Ocean Mist honors gradsMONTEREY, Calif. — Ocean Mist Farms honored six executives at a graduation ceremony capping its in-house 16-month employee leadership program, the first in a planned series.

Graduates are Adrian Zendejas, general manager at Desert Mist Farms; John Pattullo, general manager at Boutonnet Farms; Paul Scheid, general manager at Laguna Mist Farms; Chris Drew, production manager at Sea Mist Farms; Terry Lynch, operations controller at Ocean Mist; and Gary Silacci, sales manager at Ocean Mist.

The Castroville, Calif.-based grower-shipper and its affiliates had the ceremony Nov. 19 at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Participants put more than 165 hours into classroom, field and experiential settings, and met with experts from inside and outside the company. Topics included organizational behavior, change management and strategic planning.

“We had collaborators from the East coast, Midwest and Silicon Valley,” said Jorge Suarez, program leader and director of human resources. “On top of that, we were able to have the senior management team put together presentations to show the inner relationships between departments, affiliated companies and how that all comes together to support the Ocean Mist brand.”

Senior managers at the graduation included Ed Boutonnet, chief executive officer; Troy Boutonnet, vice president of production; and Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer.

The program took more than three years to develop, Suarez said.

“We looked into what was the right thing to do for these emerging leaders,” he said. “This was Class 1, and we’re looking at having three or more classes.”

“The program taught me more than any university ever did,” Silacci said.

“Going through this program has helped me to look at the big picture,” Zendejas said. “I thought about just Desert Mist Farms; this made me think about Ocean Mist Farms.”