When Maria originally came to GAR, she was hired to work in dispatch and cross-train in fertilizer. Little did she know that she would start in fertilizer and cross-train in dispatch instead. As part of the fertilizer department, Maria’s day-to-day is consistently busy. Typically, her day starts with checking emails and getting started on orders that are placed via email, over the phone or by walk-ins. She then works with the rest of her team to coordinate the logistics on what needs to be ordered (equipment, materials, etc.) The order is then given to the shop team who identifies if the product is in stock and prepares the materials needed. From there, it’s a matter of working between the tank farm, agronomy, dispatch, drivers and PCAs to ensure the order is completed from start to finish. Maria also handles service calls that are made into fertilizer. Her number one goal is to get the order right the first time no matter the circumstances.

Maria grew up in Selma, Calif., where she was always surrounded by agriculture. Her parents were field workers who she would often spend days with picking grapes. During her summer vacations, she would help her uncle sort peaches. She was raised to appreciate agriculture and not be afraid to get dirty when the job called for it. Maria attended Selma High and went on to attend San Joaquin College. After some time there, she moved on to Reedley College to attain an associate’s degree in the medical field with the hopes of becoming an RN. Maria would attend college classes after working all day at Loganstreet Medical, taking care of patients and administrative tasks. While working in the medical field, Maria quickly learned how to accommodate characters from all walks of life and how important clear communication is. However, after several years in the medical profession, Maria decided she needed a change in her career. Her husband, Rolando, always spoke highly of GAR and the great work environment the company had to offer. Maria applied for a position with GAR as well as Adventist Health. When she was offered jobs with both companies, she chose to follow her gut and joined the GAR team. Maria still provides medical assistance to individuals in need, now having 20 years under her belt. She also has 20 years of CPR training and is a member of our GAR Bennett CPR team.

When Maria isn’t working in fertilizer, you can find her spending quality time with her family. She and Rolando have a beautiful family of three—Stephania (20), Galilea (15) and Rolando (9). Maria also enjoys gardening and working with plants. She finds the germination process fascinating and loves watching the life cycle of the plants she works with. Her family also has two pets—a dog named Kuno and a cat name Zaiya.

Maria appreciates how the merger has held true to company values and looks forward to the potential opportunities it may bring.

“Our department has been able to run consistently with little to no changes despite the merger. The culture has also been maintained throughout, holding true to the family business values. As a larger company, I am excited to see what cross-training opportunities are available to help us gain a better understanding of our services.”