THE CREW

NANCY MACHUT

"I first met Nancy in 1990 through my accounting firm. She took a huge risk and hired on in 1991, knowing I was just starting out, and has been here for me all these years. Her desire for perfection is greatly appreciated. Without her, farming five hundred acres would quickly become the world’s greatest nightmare."- Daren

Born and raised in Los Angeles County, Nancy Machut moved to Santa Maria in 1986 with her husband, Tom, and two daughters, Shannon and Laurie. After working for a local CPA for several years, Nancy became Daren’s first Santa Maria employee in 1991.

When she began overseeing office operations for DB Specialty Farms, Nancy worked from a trailer with just one computer on the then 80-acre ranch. She currently does payroll and personnel for as many as 1,200 employees at the season’s peak and shares an office networked with six computers. Nancy says she loves her job, in large part, because of Daren. “He makes it a fun place to work. He is almost always in a great mood, and I know that I am appreciated and trusted and that I am contributing to the business’ success.” Nancy says her biggest challenges are the never ending regulations and the high cost of doing business in California.

After all of these years, Nancy still loves to eat strawberries and likes them best cut up and served with a little brown sugar and topped with real whipped cream.

 

GUILLERMO MALDONADO

"Guillermo is Javier’s brother and, like his brother, managing people is a natural. Year in and year out, the same people always return to work on his ranch. He gives us the experienced workers that all companies need, and we are sure glad he is on our team."


Guillermo moved from his hometown of Michoacan, Mexico to Oxnard, California to seek work in the strawberry business. It was there, while working for Saticoy Berry Farms, that he met Daren who was working for the same company. When Daren moved to the Santa Maria Valley in 1991 to start his own farm, he offered Guillermo the opportunity to join him. Guillermo accepted and was promoted to Ranch Manager in 1995.


Guillermo looks at every day on the job as a chance to both learn something new and to teach others. He says that keeping employees happy and maintaining a workforce for the ranch his most important responsibilities.


Guillermo and his wife, Beatriz, along with their two children, Janet and David, like making strawberry juice and eating their fresh picked berries with ice cream.

 

CHIP GEE

"My brother, Chip, came onboard in 1995. He has built or rebuilt every piece of equipment we use in the field. His equipment helps us reach perfection. Great companies have great tools."


Born and raised in Moorpark, California, Chip Gee missed the small town feeling his rapidly expanding hometown had once possessed. When his older brother, Daren, offered him the position as Equipment Manager in Santa Maria, Chip left the welding shop he owned in the Semi Valley to bring his wife, Dorinda, and daughters, Kayla and Kendra to the rural area like the one he had once grown up in.


Since 1995 Chip has built, maintained and often designed the equipment for DB Specialty Farms. Before and during field installation Chip oversees as many as 30 employees in order to have the equipment built and working properly for his department’s busiest time of year. As the farm’s acreage increases, Chip finds keeping up with the company’s rapidly expanding equipment needs a constant challenge.


Chip still loves eating strawberries and likes them best right out of the field or with shortcake and topped with whipped cream.

 

DALE GEE

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JOEY COELHO

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MARISSA CHIUSES

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Vestibulum posuere velit nec ipsum. Praesent laoreet dapibus sem. Nulla vitae libero vitae velit tempor sagittis. Fusce eget metus vitae pede varius tempor. Vivamus quis massa sit amet metus blandit gravida. Donec rhoncus gravida lacus. Phasellus imperdiet pharetra ante. Morbi velit ante, pulvinar eget, ullamcorper vel, sollicitudin in, tortor. Nunc tincidunt egestas felis. Curabitur molestie venenatis sapien. Suspendisse lacinia orci vel nisl.

 

LUCY THE DOG

”Soon after Louie's death, my family and I decided to adopt a Boston Terrier puppy named Lucy. And although she could never replace Louie, she has become a great little ranch dog in her own right. “


She follows Daren everywhere. If you have seen Daren in the fields, then chances are you’ve encountered the new dog in town Lucy. Spunky and smart, she’s Daren’s right hand…dog, and a favorite to all the staff here at DB Farms.

 

 

JAVIER MALDONADO

"In 1994 when I hired Javier to be my labor manager, I was told it was too big of a job for him. This last year Javier managed 1,200 people; what a success story. He takes the hardest job and makes it look easy."


Javier Maldonado left his hometown of Michoacan, Mexico for the Santa Maria Valley in 1991 where he began his illustrious career in the strawberry industry working for Daren at Santa Cruz Berry Farm. When Daren formed DB Specialty Farms in 1994, Javier joined him. As Harvesting and Labor Supervisor, Javier is responsible for estimating and coordinating daily production for all of the farm’s 500 acres.


With the ever-increasing acreage to oversee, Javier’s biggest challenge is to maximize productivity while maintaining the superior quality that DB Specialty Farms is known for. Javier welcomes the growth, however, and says that “there are a lot of things I like about my job. I enjoy being a part of the decision making process for this company. My ideas are always treated with respect. I am also able to earn a comfortable living for my family.”


Javier and his wife, Felicia, have three daughters, Irene, Isabel and Melissa and are expecting a fourth child in September. They like eating their strawberries fresh off of the plant, but also enjoy them with salt, lemon and Valentine (hot sauce).

 

MARTIN CRUZ

 

ROGELIO

"Rogelio and I have been friends for eighteen years. I was very pleased in 1994, when he agreed to leave Oxnard and come to Santa Maria. This was a great step towards DB Specialty Farm’s success today. Rogelio knows how to grow strawberries. Our fields show it day in and day out."
Rogelio Mercado grew up in Durango, Mexico before moving to Oxnard, California in 1982 to work in the strawberry business. In 1994, he moved to Santa Maria to work for DB Specialty Farms as Growing Supervisor.Rogelio enjoys his multiple responsibilities of overseeing operations on all of the farm’s ranches, and having something different to do every day keeps him excited about the job. Rogelio finds that staying current with stringent government regulations has become increasingly difficult since he first started working in the strawberry business over twenty years ago.
Rogelio and his wife, Adela, their three daughters, Cecilia, Reina and Lorena, along with a son, Jose agrees that the best way to eat strawberries is fresh off of the plant.

 

 

ANTONIO MEDINA

“The quiet man”, Antonio takes great pride in his work and his ranch is always neat and clean. He always has a smile on his face and he is a great person just to be around."
Jose Maldonado

 

ALBERTO MALDONADO

"Alberto is presently training under Guillermo, who also trained Jose Amparo. When you can get him to smile he really lights up a room. We sure are happy to have him."
Born in Michoacan, Mexico, Alberto Maldonado moved to Salinas, California in 1990, where he worked as a strawberry picker for seven years. Anxious for a change, he contacted Guillermo to inquire for work in the Santa Maria Valley and in 1997 began as a picker for DB Specialty Farms. Alberto excelled at his job and was promoted to Row Boss after his first year and became Assistant Manager for the Rosemary Ranch in 2003.
Alberto is in charge of fruit quality in his current position and finds satisfaction in his career from building relationships with his fellow employees. After so many years in the business, he now has friends from all over California and Mexico.
Alberto loves eating strawberries and thinks they are best right off of the plant

 

JESUS MENDEZ

"Chewy is part of what I call the big three; Guillermo, Antonio and Chewy. They all have large ranches and they do great work. When I first arrived in Santa Maria we neededhelp with labor and Chewy was there. He is still here, and I’m thankful every day."
Jesus Mendez moved from his hometown of Michoacan, Mexico to Oxnard, California in 1990, where he began his career by picking strawberries. Jesus later moved to Santa Maria, where he worked as a supervisor with several other companies before settling at DB Specialty Farms.As Ranch Supervisor, Jesus is responsible for fruit quality at his ranch and ensuring that his workers have what they need to begin their day. He loves his position because of the freedom that it affords him and because he is able to spend his days outdoors in the beautiful Santa Maria weather. Jesus also likes that he is able to meet many new people at his job. Each day Jesus challenges himself and his team to complete their duties to the best of their ability.
Jesus loves strawberries and says they taste best fresh off of the plant or dipped in chocolate.

 

URIEL RAMIREZ

 

JUAN MACHUCA

"Juan did such an outstanding job for us as a Row Boss, we recently promoted him to train as a Field Boss. I am not surprised that he is already doing an exceptional job in his new position."

 

JOSE IMPARIO AGUIRRE

"Mr. Aguirre trained under Guillermo Maldonado for two years before getting his own field. He just completed his first year with a tough piece of ground, and we could not be more proud of his performance."
Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, Jose Amparo Aguirre moved to Salinas, California in 1985, where he worked picking strawberries. In 1993, he relocated to Santa Maria and worked for Santa Cruz Berry Farms before coming to work for Daren two years later.
Within a year of working for DB Specialty Farms, Jose was offered a position as Row Boss and was again promoted to Assistant Supervisor. He performed his job so well that Jose was given his own field to supervise in 2003. Jose enjoys his role as supervisor and has ambitions to continue working his way up in the strawberry business.
Jose says he never gets tired of eating strawberries and likes them best in margaritas or fresh off the plant with whipped cream.

 

MARTIN VALENZUELO

 

JAVIER MALDONADO