Tanimura & Antle Honors Carmen A. Ponce as its 2016 Sam Carrillo Award Recipient
- by Jessica Donnel
SALINAS, CA - Tanimura & Antle has honored this year’s Sam Carrillo Award Recipient, selecting Vice President and General Counsel of Labor, Carmen A. Ponce. The company proudly presented Carmen with the honor, explaining that her level of excellence and passion for what she does makes many of her coworkers better individuals.
"I am deeply humbled and touched by the generosity of the ownership with its employees and its community — far beyond what I can express," shared Carmen upon receiving the award. "Thank you to the owners and their families for allowing me to partake in their lives all of these years."
First presented in 2009, the Tanimura & Antle Sam Carrillo Leadership Award is given each year to an employee who has the confidence to stand alone when necessary, the courage to make tough decisions, the compassion to listen to and fight for the needs of others, and the respect of her peers eagerly desiring to learn from her. Sam Carrillo was Tanimura & Antle’s first Harvest Manager, who the company says demonstrated true leadership and mentorship during his career.
In her role as the Vice President and General Counsel of Labor, Carmen manages all employment related legal matters, drafts policies and contracts, provides training and counseling as needed, and participates on labor committees for applicable industry groups, according to a post by the company. Beginning at the company in 1996, Carmen has proven over the past two decades to be “an angel from heaven” to everyone at the company. With Bob Antle having had the foresight to focus the company’s efforts on the agricultural labor law arena early on, Carmen was immediately dealing with several cases and setting up procedures to move the company forward upon her hiring.
“Carmen is a true champion for all and on several occasions she has spent countless hours listening to employees’ issues,” wrote the company in an online post. “Whether it is a personal or a work related problem, Carmen is always there to help. She has coached and developed several staff members on their career paths to levels never imagined possible.”
Carmen has long been involved in the agricultural industry, harvesting in the fields with her parents at an early age. After majoring in Political Science at UC Santa Barbara, Carmen attended Georgetown University Law School and the School of Foreign Service, where she received her Master of Science in Foreign Service and a Juris Doctorate Degree. After working at a large law firm in San Francisco where she was one of only 11 female attorneys, Carmen moved to Monterey where she began her career with Tanimura & Antle. In addition to her current role, Carmen is also heavily involved in the community where she serves on numerous boards, foundations, and committees.
Congratulations to Carmen on this great honor!