Sac State Magazine

Spring 2016

Sac State Magazine is a publication produced by the Office of Advancement Communications and Stewardship at Cal State University, Sacramento highlighting alumni, students, faculty and staff.

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Page 16 of 39

Driving the tractor for the new California gold rush: Ana Klein '95, MBA '10, CFO and Vice President, Sunsweet Growers, Inc. A griculture has played a key role in shaping the life of Ana Klein '95 (Accounting), MBA '10 as far back as she can remember. Klein was born into humble beginnings as the oldest of five children raised by parents who worked as farm laborers. Since then, she has risen the ranks to become vice president and CFO of Sunsweet Growers, Inc., the world's largest handler of dried tree fruits—namely prunes—with an annual revenue of $340 million. "California is a powerhouse in the nation when it comes to the revenue and jobs generated by the agriculture industry," says Klein. After graduation, Klein quickly landed a job as an auditor handling banking and agriculture accounts, including that of Sunsweet. In 1999, she became the company's finance manager and in just four years was named the Yuba City-based Sunsweet's first female and youngest CFO. "Sunsweet is a grower-owned cooperative that produces around 60,000 tons of prunes each year," Klein adds. "Many aren't aware of the fact that California is the only state that grows prunes and right now we have more demand than supply." While California growers still provide the majority of fruit procured, Sunsweet is turning to other countries, including Chile and Australia, to help supplement the supply. Sunsweet has grown to become one of the top 100 most recognized brands in the world. "Next year we celebrate our centennial anniversary," Klein adds. "We must be doing something right." Farm-to-fork is feeding more than foodies. Crop revenue in the state reached $34 billion and the industry employed a record number of 417,000 people. College is a Learning Lab— For Life and Leadership Ritch Eich '66 (Speech Communication) offers his top five tips on how to nurture and develop the traits of a true leader. Eich is founder of Eich Associated, a Thousand Oaks management consulting firm. His latest book is "Truth, Trust + Tenacity: How Ordinary Leaders Become Extraordinary Leaders." 1. Experience is the best teacher: Leadership skills are learned in the classroom, but honed in the field. 2. Learning about unfamiliar subjects and points of view different from yours will help you think critically and appreciate others. 3. Sweat the small stuff because details do matter—but don't forget to always keep the big picture in mind. Balance is critical regardless of your chosen profession. 4. Surround yourself with people of integrity. Cultivate trust, tell the truth, don't blame others, share the credit, express yourself clearly. 5. Find a mentor— everyone needs someone to hold them accountable. Find that person and stay in contact. c sus .e du /s a c s t ate ma ga z in e | S pr i ng 2 016 15 AGRICULTURE

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