Pacific Spice is only as good as the wonderful people behind the scenes that are working hard to bring you quality spices and herbs. From the tireless efforts of our delivery crew, to the sales staff who passionately ensure the success of our customers, and the department heads who work together to keep everything running, our Pacific Spice team continually goes above and beyond.
In our “Employee Stories” blog series, we’re pulling back the curtain to showcase some of the hardworking individuals that make up our PSC family.
Today, we’re introducing an integral employee that has helped to build and nurture our Human Resources department into what it is today; our HR Manager, Randy Kent.
Meet Randy, our Human Resources Manager
Randy started at California Polytechnic University, earning his bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on Human Resources Management. In college, Randy gained a deep appreciation for food and spices while working his way through school as a cook for the Charly Brown’s restaurant chain.
After graduation, Randy gained years of senior HR experience in various industries, including a longstanding career as the Senior Regional Human Resources Manager for The Home Depot Supply. He also spent years working in the aerospace industry, and took time as a consultant, providing valuable HR guidance and support to small businesses.
Randy’s journey brought him full circle back to the food industry when we hired him on as our HR Manager. We are proud to have Randy leading our HR initiatives, as he is uniquely rich with experience and passionate about creating a positive company culture that holds innovation and teamwork at its center.
Randy took time out of his busy day to sit down with us for a short interview to answer a few questions about his job and what he loves about being part of the PSC leadership team.
Q: What are some significant milestones in your Human Resources career?
As a dedicated HR Professional, I take pride in my ability to add value to companies. In my nearly 5 years with Pacific Spice Company, we have successfully implemented an HRIS system that offers valuable resources and learning opportunities for both employees and the company.
In order to maintain Pacific Spice Company’s position as the best in its class, I introduced a unique feedback tool for all employees called “S.P.I.C.E. It Up!”. This innovative program incorporates our core values and allows employees to scan a QR code to provide feedback directly to the company.
In my initial months at Pacific Spice Company in 2019, I spearheaded our Annual Health and Wellness initiative. We invited vendors such as our health insurance providers, Costco, Sam’s Club, dental offices, banks, and other companies to engage with our employees and educate them about healthy lifestyle choices and wellness options.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in the food industry and to join the Pacific Spice Company team?
Through my experience in consulting and working closely with small business owners, I have developed a deep appreciation for the value and significance of Human Resources in driving business success.
Upon engaging in discussions with the team at Pacific Spice Company, I realized that my extensive expertise and years of experience in the Human Resources field could greatly benefit the organization and its employees.
Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges currently facing the food industry?
In our industry, the importance of people cannot be overstated, as they are fundamental to the success of all businesses. Labor issues and staying updated on regulatory changes are significant challenges that consume a considerable amount of time and effort in our industry.
As we look ahead to 2024, Pacific Spice Company recognizes the need for internal employee development in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Q: Are there any emerging trends or opportunities in the food industry that you find particularly exciting?
Considering the ongoing regulatory changes mentioned earlier, it is evident that incorporating automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a substantial role in the operations of food manufacturing companies.
Q: What is your vision for the future of food manufacturing, and how does this vision align with the direction of Pacific Spice Company?
Companies need to embrace automation. However, it is important to note that automation itself requires the expertise of qualified and skilled individuals. Therefore, the identification and development of key employees who can effectively operate and manage automation systems becomes crucial for achieving success.
Q: Please tell us about some significant achievements and moments of pride in your career.
One thing that fills me with pride is the focus I have placed on development, mentoring, and promotions throughout my career. Over the years, I have consistently encouraged employees to pursue further education, explore career opportunities, and invest in their personal growth. As a result, I have witnessed numerous individuals come back after these endeavors and achieve promotions either in management or within the HR field.
Q: Are there any final thoughts or messages you wish to share?
Working for Pacific Spice Company is truly a remarkable experience. Gershon Schlussel, President of the company, wholeheartedly cares for his employees and acknowledges the direct correlation between the company’s prosperity and the well-being of his staff. He thrives on sharing the company’s success with his dedicated team, and fostering a culture of shared accomplishments.
For more employee stories like this one, read our previous installment, Employee Stories: Meet Susan, our Director of Sales and Marketing.