Tanimura & Antle Takes Home Leadership Awards
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
SALINAS, CA - Tanimura & Antle is hot off the win of its recent awards at the annual Center for Community Advocacy (CCA)’s Dia De Los Muertos Tardeada & Ben Heller Awards Banquet. The company took home both the Ben Heller Award for Leadership and Courage and the 2017 Hero Award at the ceremony, which was held on October 29th.
“Never has the phrase ‘It takes a village’ been truer. I am but one of the 2,500 strong employee owners of Tanimura & Antle who are the real recipients of this recognition. Because of Spreckels Crossing, we have been able to sustain an agricultural workforce, right here, domestically,” said Rick Antle, CEO & President in his acceptance speech. “But what I am most proud of is that this year, Tanimura & Antle became an employee-owned family farm, allowing employees to earn ownership of our company through their hard work and loyalty. We know our employees are our greatest asset and that their hard work and dedication have helped us to become the vibrant, innovative company that we are today.”
After it sought to set a new industry standard of providing affordable, safe, and clean housing for employees with its Spreckels Crossing employee housing complex, Tanimura & Antle was presented with the Ben Heller Award for Leadership and Courage. According to a press release, the CCA acknowledges a member every year for its adherence to commitments made with the farmworker community and to the goal of improving housing and health conditions in the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys—all the while displaying courage and leadership.
Now in its second season of employee owners after a April 2016 opening, Spreckels Crossing can house up to 800 employees, though residents have an option to rent with fewer occupants. Available units for Tanimura and Antle employees include 100 two-bedroom, two-bathroom, fully furnished units.
Tanimura & Antle's efforts didn’t stop there, though. The company was involved in a pilot program that aimed to increase protections of field workers hard at work during harvest operations, consequently leading to their acheivement of the 2017 Hero Award. While being supported by five agricultural companies to bring the project to fruition, including Tanimura & Antle, the team effort for the program was spearheaded by the Commissioner’s Farmworker Advisory Committee. Tanimura & Antle was one of five recipients of the 2017 Hero Award for its efforts in and advocacy for this program.
While Tanimura & Antle has proven to be a participant in the ongoing attempts to make the farming industry as safe and comfortable as it can be for its employees, it also makes sure to reward employees’ hard work with matched 401Ks and medical, dental, and vision benefits. As a result, Tanimura & Antle retention boasts 15 percent of its valued employees have been with the company for over 20 years.
The CCA, an organization dedicated to training farmworkers how to lead community-based committees to advocate for better housing and health conditions, has a close relationship with Tanimura & Antle. After all, several of its employees have served on the board, including current board members Carmen Ponce and Lorraine Ingram. As it continues to promote environments where communities provide resources to develop leaders among farmworkers, CCA has established itself as a link across sectors, a reinforcement for mutual understanding within communities, and a champion of equity. With these goals in mind, CCA’s relationship with Tanimura & Antle has strengthened, as they provide leadership opportunities for the farmworkers within the communities they serve.
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