Cindy Jewell wears her walking shoes all day, every day, because she is committed to walking the walk.
“When you are promoting a healthy lifestyle you have to walk the walk,” said the marketing director for California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville.
“I take a healthy lifestyle approach with our marketing. I just really want to focus on getting people to live healthy lifestyles.”
Jewell’s commitment to healthy eating has its roots in her roots. She said her family always enjoyed cooking together and she was taught as a girl that cooking is one way to show your love for people. Fresh fruits and vegetables were always part of her family’s recipe for happiness.
“I don’t think I’ve ever eaten store-bought jam,” she said.
One of her first projects when she joined Cal Giant was to initiate a transition toward healthier habits in the workplace.
“There was junk food everywhere in our offices,” she said. “I made a deal with Bill Moncovich (Cal Giant president and chief executive officer) to spend money on a gym instead of junk food.
“It’s made a huge difference and created a great culture within our staff about walking the walk of the healthy lifestyle.”
That kind of responsive attitude from top management was one reason Jewell made the decision to move to Cal Giant after spending 19 years at the California Strawberry Commission, where she had worked her way up to a vice president’s position.
“I wanted to join Cal Giant because it has a small, grower-oriented philosophy but it is a big company,” Jewell said.
“We champion the grower at all levels here. And besides, the word ‘fun’ is in our mission statement. It doesn’t get better than that.”
While having her daily fun, the 27-year veteran of the California strawberry industry spends most of her time developing new ways to educate consumers about the benefits of strawberries while making sure that the company’s campaigns translate easily into tools for retailers.
Jewell said she tries to make Cal Giant’s marketing promotions turnkey programs for retailers because the less they have to do, the easier it is for them to participate.
Two years ago she took Cal Giant into the world of social media and quick response codes, which necessitated a shift in marketing philosophy for the company.
Stephanie Hilton, an agriculture marketing consultant in North Carolina who worked at the strawberry commission with Jewell years ago, has maintained a friendship with her despite being on opposite shores of the U.S.
“Cindy has done a tremendous job positioning Cal Giant in social media and telling children about healthy eating,” Hilton said.
“The entire body of her career demonstrates her commitment to health and moving the message forward with consumers and especially children.”
To get that message out, Jewell has convinced two competing agencies to work with her, demonstrating her ability to get the job done by bringing people together.
“One is big on social media and the other has worked with me for a long time,” she said.
“I expressed a desire to use both of them and they made it happen.”
Such collaborations are the secret to her success, Jewell said.
“I love working in groups and I always want to be on ‘the team’ when something is going on,” she said.