression that a job or company doesn’t allow them to grow, but here or anywhere else, it’s up to the person to work for it.” He will be the first to admit he didn’t think he could get this far at any company, but he looks for opportunities and seizes them.
Perhaps the hardest thing for Rigoberto is taking a holiday and enjoying a well-earned rest with his family. He and his wife, who also works at Bloomia, have a two-year old girl. They all enjoy flowers and their daughter loves to visit the greenhouse and its flowers every weekend. Rigoberto’s favorite flower is the novelty tulip because, as he says, they are as special as his wife.
And for Rigoberto, like Bloomia, people matter more than anything. But Rigoberto challenges Bloomia to keep improving worker happiness. “Even though things are going well, there’s no such thing as focusing too much on people. Productivity and numbers are important, but I’ve found that, from my own experience, when people are happy they are more productive.” His tips to improve happiness are simple and direct: keep people close and pay attention to small things like saying hello, good bye, and asking how somebody’s day is going.
Dear Rigoberto: Your ethic of working hard and treating people well clearly explains your success. We deeply thank you for all of that and let's continue making Bloomia happen, together!