In 2018, Mando Perez, Pest Control Adviser (PCA), started at Suterra as a technical field specialist and is now a key account manager. However, if you’ve ever seen him at an event, you might think he was a celebrity.
You may know him from the agriculture industry, his involvement in California’s Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA), or you may be one of his many LinkedIn followers. Did you know he loves mentoring the next generation in agriculture, is a devoted family man, and is very active in his church? Mando is also the unofficial photographer for Shafter High School. Let’s go, Generals!
Initially hired by The Wonderful Company in 2010 as a purchasing agent for the Paramount Farming Company, which is now known as Wonderful Orchards, Mando worked closely with Agrochemicals, which he found very intriguing. After discussing his career aspirations with his mentors, they recommended he take college courses and earn his PCA license.
At the time, he was living in Shafter with his young family, working full-time in Lost Hills, and was determined to take a full load of classes, some online, some at Yuba Community College. He eventually received his agriculture degree at Bakersfield College and obtained his PCA license.
Transitioning from Wonderful’s Orchard and Citrus divisions to Suterra felt natural to Mando. Given his first-hand experience with California’s day-to-day farming operations and the time spent side-by-side with growers, his perspective was and remains a boundless advantage for Suterra.
As one of Suterra’s key account managers, Mando is thrilled to support growers. Mando’s PCA background, knowledge of the best mating disruption and integrated pest management solutions, and commitment to caring for Suterra’s customers are unrivaled. While he primarily works with citrus and tree nut growers in the Central Valley, he is an expert at controlling California Red Scale (CRS) and Navel Orangeworm (NOW) pest challenges. Mando also supports distributors, grape growers, and cole crop growers regionally and throughout California.
While his kids are not following in his footsteps career-wise, Mando and his family are thankful for the Wonderful Education program which provides children in the Central Valley with a chance to attend great schools, learn valuable skills, earn college degrees, and launch rewarding careers. All three of his kids received support from Wonderful counselors throughout high school, along with essential tools and resources. The Perez family is incredibly thankful for Wonderful Education’s unwavering investment in students and their families, particularly surrounding the college scholarship program.
Reflecting on his agriculture journey, Mando still finds it hard to believe how much support he has received from Wonderful. It’s remarkable to look back at the time when he was an inexperienced kid walking through those doors, unaware of his future. Yet through it all, his mentors believed in him and encouraged him to shoot for the stars. With their help, he has grown personally and professionally, and continually pays it forward by mentoring the next generation pursuing an agriculture career.
When asked to provide words of wisdom to someone entering the agriculture field, Mando said, “Take your time. Be patient. Listen. Find your mentors, believe in yourself, and trust the process. I work for a great company that helped me and others pave their own way. I am an example of never giving up, mastering the opportunity of growth, and defining who and where that road to success leads.”
Anyone that knows Mando would agree that he is a superstar for the ages. He’s a natural leader with integrity and a deep passion for his work. If you ever attend agriculture events with Mando, be prepared to meet many new people. At every turn, someone stops to shake his hand, ask a question, or just say hello. It is for good reason, too. Mando not only supports the grower but also advocates for Suterra, mating disruption, and sustainable business practices.
On May 28, 2023, Mando celebrated his 13th work anniversary with the Wonderful family. We are fortunate to know him, work with him, and call him our friend.