Managing the Plant by Managing People
A Behind the Scenes Q&A with Alex Najera
Nature Nate’s Honey Co. is beautifully diverse in many ways. Whether in skills, culture or faith, skills, we are a sweet family with a variety of giftings. We are moms and dads. Brothers and sisters. Dedicated teammates and strong leaders. We are Choose Real advocates and Long Live the Bees promoters. We are proud to say that we are more than just a honey company.
We recently sat down with Alex Najera, Chief Plant Manager, to learn how he serves such a varied and ever-growing team at the Nature Nate’s production facility.
Q: How would you describe your role on the Nature Nate’s team?
A: My role at Nature Nate’s is a very people-centric role where I have the opportunity to manage, support, and serve a variety of individuals at the plant. Our goal as an operations team is to ensure that our product is of the highest quality and that our people go home safely every day. My heart is people, and I can honestly say that serving and leading this team is one of my highest honors.
Q: As a company, we strive to be leaders in educating consumers on why choosing raw and unfiltered honey over processed sugar is important as well as setting the highest quality standards in our field. What strides do you see us making to ensure both of these goals are met?
A: It’s amazing to watch the individual teams at Nature Nate’s work together to educate and empower our customers in the most creative of ways. Whether it be our Marketing Team that utilizes social media and different tools to get the word out, or our Sales team who has the opportunity to tell our raw and unfiltered story, it’s neat to show people that you don’t have to choose high fructose corn syrup and processed sugar. You can choose real with honey.
Within operations, we also hold a unique spot in the honey channel to be able to establish high standards of quality. We do rigorous testing to ensure antibiotics, pesticides and rice or corn syrup adulteration is not found in our honey. I am proud to work for a company that sets the bar high.
Q: The Nature Nate’s family implements a set of core values called the Bee Attitudes. Is there a specific attitude you strive to implement?
A: Bee-loving comes to mind first. This is more than just a job for me. This is a calling. This is where God has me in the business field, and I am called to use this as a platform to be a light to others and impact people’s lives. The ultimate goal for me is that they see Jesus and his love for them. If I can focus on loving people the way Jesus would, I can help build a culture at Nature Nate’s that has the potential to change lives.
Q: Nathan has stated, “This company is driven by more than the bottom line — we measure success not just by what we achieve, but also by what we contribute.” How do you see this play out not only in your role on the team, but also in the life of the company?
A: The cool part about this question is that it starts at the top. Nathan Sheets is one of the most generous men I know. He approaches people on a personal level and is always willing to help no matter the situation. That mindset overflows into the company and the way we partner with other like-minded organizations.
Recently, one of the men on my team let me know that his wife is walking the road of breast cancer. When he heard that our company had partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation through our Honey Gives Hope program, he was blown away. He was so grateful that we walked the walk of serving and giving back to our community.
Q: What is something you want people to know about Nature Nate’s that they might not know from just looking at our orange label?
A: The inclusiveness of who we are as a company. We proudly stand behind the Scripture printed on every bottle of Nature Nate’s Honey, but we also make sure to allow those who don’t share a similar faith to feel included in the family. You don’t have to be a Christian to work here, but it’s a blessing to work at a place where you can exercise your faith while also figuring out life. It’s a neat combination.