Sweeten your everyday!

Mentors in the Making

Some of us are blessed to learn our calling right away. Books have been my companion since I was very small, a harbinger of my career in writing before I knew the definition of the word. I mumbled stories under my breath before I could even read, sensing the inherent magic locked away in the symbols on the page.

Bridgette Weber has a similar story. The Trade Marketing Manager for Bard Valley Natural Delights® toiled in the garden alongside her parents and grandparents, learning the powerful life lesson that food grown and shared from your own hands creates a bond with the land that is impossible to break.

“Throughout my life, my central motive has been to help people live better lives by feeding them wholesome and delicious food,” Bridgette shared.

She studied Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES), delving into the intricacies of where our food comes from. After that, Bridgette’s career journey began to take off.

“I started with jobs focused on quality assurance for various nuts, applying my technical knowledge to ensure top-notch product quality. While I enjoyed the analytical aspects of those roles, I found my true passion lies in working more closely with consumers. This realization prompted a shift into marketing, where I’ve now spent over five rewarding years,” she told me.

This shift was propelled forward by her first mentor, Chad Hartman, who worked alongside Bridgette at Tropical Foods but is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Bridgewell Agribusiness.

"Throughout my life, my central motive has been to help people live better lives by feeding them wholesome and delicious food."


"I owe much of my career growth to him. He took a chance on me, hiring me onto his marketing team at a time when I had the hunger to learn but minimal direct marketing experience,” she said. “Over the years, Chad poured his decades of marketing and sales experience into me, equipping me with invaluable knowledge and skills. His mentorship not only kickstarted my career, but also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the art of marketing.”

Another person who catapulted Bridgette’s love of marketing was Beth Keeton, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Elephant House PR.

“Beth has had a profound impact on my journey,” Bridgette gushed. “As our public relations expert at Bard Valley Natural Delights, she is not just a leader in her field, she is a role model to me personally and professionally. Her insights into the rapidly evolving produce industry have been a guiding light in navigating its intricate nuances.”

In her current role as Trade Marketing Manager for Bard Valley, Bridgette developed connections to further her ability to understand the company and its role within the industry as a whole—giving her the sort of insights that propel her status as a mentor in the making.

“Alan Asbury, our U.S. Director of Sales, brings a wealth of experience to the table. With a background that spans the brand, broker, and retail sides of the produce industry, he has provided me with a holistic view of how things work,” Bridgette explained. “What’s truly remarkable is Alan’s willingness to share his vast knowledge and, as a relative newcomer to the industry, introduce me to industry peers he’s known for decades. The connections he’s facilitated have been invaluable in broadening my perspective.”

David Baxter, Bard Valley’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, similarly took Bridgette under his wing, further developing her marketing skills.

"Working in fresh produce feels like sharing a well-kept secret that can make the world a better place."

“He stands as a guiding force in my career,” Bridgette said emphatically. “David leads our marketing team by constantly challenging us to think deeply about our consumers, messaging, and products. His mentorship has been instrumental in helping me overcome imposter syndrome and has encouraged me to take extreme ownership of my trade marketing efforts. In a constantly evolving industry, David ensures I’m always in the loop, fostering a culture of growth and innovation.”

Bridgette’s contributions to the industry can already be seen in her marketing efforts at Bard Valley, but one of the places where I see her truly shining as a future mentor is her mindset.

“Working in fresh produce feels like sharing a well-kept secret that can make the world a better place,” she affirmed. “Dates, in particular, are not just delicious but also incredibly nutritious. I’m genuinely excited to share them with others. Whether it’s helping buyers or consumers, it’s a joy to be part of this industry and contribute to making the world a healthier, tastier place.”

Peace of mind can be found in knowing your purpose, and Bridgette Weber knows exactly how she wants to carve her influence upon the world.The Snack Endstop

The Mentors

Here's what they have to say about Bridgette...


Chad Hartman,

Vice President of Business Development, Bridgewell Agribusiness

“I was told very early in my own career that having the right people on your team is critical to success. Bridgette is a perfect example of the right person. Bridgette brought a unique skill set to the table when I started working with her, a positive attitude, zero quit, and a desire to learn. At times, I could not keep up with her. There was no task or project that was too big or small, she stuck with it until completion. If our marketing team needed something done that was not in anyone’s wheelhouse, Bridgette would take it on and figure it out. Very quickly, Bridgette became a key player on our team and developed great marketing competency; her positive attitude was infectious. I expect to see great accomplishments from Bridgette in our industry.”

Beth Keeton,

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Elephant House PR

“Bridgette is a shining example of professionalism and kindness. Working with her during her time at Natural Delights has been an absolute pleasure. In just two short years, Bridgette’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable—a testament to her curiosity and eagerness to learn. Fearlessly challenging the status quo, she brings fresh ideas to the table, always exploring new opportunities. Bridgette’s resourcefulness is incredible; give her a challenge, and she not only conquers it but makes it look easy. As someone who’s been an extension of the Natural Delights team for a significant stretch, I can genuinely say that these last couple of years, with Bridgette on board, have been among the best. I’m grateful to be a mentor on her journey and to witness the positive impact she’s making. Looking ahead, I see Bridgette becoming an invaluable resource and mentor to others in the industry. I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow and make a lasting impact.”

Alan Asbury,

U.S. Director of Sales, Bard Valley Natural Delights®

“Bridgette is a valued member of the Bard Valley team and has made some significant and positive contributions to achieving our goals. Her positive energy, commitment to personal and professional growth, and accomplishments on the marketing team have made her an important part of the team. She is always open, inquisitive, and a natural collaborator. This gives her a unique ability to connect with people and recognize their value, a trait that has supported a positive work environment. She is always encouraging and finds opportunity in every situation to create a contagiously positive environment and leave a lasting impression on those around her. I am excited to see her continued growth within the company and the industry and to support that growth and professional development. It is always rewarding to work with individuals who not only excel in their roles, but also contribute positively to the workplace culture.”

David Baxter,

Director of Marketing and Business Development, Bard Valley Natural Delights®

“Bridgette is the kind of employee a manager dreams of. She is always eager to learn and hone her craft. Being relatively new to produce, she has taken it on with enthusiasm and curiosity, always asking intelligent questions to better understand how the work she is doing is making an impact on the broader business. She has grown in her role with Bard Valley and is a go-to resource for the sales and marketing team when they need a fresh perspective on a problem, and she is always happy to provide her valuable insights. I can’t wait to see all that she will accomplish in her career and how she will evolve into a mentor and leader in the industry she is so clearly passionate about.”