Strong Female Leaders at SAMBAZON: Women's History Month

Kirra Bixby
12 min read Lifestyle
Category Lifestyle
Date
Read time 12 minutes
Author Kirra Bixby
Strong Female Leaders at SAMBAZON: Women's History Month

As Women's History Month comes to a close, we couldn't think of a better way to honor this important time than by sharing more of our strong female department leaders within our community! We are so inspired by and proud of the work that these women are getting done on a daily basis for SAMBAZON. Read on for inspiration, advice, and thoughtful insights from women leading our team across the U.S., Europe, and Brazil!

marasie

Marasie Shumacher - Director of Global Sustainability

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, has been impressing me not only with her beautiful poems, but her ability to use her words to inspire change. 

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

Step outside of your comfort zone, some of my greatest accomplishments have come from pushing myself to do something that at first made me uncomfortable.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

I love the new smoothie pops! They aren’t too sweet and taste delicious. Plus, the animals on the packaging are so cute. They are a family favorite :)

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

As a mom, I am concerned about what the world will be like for my children and their children’s children. Working for a company like SAMBAZON, that cares about the planet and its people and conducting business in a responsible way, is what makes me proud to be part of the team and feel good about the work I am doing.

Tammie

Tammie Allen - Director of Customer Service

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

To me, celebrating womanhood means recognizing and identifying those that have made a difference in the world, producing change, and creating opportunities for other women that follow.

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

I have always been moved by women from the Civil Rights Movement. Women that often put their own safety at risk to help others understand what was and still is broken in this country. However, in my life, I have truly been most inspired by single mothers, specifically, my own mother. Motherhood in general is hard but doing it without a partner looks unbearable to me. As a child I didn’t understand the sacrifices my mother had made just to keep us clothed and fed. She worked hard in and out of the home, yet still had the energy to encourage us and teach us to be appreciative and compassionate. Through her example, I learned the value of hard work and accountability and for that, I am ever so grateful.

What qualities make a great leader?

I believe empathy and humility are core traits all leaders should possess. A leader should be kind to others and treat everyone with dignity and respect but still be firm in decision making and discernment. A leader should also be intellectually honest about themselves, knowing their own strengths and weaknesses.

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

One thing I wish I would have learned sooner is that working hard is not the most important aspect of growth. When you focus only on getting the job done, you miss out on social and relational opportunities. Having a solid work/life balance is an important aspect of your work ethic. 

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

Açaí Bites are my favorite SAMBAZON product. aí covered in chocolate; need I say more? 😊

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

One of the reasons I love working for SAMBAZON is their people first mentality. I am proud to be part of an organization that cares about people, communities, and the planet. SAMBAZON sets the example with their actions and encourages employees to do the same.  

kolbie

Kolbie Richardson - Director of Ecommerce & Digital

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate and uplift all women around the world, and with that, honor the achievements and contributions made by women in the past and present. I believe it is also a day to reflect and acknowledge the improvements needed to be done for a more gender-balanced world.

What is a woman that you admire?

I’ve always admired Princess Diana, and the immense amount of kindness and love she brought to the world, specifically through the charity work she was involved in. I also admire and look up to my mom, she is my best friend and has made the biggest impact on my life. She dedicated her life to being a stay-at-home mom and has always put her family first.

What fuels you to feel empowered as a woman?

I am fueled by taking on challenges outside of my comfort zone and I am constantly inspired by the women in my life to strive to push myself beyond what I think I can do. I believe there is nothing more empowering than being your true self and going after your goals/dreams fearlessly.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product?

My favorite SAMBAZON product is the Amazon Superberry Açaí Bowl. I am always on-the-go so I love that I can enjoy an RTE anywhere at any time, it’s the best mid-day pick-me-up to refuel my day.

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

In my short time here at SAMBAZON, I have never felt so welcomed and instantly connected to people in a work environment before. SAMBAZON is made up of a truly magical group of talented individuals who share a passion for working hard and promoting an inclusive, positive, and uplifting work vibe. I am so grateful to be a part of a Triple Bottom Line company that values people, the planet and is constantly striving to make the world a better place.

rosinete

Rosinete Monteiro – Export Coordinator  

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

Today, more than in other times, being a woman is dangerous, a real game of resistance, a lot of struggle, but a lot of strength, perseverance, and the desire to prove yourself, to show that we are capable, that we can conquer regardless of barriers and difficulties that are often imposed by society. Womanhood is to be feisty, warrior, committed, to be a heroine of life itself.

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Margaret Thatcher, as she was the first woman to reach such a high position in the United Kingdom, who ruled everything with an iron fist, hence the name she acquired "The Iron Lady", proved to the world that a woman's place is where she wants.

What qualities make a great leader?

The main qualities of a leader are: proactivity; creativity in the midst of crises and routine moments as well; focus to achieve your goals and objectives; be flexible and have empathy to deal with the team and the public; have ambition, with a strong desire to grow; and above all, being resilient, knowing where to go and where to stop, and knowing how to start over whenever necessary.  

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

More sectors of the companies where I worked.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

On The Go/Ready to Eat Bowls because the taste is very pleasant and Peanut Butter is pleasant because the taste is different.

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

Being able to have the chance to be independent; take care of my family and be an example to other women in the area I work in the company.

stacey

Stacey Belgiovine - Director of Imports and Warehousing

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

Woman are nurturers, multi-taskers and leaders by nature. We naturally embrace bringing well-being to others, friends and especially our family. We enjoy being part of a solution for our family, our home and the future for our children.

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Maybe it is cliché but Mother Theresa inspired me as a child. I read many childhood books about Mother Theresa and it always amazed me on how just one woman could make such a difference with little effort that would make an impact for a lifetime. She was a humanitarian and dedicated to helping the poor by setting up soup kitchens, orphanages and a home for the dying. She educated the poor and fed the homeless and treated them like family.
One of her famous quotes, “I ALONE cannot change the WORLD, but I can cast A STONE across the WATERS to CREATE many RIPPLES.

What qualities make a great leader?

To be a great leader, you need to have a VISION of the goal, be EMPATHETIC of how it affects others, be CREATIVE to think outside the box, CONFIDENT to lead a team and COURAGEOUS to take the leap of change for a better tomorrow.

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

I wish I had known earlier in my career that there are companies like SAMBAZON that exist. Yes, they are very few and far between but the fact that there is a company, that truly cares for the people that work for them, works diligently on sustaining the environment and the Amazon in addition to helping families is remarkable.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

Ohhh that is tough, they are all so good. It is a toss-up between the Berry Bliss Bowl and the Açaí Bites!

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

I am very proud to be part of the SAMBAZON Tribe, to be part of the difference and the footprint it is making not only on a personal level but on a global level! I was very fortunate enough to meet my great leader, who’s passion and drive to build an amazing team that includes a collage of smart, talented, tenacious, hard-working women and who promotes equal opportunity. She has an infectious kind spirit that brings out the best in everyone. We could not be where we are without the strong women who contribute to the cause. Thank you to our leaders who casted a stone to create the ripples, I look forward to casting mine!

anne

Anne Doyle - Director of AP and AR, Payroll Manager 

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

Recognizing the accomplishments and unity that tie all of us women together. Self-Expression and Love for myself as a woman allows for positivity in my life.  

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Though it’s not a public figure, I have a personal figure to recognize. My Daughter! She has overcome rough challenges growing up and now is an amazing young woman. She is task oriented, organized and has an extremely hard work ethic. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all that she has accomplished as a single woman. 

What qualities make a great leader?

Strength, Compassion and Patience.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

There has been so many in the past 15 years I loved. Açaí Bites are my favorite now. Hard to not eat the whole box in one sitting.

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

Over my 15 years working for SAMBAZON, I have had the privilege to work alongside many amazing men and women. SAMBAZON culture has changed many lives, including my own. I have had the opportunity to wear many hats and I am very thankful for that.

Mari

Mari Laidlaw - Managing Director of SAMBAZON Europe

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

Now I’m no bra-burner, but we’re a powerful bunch us ladies. We're really starting to unlock that power and give ourselves the permission to do so. I’m striving to be one of the emerging female leaders that embraces her vulnerability, creativity, and intuition. Cry at work if you want to ladies – it’s ok! 

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

I bloody love Gwyneth Paltrow. Controversial to many but still my girl crush on so many levels. Now the leader of the $250M wellness empire - Goop, Gwyneth isn’t scared to admit that she leads with empathy rather than seeking respect, employs people that are way smarter than her to do the things she can’t, sells candles that smell ‘ like her vagina’ for PR purposes and does it all while looking God-dammed stunning. Give me some of that please #teamgwyneth 

What qualities make a great leader?

Authenticity and honesty. No matter what role you play in a business, you are always learning – a good leader isn’t afraid to admit what they don’t know and hire amazing people around them. They speak straight and always use their toolbox to bring out the best in those around them. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing my team kicking ass, it means they feel comfortable enough to have big ideas and take risks.  

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

IT’S OK TO ASK QUESTIONS! Maybe if I’d given myself permission to be ignorant and ask more questions, I might be the Prime Minister?! 

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

Easy. I’m a Pure Superfruit Pack addict! Rarely a day goes by that I don’t blend a bowl with raspberries, cherries, and raw honey - topped with a big scoop of peanut butter. Heaven.  

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

At SAMBAZON we’re not seen as working women. We’re all equal. Our ideas matter, our voices are heard, we have the same opportunities to progress and develop. We’re one tribe. 

adylane

Adylane Oliviera – Administrative Coordinator  

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

Being a woman in the current context is having the freedom of choice, having space and the right to voice, without suffering any kind of retaliation or reduction. It is knowing how to transform yourself in the face of difficulties and deal with personal and professional life in a balanced way.

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Maria da Penha is an example of overcoming and empathy for all women who suffer domestic violence. She fought tirelessly for her aggressor to be convicted, being named in her honor of the Brazilian law for the protection of women against violence, law n.º 11,340. In addition, she is the founder of the Maria da Penha Institute, which aims to contribute to monitoring compliance with the law.

Maria da Penha, a biochemical pharmacist, was a victim of domestic violence by her husband at the time, who shot her in the back while she slept, leaving Maria da Penha paraplegic. The crime took place in 1983.

Months later, the man tried to electrocute her. But the fight for justice was long. It was only in 2006 that the Maria da Penha Law was enacted, thanks to the intervention of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR/OAS). 

What qualities make a great leader?

Self-knowledge, good communication, honesty and the ability to inspire people are, for me, fundamental characteristics for great leaders.

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

I would like to meet inspiring leaders and influencers with vision and innovation. That encourages the team to seek the best results.

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

Açai Berry Banana Sorbet, because it tastes very similar to our Açaí from Pará. 

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

Being a woman and holding a leadership role at SAMBAZON shows that the company is open to diversity and flexible to different opinions. I feel extremely welcomed by the other leaders, being open to discussing important matters for the improvement and growth of the company.

My desire is to open doors so that more women can reach strategic positions. 

Hercilia

Hercília Samara C. Costa – Compliance Analyst 

What does it mean to you to celebrate womanhood?

It is a time to remember that women represent the strength and courage necessary to break paradigms and overcome challenges in politics, business and in the family. 

What female public figure, past or present, inspires you and why?

Cornelia Arnolda Johanna ten Boom (1892-1983): She, her sister (Betse) and her father were imprisoned after helping several Jews in World War II. She defended her faith and helped many people. Her story and her deeds can be found in the book The Hiding Place. There is a famous phrase said by Betse that Corrie always insists on telling: “There is no abyss so deep that the love of God is not even deeper”.

What qualities make a great leader?

Humility to recognize that we always have something to learn, empathy for others and true motivation to pass on to others.  

What is something you wish you had known early in your career?

I would have liked to have had more contact with the countryside, with nature. In college we focus a lot on research, but I believe it is necessary to make sure that all the knowledge generated is passed on to practice and reach the public most in need of this knowledge. 

What is your favorite SAMBAZON product and why?

Amazon Superberry Açaí Bowl is my daily dessert. It's my favorite flavor!  

What makes you proud to be a woman working on the SAMBAZON team?

SAMBAZON gives me the opportunity to transmit knowledge to the public with little access to it, that is, the Açaí collectors who are far from large urban centers. And thus contribute to the preservation of the most important asset on the planet, the nature. 

Did you celebrate International Women's Month? Tell us how you did 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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