Randy Main is a man of changes. Known, until September 15th 2017 for being the plant manager of the only company in Reynosa dedicated to the production of candies and caramels: Dulces Famosos, company in which he had a history of 17 years. However, his life inside the industry started more than 40 years ago.
He started in the Candy industry with Hershey’s Chocolate in 1971 in California, being his birthplace, and where he worked for 13 years, then he changed to Hershey’s Pennsylvania, where the corporate was located; he lived there with his family for 9 years.
From Pennsylvania to Mexico; this was a drastic change of location and the city where they will arrive was the land of Tequila and Mariachi: Guadalajara, Jal. Where he worked as director of Hershey’s Mexico, they had a plant in Guadalajara, offices and warehouses in Mexico City, Monterrey and Tijuana. “I started in the industry 46 years ago; in 1971, 23 of which I was working in Mexico, in cities as Guadalajara, Jal. and in the last 15 years in Reynosa, Tam,” he said.
He told us that it was in Guadalajara that he precisely lived his first experience of knowing Mexico; and not only did he but his family as they learned its culture, language, the people, and the Tequila and the Mariachi of course. “There was where we developed a love for all that Mexico means,” he said.
From Guadalajara they went to Miami, FLO., as they were with Hershey’s International and from there he traveled and directed operations in Asia, Europe, Latin America; therefore talking about changes – drastic changes -, as well as of relocation is something that he was used to.
A turning change of plans
When he arrived to Dulces Famosos in 2003 he did not have the intention of staying for 15 years in the company; for Randy it was something that will take 5 or 6 years, thinking in the possibility of retiring or changing to another company in the United States.
He commented how the company was when it started operations, and how it has evolved and increased its production after 17 years in Reynosa. “When I arrived to the company we had about 16 production lines, today there are 26 production lines that give life to Dulces Famosos. The company started the 2000 with only 2 lines and 24 employees on its first year. In 2000, the production reached half a million pounds, and in 2017, the production will reach 35 million pounds. “The growth has been incredible,” he said.
Proud of his personnel
“I have always had challenges, I am satisfied; but mainly I am proud of the people that work in the plant of Dulces Famosos.”
Randy Main, said that this plant has 17 years, and that as the plant, have personnel with the same amount of years working; they also have many personnel with 15 years of seniority and many more with 10 years of work. He mentioned: “When this type of stability exists in the workforce, it becomes family, we know many of them by name, we coexist with them, and nobody imagine how proud I am of them, and I will care about them today and always.”
“When I talk about experience, learning and memories I do have to talk about the plant and what is going on within those walls. However all the experience in general is with the community, with the Maquila Associations, with the people network that we have formed, and another thing that I have always do, and even today I continue to promote it, is the relationship and linkage between McAllen and Reynosa; I see something special here that I do not see it in other cities, and we have to keep it alive, because I think this is the secret of success in this entire area.”
There are many people in McAllen that talk about Reynosa, not as it was another country, neither as another city in the other side of the river, but as it was the south part of the city, of the community. “For me that was the most significant; the strength, the linkage that this community has, the governments, educational institutions, the associations of professionals; in addition of other companies, as well as the park developers such as Grupo Rio San Juan; that is why that when I talk about the experience I have to talk about all of them, because it is something incredible that I have not seen in another places,” highlighted Randy Main.
Between candies and caramels
“My experience in Dulces Famosos is unique, starting of the fact that it is the only factory in Reynosa that dedicates to candy production; there is a food sector (meat processing;) then it has to be something special when your product is candy; and mainly when the candy that you produce are known worldwide ‘Christmas Canes,” I mean that at this company every day is Christmas day.”
“I think we have a unique labor environment, which you will not find in another plant, and I know that other plants, other maquilas can talk about their low rotation and the good people, and yes, they also have that, but I think there is nobody with the special environment we have here. When they go to the floor with all the people you can feel this, therefore for me this is special; the dedication, loyalty, eager to learn and willing to help and support other partners, as well as sharing where there is sadness up to celebrating an achievement.”
“This for my was the best, it is the environment that you only live in Dulces Famosos and I am glad to share what we do, as it is something that brings happiness to the people that consume it.”
“Music, the ranch and Candy, this is my life”
In addition of his activities in the Industry, Randy highlights with his artistic abilities playing the guitar in the group “Spikes on the Road.” “This has been my passion since childhood, I starting when I was seven and my first band was when I had 12,” he remembered yearning. For several years, in the 70s and 80s he professionally played in a rock band while he was working at Hershey’s and studying at the university.
“Some years ago I went back to play music with my daughter Sandy Torres, she and I perform duet shows. In 2016 talking with my friend Martin Anzaldua from Grupo Rio San Juan, and who also has a passion for playing the guitar, we coincided in that we have to play together. Finally in October 2016 we formed the group ‘Spikes on the Road,’” an impact concept that attracts attention, and where he also shares the scenario with his daughter Sandy Torres. “Today we have the honor of playing at concerts, bars and restaurants. In October 7th and 8th 2017 we will be within the artist performing at the Palm Fest; celebration that will be held in McAllen, TX.
Another of his passions are horses and the ranch, where in addition of having horses they have cows, pigs, chickens; this is something that he likes to enjoy with his family.
A new cycle
After 46 years dedicated to Candy Industry, Randy Main loops into a completely different industry in a new company named ScanTechSciences, where he will occupy the position of general manager of its plant located in McAllen, TX. This is something very different, since the approach of this company is of high technology for fruit and vegetables pasteurization through an electronic process. “It is an honor for me to have being invited by ScanTechSciences to participate in their projects, at the same times I know it is something different, and that I am crossing in a territory that I have not explored in my life,” said Randy Main.
To end this interview, Randy Main said: “It is not easy to explain how hard is leaving a company, its people and the culture that has had a tremendous impact in my life in so many ways for to many years. I am blessed and fortunate and I am very grateful with all of them. I am taking Dulces Famosos and Reynosa in my heart forever.”
“Thanks to all of you,” Randy Main.