Mar 27, 2023
Brianna Shales, marketing director for Stemilt Growers helps spread passion for fresh fruit

In honor of Women’s History Month, Great American Media Services reached out to Brianna Shales, marketing director for Stemlit Growers, to talk about her role in the agricultural industry and the important contributions she is making. 

Stemlit Growers highlights six generations of Mathison family farmers, and “Stemilt exists to cultivate people and delight consumers through excellence,” according to the company’s website. Messages such as this are important to any business, but especially for growers. Shales, marketing director for Stemlit, helps spread Stemlit’s messages. 

Thank you, Brianna, for your contributions to the industry!

How long have you been working in agriculture? 

Brianna Shales

I have been working in the tree fruit industry (solely at Stemilt Growers) for 15 years. I joined Stemilt immediately after graduating college, and have been growing with the company since then.

What inspired you to work in agriculture? 

I’m not sure I was initially “inspired” to work in agriculture, as my goal out of college was to get a job in the area I studied — communications. I have always enjoyed storytelling and after interviewing at Stemilt, I knew I would find satisfaction promoting a healthy and fresh product. I have learned so much about the work that goes into producing fresh fruit over the past 15 years, and really enjoy helping broaden consumer understanding of that process and passion that goes into it.

Did you have a mentor, if so who, and how did that individual assist you along the way? 

Yes, I have had several and continue to have active mentors helping me grow. My most influential mentor was my former boss, Roger Pepperl. He taught me all about produce merchandising and retail and the importance of storytelling and taking risks. Even though he is retired, I still look forward to catching up with him on the phone and getting a few coaching moments in. He is a natural teacher and impacted many in his career.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, or mark on this industry? 

My biggest accomplishment is becoming confident and aware of who I am. Of course, this is something that I will always be working on learning, but growing in this way personally has helped me grow into a leader in the industry. I hope that self-work will lead to me helping Stemilt making many great marks on the industry in the future.

Do you have any words of wisdom to share with other women in agriculture? 

Take time to learn about yourself, and how you can work to be aware of your flaws, and find people to help hold you accountable to learning how to navigate around them. Find a mentor (or several) and be specific about what you want to learn from them. Have a growth mindset!

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