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Mary Burich | April 11, 2017

People | Pride of the Jersey

Work is play for Gil Gutierrez

When it comes to marrying work and pleasure, Gil Gutierrez is living the dream. The self-proclaimed foodie is a senior brand manager for MegaMex Foods, a Hormel Foods joint venture whose vision is to “bring the spirit of Mexico to every table.”

Gil Gutierrez

Jim Snee, Hormel Foods president and CEO, Gil Gutierrez, senior brand manager, MegaMex Foods

MegaMex Foods was born in 2009 when Hormel Foods and Herdez del Fuerte, S.A. de C.V. joined forces. Gil signed on with the newly formed company soon after. According to MegaMex President and CEO Jeff Frank, it’s been quite a ride. So much so, Gil emerged as the obvious choice to receive the inaugural Pride of the Jersey award at the Orange, Calif., location.

“Gil is very deserving,” says Jeff. “He’s managed the Herdez® brand to unprecedented success over the past seven years.”

Nevertheless, Gil was caught off guard by the honor. In fact, he remembers sitting in the audience with his co-workers, hearing about the first MegaMex jersey recipient.

“Jeff dragged it out,” he says. “He talked about someone who embodies our values, is always there to lend a hand. It wasn’t until he called the person ‘the keeper of the brand,’ that I started to get it.”

Before Gil knew it, he was accepting the company-branded jersey from Jeff and Hormel Foods President and CEO Jim Snee, a moment he won’t soon forget.

Gil consistently models the cultural beliefs of our organization.

Jeff Frank, MegaMex Foods CEO

Gil was born in East Los Angeles and grew up in nearby Whittier. He completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA and his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Southern California. He then headed to Puerto Rico for three years—the only time he has lived outside of California—to work for Procter & Gamble.

An opportunity with a new joint venture – MegaMex – brought Gil home and to a position that has never failed to challenge him. Not only was the move a good career choice, it led to his marriage to Sudeh a little more than a year ago.

In their spare time, Gil and Sudeh like to dine out and go to concerts and comedy clubs. Gil is also a travel buff who has visited 25 countries so far. Closer to home, he enjoys watching documentaries and reading. Gil also harbors a secret passion: He owns a motorcycle with a sidecar.

“Not many people know that,” he says, laughing.

He celebrated his first day with the jersey by wearing it out to dinner with his wife. Gil was careful with it the remainder of the week, fearing it would get dirty if he wore it too much.

Asked why he was chosen to wear the coveted jersey, Gil is reluctant to sing his own praises. Then Jeff steps in with a matter-of-fact answer.

“Gil consistently models the cultural beliefs of our organization.”

Pride of the Jersey is a yearlong effort to celebrate the culture, the people and the purpose of Hormel Foods. Inspired People. Inspired Food.™

University of Southern California
Countries Visited
Herdez® brand manager