Straus Family Creamery

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Our People

Our people are our most important resource; they are the heart and soul of the company. We really wanted to post profiles of all of our staff here, but since we have almost 100 employees, we couldn’t do it. Instead we decided to randomly feature some of our employees from our office, to our plant, to our people out in the field.

Below you will find a small selection of employee profiles, to give you a general idea of our people at Straus Family Creamery:


 

Director of Sustainability

Joseph Button

How long have I worked at Straus?
Almost one enjoyable year!
What is my favorite Straus product?
I like to start my day with vanilla Greek yogurt topped with fruit and granola, but the real magic happens at dessert when I have Dutch chocolate and cookies and cream ice cream.
How did you get here? What did you do before?
Practically speaking, my wife, kids, and myself drove North from Monterey to Petaluma. 3 hours from fish town to cow town. I have an educational background in global business and international environmental policy. I've worked in a variety of fields (energy, climate, localized business consulting, and international humanitarian development) that have prepared me to for an opportunity like this.
What do you like about working a Straus?
Doing sustainability well is a constant challenge. I like that. There is nothing simple about making decisions that impact the long-term traditional success of a business while co-valuing the health of the environment, and the well-being of the community members and value chain stakeholders that are involved or impacted by our business. There is tremendous potential within the business sector to make transformational changes to the way our society works, for the betterment of people and the environment. Straus Family Creamery is focused on realizing this potential, and that is why I enjoy working here.
What do you do in your free time?
On an ideal day I'll get to make dinner and talk the day away with my wife. I spend most of my time playing with my kids and acting out their imaginations. On the weekends it's always fun to explore a Sonoma County regional park and enjoy nature. There is also this fleeting memory of being an active soccer player. That sounds fun too.
Favorite color?
Blue
Where have I lived most of my life?
By length of time: Western Washington, California, and Washington D.C.


Director of Production

Miguel Gonzales

How long have you been at Straus?
17 Years
How did you get here? What did you do before?
I was in Mexico and was working on dairies there. After I came to the US, one of my friends recommended Straus Family Creamery and they gave me the opportunity. When I started here I was first working on sanitation, then I switched to the different lines: I started at the glass line, then moved to the plastic, and later became operator at the butter and ice cream lines. I then became Production Supervisor, Production Manager and now Director of Production.
What is your favorite Straus product?
I say everything! If I had to pick I would say Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, but I also like the yogurt.
What do you like about working at Straus?
I love working in a team, to train and to help other workers when they have questions or when they have difficulties setting priorities. I really like my job.
What do you do in your free time?
I don’t have much free time, but when I do I spend it with my family.


Director of People & Culture

Laurangelica “Angel” Lechón

How long have you been at Straus?
7 years.
How did you get here? What did you do before?
By chance. I was a student in my last semester at Sonoma State doing research work for a professor in the languages department. He left an email printout on my workstation from a recruiter regarding an open position with a “wonderful, local, organic dairy” looking for a bilingual “People & Culture Partner”.  I loved, loved, loved, the sound of that title and the description of the job. Since I already owned four pairs of cowboy boots, I figured, what the heck, I should see about this dairy opportunity. The rest is her-story.
What is your favorite Straus product?
Hmmmm… my favorite? The butter. I bring a stick with me when I go out for breakfast, you know, in case someone uses other butter. Everything is better with Straus butter. Everything. Seriously.
What do you like about working at Straus?
Our mission and the fact that we truly stand by it – it isn’t just lip service to anyone here. I love that our triple-bottom line includes a commitment to our employees. I love that  Straus embraces diversity and that my own cultural duality is so sincerely appreciated. I love that I am able to come to work every day and have the opportunity to help any member of our team – be it for work issues like benefits or payroll, or be it for matters outside of work such as getting housing info, resources or information to apply for college and financial aid. I love that our organization is so awesome -- every day I am terribly proud to be part of it. 
What do you do in your free time?
Enjoy my two kids. And hike, I’ve been doing that for a year now and I love it. Recently I did a 25 mile hike. I enjoy gardening too.  This year I am actually growing my own non-GMO, organic vegetables for the first time ever – tomatoes and beets. I got the hook-up for organic compost from Albert’s farm, which is totally cool.


Director of Innovations & Quality Assurance

Ian-Hero Serrano

How long have you been at Straus?
6 years.
How did you get here? What did you do before?
This is my first job out of college. I grew up in the Philippines and came to the US when I was 14 years old. After High School I joined Summer Search, which is a mentorship and scholarship program that helped me go to college. I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. 
What is your favorite Straus product?
I would say that my favorite is Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream.
What do you like about working at Straus?
I like that it is fast paced and busy, because time flies and every day I learn something new. Learning is a really big thing for me; whether it is new processes, running the Quality Assurance program or doing Research & Development projects on the side. There are all these opportunities they have given me at Straus Family Creamery:  To learn, to grow and to take on leadership - I am very thankful for that.
What do you do in your free time?
I stay active and I run a lot outdoors. I also started to play soccer with the Straus team, although I never really cared about soccer. But playing in this team is a lot of fun.


Founder and CEO

Albert Straus

How long have you been at Straus?
Since the beginning, more than 23 years ago.
How did you get here? What did you do before?
After studying Dairy Science at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo I returned to the Straus Dairy and managed it. Later in 1994 I founded the creamery.
What is your favorite Straus product?
Ice cream of course. Right now my favorite is the Brown Sugar Banana.
What do you like about working at Straus?
Making great dairy products. I like working with farmers and the challenges of making things better and more sustainable. People here are great to work with.
What do you do in your free time?
There isn’t much! Try to get exercise and be outside on the farm as much as possible.