Celebrating the Powerful Women of SAMBAZON for Women's History Month!

Kirra Bixby
10 min read Lifestyle
Category Lifestyle
Date
Read time 10 minutes
Author Kirra Bixby
Celebrating the Powerful Women of SAMBAZON for Women's History Month!

We're celebrating Women's History Month and International Women's Day by introducing you to some of the incredible team members and powerful women of SAMBAZON. They shared with us their thoughts on what this celebration means to them!

shereen

Shereen El Sammaa - Vice President of Product Marketing & Innovation

What does celebrating women this month mean to you?

An opportunity to recognize all the great contributions and achievements that women all over the world and across the years have brought to society. It’s a great reminder to take a pause, reflect on achievements, losses and learnings and give ourselves a pat on the back for being the superwomen that we are.

Who is a woman that you admire?

Oprah Winfrey - Media Executive, Television Producer, Actress, and Philanthropist

Reasons I admire her: Being a woman of color who is a multi-faceted powerhouse. Never letting looks, age, past adverse situations or anyone get in the way of her dreams and achievements. Always bouncing back up from any challenge.

Achievements by a woman most meaningful: Ilhan Omar & Rashida Tlaib for both being the first Muslim women to serve in congress.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Knowing that I have the ability to own my actions, to take action and ultimately, to direct my life towards the outcome I want. You are the owner of your story & narrative, not anyone else around you.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Amazon Superberry Bowl, Bites and Sorbet Pints

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

A collaborative & nurturing environment that provides support for growth.

mandy

Mandy Anhalt - Global Compliance Director

What does celebrating women this month mean to you?

It is an opportunity to look back at the advancements women have made over the years and a time to reflect on what we can do as leaders to help encourage the next generation of women to strive for even more opportunities. This is particularly true for me with the teams in Brazil that I work with, we have many young women working for us there and I hope to be a good example and mentor for them.

Who is a woman that you admire?

As a women in a scientific field, I started out as an Entomologist, I admire all the women who came before me and worked against the underrepresentation of women in scientific fields. They helped us all get to the place we are at today. One women I do admire among many is Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, this is a book that has changed so many practices and policies that affect our lives every day.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Not necessarily as a women but as a person everyday making decisions and knowing I have the confidence and respect of the SAMBAZON leadership team is what makes me feel empowered.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Too many to count! I think our new bowls tick all the boxes, from delicious to sustainable!

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I enjoy working with everyone at SAMBAZON, but particularly my colleagues in SAMBAZON’s Global Technical Services department, Sarah Nelson and Linda McClurg. We make up the backbone of SAMBAZON’s scientific leadership group and working side by side with them, each of us bringing our specific areas of expertise to every question and working as a cohesive team is something very special at SAMBAZON. 

erin

Erin Lee - Senior Vice President CPG Sales

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Woman’s Day reminds me of everything women have achieved and all that is still left to do. It’s a time to acknowledge and honor all the contributions of woman so young girls around the world can see role models that have paved the way for them and to think of their path forward.

Who is a woman that you admire?

There are so many woman that I admire that are amazing mothers, friends and leaders in CPG industry. One woman who I think set the bar was Katherine Johnson who was a pioneering mathematician who helped send the first U.S. astronauts to space. She was an African- American woman who refused to be limited by society’s expectations of her gender and race through unyielding determination and quality work. If you aren’t familiar with her story there is a great book and movie called Hidden Figures.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

I feel empowered as a person I think similar to Katherine Johnson. She loved what she did and wanted to do her best. She just wanted to be heard and considered an equal contributor, which benefited the NASA program. In Katherine’s case, the success of getting astronauts to space was based on her geometry analytics which formed the foundation for NASA space missions. At the end of the day, my goal is to be a good mom and role model to my boys, to show them through example and coaching how to respect all aspects of diversity and be contributors to society.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Açaí Bites! Unfortunately, the box is a single serving for my boys.

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I love working for a mission driven company that delivers a nutritious product, but most importantly I really enjoy working with a talented sales team.

denise

Denise Leat - Vice President of Human Resources

What does celebrating women this month mean to you?

An opportunity to reflect on the critical role that women have in various aspects of life ranging from nuclear family to corporate and political leadership. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 100 years but still have a lot to more to make.

Who is a woman that you admire?

While not famous, one of the women I admire most is my paternal grandmother. She was born and raised before women had the right to vote or to own property in their own name. She didn’t finish high school; she got married at 17, and had 13 children back in the 1910s-1920s. She sent 6 sons off to the military - 4 of whom (including my dad) fought in WWII. She never learned to drive a car; she never had a job outside the home but she was the strongest, wisest, kindest, most amazing “shero” to all who knew her. When I feel like complaining about something, I try to think of my Nana who did so much with so little. My grievance is replaced with gratefulness.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Being treated as a competent professional by peers and helping other women reach their personal and/or professional goals.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Bites - because chocolate plus Aćaí? Yes please!

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I love our commitment to the triple bottom line – People. Planet. Prosperity.

sarah

Sarah Nelson - Vice President of Global Technical Services and Product Development

What does celebrating women this month mean to you?

 We can take a moment to celebrate all of the accomplishments of women throughout history.

Who is a woman that you admire?

Martha Stewart is someone that I’ve always enjoyed and admired. She is excellent at everything she does from cooking to gardening to a million other things. She took these skills and built an incredible business and lifestyle brand around them that is unique and enduring.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Continually challenging myself to try new things and do better at work and in my free time.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Original Superfruit Açaí Packs.

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I love working on a passionate and smart team developing delicious new products.

jenny

Jenny Yau - Vice President of Operations

What does celebrating women this month mean to you?

Global celebration and recognition of women’s achievements. Although I personally believe our achievements, big or small, should be celebrated every day

Who is a woman that you admire?

My amazing Mom (in the picture with me). What my mom has accomplished: Becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve known without even a high school degree. All she had was a lot of grit.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

The can-do mind set. When people tell me I can’t, it means I can.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

The Berry Bowl with mango add on. It reminds me of summer with every bite.

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I enjoy being part of the SAMBAZON family because it is a company in business with purpose and everyone in the organization is loaded with contagious positive energy.

teresa

Teresa Piro - Director of Retail Marketing

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day is a day filled with reflection and motivation. It’s a look back at how far women have come, where we are at the present, and a collective energy for the future as we continue to be positive change makers and role models to the younger generations. On this day, we celebrate ALL women across the globe and the movement to keep believing in ourselves.

Who is a woman that you admire?

Sara Blakely – founder of Spanx and the youngest self-made woman billionaire. She started her business with $5,000, a red backpack and so much grit. Such an inspiration to dream big and be resilient! I love this quote from a recent interview she did: “I feel the divine feminine rising, I can feel it in all of us. It's giving this permission in the workplace and in corporate America that maybe that's not a weakness, maybe the feminine is actually a strength that needs to be harnessed, and needs to have a voice at the table.” – Sara Blakely

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Honestly, self-care and working on my physical strength has really helped my mental focus and self-confident. Regular exercise, good eating habits, outside and offline time with my family fuels me. When my cup is full and my mental focus is strong, setting and achieving goals happens more easily. It also crowds out any negative talk or self-doubt and I think as women, we often struggle with this.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

I eat a Berry Bowl every time I’m at our Bowl Shop Cardiff, CA. At home, it’s the Superfruit Açaí Bites – they don’t last long in my freezer!

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

What I love about my SAMBAZON family is that the company culture revolves around this superfruit Brazilian purple berry that’s shaped the company pillars around people, planet and the prosperity of everyone involved. I just love that! We work hard, have fun, celebrate each other’s strength & differences and of course, we get to share Açaí with the World!

maira

Maíra Wong - Director of Global Business Development

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s the day we celebrate the wonderful social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the globe. A day to celebrate diversity and equality empowering more women to come together strong.

Who is a woman that you admire?

I admire Mary Magdalene because she was one of Jesus most influential apostles, the one who actually led the start of the catholic church and not a prostitute as most people think. Because she was a women the church hid her truth and most of her accomplishments. Making her a prostitute in history has allowed her leadership role among the disciples to be generally forgotten and unfortunately the same happens to many women in the corporate world until nowadays. Reading a book about her has really pushed me to fight for equality in my life and career.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

Being a women in an industry (F&B and CPG) led by man and in regions that are mainly dominated by them (Middle East) has inspired me to promote change and hopefully inspire more women to join the movement.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

Our sorbet (500ml, 3.6l, 10l) made in Brazil

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

Because no other Açaí company has the mission and vision that SAMBAZON does and it’s an honor to be part of this incredible journey. It’s incredibly inspiring to see how this little tiny berry makes such a big difference for the local Brazilian Ribeirinho community. I’m really proud to share with different cultures around the world the SAMBAZON difference and why more and more people should consume this amazing super fruit that is good for them and our planet.

reena

Rena Gutierrez - Manager of SAMBAZON Açaí Bowls Cardiff, CA

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International women's day to me, is a celebration the achievements and obstacles overcome by women. 

Who is a woman that you admire?

My oldest sister is definitely a woman I admire and appreciate. She has overcome so many hardships and has literally been homeless at one point but would stop at nothing to help others. She currently works for the San Diego rescue mission paying it forward to those who are currently facing the same hardships she once faced. She has helped me see that no matter the wealth or social status of a person, we should treat everyone with kindness and respect. We have no idea what a person is or has gone through. 

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

What fuels me to feel empowered as a women is knowing that there are no boundaries for women. We have achieved so much already, politically, social, and more. We will continue to rise with the support of each other. 

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

My favorite SAMBAZON product is the low calorie Açaí berry pomegranate energy drink. I buy them by the case! Aside from that I have not tried a SAMBAZON product I did not like.

Why do you enjoy being a part of the SAMBAZON family?

I am so happy working for SAMBAZON. So far the people I've met are amazing and I love that we have so many women in leadership. I love working for a diverse and inclusive company that is growing and I am proud to be a part of that.

What women are you inspired by and celebrating this International Women's Month? Tell us in the comments below!

Kirra Bixby

Kirra Bixby is the Omni-Channel Marketing Manager at SAMBAZON and has been working in the digital marketing and social media world for 5 years. Majoring in Communication and Media Studies with a focus on Journalism at the University of San Diego has provided her with a wealth of writing experience for several different platforms and publications. Kirra is a lover of the outdoors, adventure, and all things Açaí, and enjoys sharing her perspective through digital media.

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(1 Comments)

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Mar 31, 2022

Carla Vanegas

I am a proud Sister of three younger Sisters. We all had a ruff upbringing, but have managed to over come and continue to push through no matter what. So grateful to call them my sisters but to also be able to call them my friends 💓