Bako Sweet Produce: California GrownRainier: Wholesome to the core®

February MVP Sales Pick: Dominic Carnazzo

DOMINIC CARNAZZO
Red, Yellow, White & Organic Potato Progam Manager
Wada Farms Marketing Group, LLC

WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THE NEXT GENERATION IN SALES...

Work hard, establish your individuality, do NOT compromise happiness for the money, always be your best self, and try to stay positive…even in the most trying of situations. Never settle for mediocrity. Be innovative and forward-thinking—think outside the box and always have an attitude of gratitude!

WHERE THE PASSION LIES...

The fact that we have the opportunity to give people healthy options to eat fresh produce and have a multitude of great companies doing it! I’m inspired and motivated because I can perform in a sometimes difficult job while remaining positive and successful. I also get to network and build relationships with some of the most fantastic and dynamic people around. Heck, I even have family that work in the same industry; how lucky is that?

INSPIRATIONS & MOTIVATIONS...

Inspiration comes from happiness and gratitude—knowing that I can educate people about the benefits of fresh produce as part of a daily culture, and helping people understand all of the positives that come from it and the healthy options. Motivation comes from knowing I have a great job in a great business and with a great company. Hard work, dedication, knowledge, and experience have given me an opportunity to share all of that with others in the industry, as well as getting to help a company grow and innovate.

Outside of produce: God, family, friends, and the outdoors. We live on a beautiful planet, and I’m motivated to get out and enjoy as much time as I can while I’m still upright with my family and friends! I’m inspired by innovators and entrepreneurs navigating their way through new business ventures! I have an entrepreneurial spirit, so I’m always chasing around my ideas, looking for a spot to launch.

HOW DOES YOUR HOMETOWN OF SALINAS, CALIFORNIA, HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HEART?

The Monterey Peninsula and the Salinas Valley of California are where I have deep roots: Family, friends, colleagues, and a great place to reunite.

WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT THERE?

Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur. Monterey is where I was raised and where my family still is. Carmel is where we used to hang out as kids and play at the beaches. I love the town: its history, beauty, and charm. Big Sur is where we’ve held a family reunion for 50-plus years!

MENTORS

Produce-related: Chuck Zeutenhorst

One of my first “real” produce connections. He has always treated me with the utmost respect and we have a long-standing friendship of 20-plus years. He is a consummate professional with a great sense of humor and a great family man. Shane Zeutenhorst, Chuck’s nephew, as a matter of fact, was another early “real” produce connection I met when I was a buyer (I have been a buyer at Markon and PRO*ACT during my produce tenure), who helped me navigate through some of the beginning stages of buying and selling. He’s an apple expert, a strong professional, and a very good friend to this day.

Non-Produce-Related: My grandfather, William Anthony Carnazzo, aka Bill

He was a physician on the Monterey Peninsula for 55 years and was one of the first Italian-speaking doctors to reside there. With the fishing and canning industries booming and most of the operators Italian, he fit right in! He was one of the most genuine, loving, professional, and friendly men you would ever meet. He was a war veteran, a professional-level golfer, and a wonderful doctor. He was like a second father to me and taught me many core and valuable life lessons. I also learned how to play golf from him—some who knew him, who I’ve played golf with, say I have the same natural swing.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CORE VALUES THAT DRIVE YOU?

Honesty, integrity, reliability, dedication, passion, confidence, happiness, fairness, and joy.

NOT JUST A PRODUCE GUY...

#1: Fly Fishing – I’ve always been on a mission to fish, wherever it takes me. My dad instilled that in me and I’m forever grateful. It gives me peace. As I wrote once, “I’m a free spirit upon the water, it’s an ethos to guide me home…in reverent pursuit of life…I leave no stone unturned.

#2 Writing – I like to write poetry and short stories.

#3 Entrepreneurship – I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I am looking to launch some of my ideas as new business ventures. Call it a “side hustle.”

#4 Music – I’ve been learning to play guitar for a few years and love it!!

#5 Skiing – I’ve been skiing since I was eight years old and it is my favorite winter activity.

#6 Emergency Medicine – I was a volunteer firefighter for five-plus years and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I still love helping people when I can and especially in their greatest time of need.