At Young’s, our family is diverse and our culture is strong because of our employee network groups. Among our employee-led groups at Young’s is the Latino American Partner Network, whose mission is to immerse, educate and empower Latino American employees to strengthen our company culture of diversity.
“This is a dynamic group whose work and dedication provide ongoing inspiration to the Hispanic community as well as to the Young’s family at large. I’m eager to support their efforts, and I encourage our colleagues and business partners to join us as we celebrate our diversity and create opportunities for professional growth,” says John Oehlke, Executive Vice President, Commercial Leadership and leadership sponsor for Young’s Latino American Partner Network group.
This month, we recognize several members of the Latino American Partner Network Group: Gil Garcia, Sylvia Fleck, John Ruiz, Lupe DeGraaf, Blanca Loya, and Kevin Perez.
Gil Garcia is Director of Sales, Off-Premise – Southern California and has been with a member of the Young’s family for more than 25 years. Gil is very competitive and values the relationships he has with customers, clients and the Young’s leadership team. Gil enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, and his favorite drink – Hendrick’s and soda with a cucumber wedge. “We should always continue to grow, but never forget where we came from,” said Gil. “Our diversity groups remind us of this!”
Sylvia Fleck joined the Young’s family five years ago supporting our Southern California General Market team. In her role as Outreach Chair for the Latino American Partner Network Group, Sylvia has coordinated community outreach efforts with the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, Los Angeles Rescue Mission, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. “Diversity is important to me because it’s about more than race or ethnicity. Diversity is uniting people with varying characteristics for a better workplace,” says Sylvia. Her favorite drink is Jose Cuervo Tradicional.
John Ruiz is Senior Vice President, Chain Merchandising – California and serves as Co-Chair of the Latino American Partner Network Group. John joined the Young’s family in 2013 and was recently asked to lead the merchandising division for Young’s California business unit. “The LAPN has the important task of raising awareness of the growing Hispanic and Latino populations in California by sponsoring outreach programs and internal communications,” said John. “As a second-generation Mexican American, I believe it’s important to recognize and share insights that may benefit Young’s in this changing market. Diversity is the framework of the United States and for a company to be successful, its employees should be equally diverse to ensure all opportunities and options are realized.” John’s drink of choice? Anything cold that Young’s sells!
Lupe DeGraaf is Director of Sales & Planning and a member of the Young’s family since 1993. Lupe co-leads the Latino American Partner Network Group as Finance Chair Officer. “Diversity is key to a dynamic and successful workplace. Diverse companies that are rich in multi-cultural marketing knowledge, creativity and innovation become a better fit for today’s business environment and achieve higher levels of success. As a Latino woman, I support a network that attracts future diverse employees enriching our company’s future”. Lupe’s favorite drink to sip is tequila with a splash of lime.
Blanca Loya is a Human Resources Business Partner, member of the Young’s family for 16 years, and Chair of the Latino American Partner Network Group. “Diversity isn’t a box we check, it’s a competitive advantage and necessary for a business to thrive. Our people are valuable resources with unique perspectives of the Latino demographic and expert knowledge of the wine and spirits industry. My goal is to leverage our diversity to benefit the bottom line and make inclusion a game-changing strategy!” Blanca’s favorite drink is El Jimador Margarita on the rocks or a glass of Tattinger Champagne.
Kevin Perez has been a member of the Young’s family for more than 24 years and has held sales management positions within all channels of the business. Kevin is currently an Account Executive for Safeway and serves as the Northern California Regional Chair for the Latino American Partner Network Group. “Diversity makes us well-rounded as an organization, ensuring our decisions touch all consumer markets and lead to strong sales growth.” Kevin’s favorite drink is a Woodford Reserve Manhattan.