Julie Rubbo, VP of HR
Valley Farm Management
Julie Rubbo is a self-proclaimed ‘Bleacher Granny’. A ‘Bleacher Granny” is a word whose meaning you don’t really know until you talk to Julia but once you talk to her, you’ll understand immediately. Her deep appreciation of family and an innate sense of empathy seems to ooze out of her voice and it is these two skills that have carried her to her current job as VP of HR at Valley Farm Management. Coincidentally, it was these two skills she perfected in her first job for the Smiths, Valley Farm Management’s owner’s, as a babysitter.
When the Smiths first moved to Salinas Valley they moved next to Julia and naturally, they asked Julia to babysit their younger children. Her compassion and intelligence must have been clear to the Smiths even then. It must have been obvious that Julia would be a fantastic leader.
As Julie, herself, puts it, “If they can trust you with their children, then they can trust you as their employee.”
Years later, Julie’s mom bumped into the Smiths in a grocery store. She found out that Smiths were looking for a part-time employee. Soon, Julia got the job and now, in her current role as VP of HR she works alongside Jason, the child she once babysat.
As the VP of HR, Julia further uses the empathy skills she honed as a teenager. She is great at her job because she can see the needs of both the employers and employees. She describes it as seeing through their eyes. Once you can see it through each side’s eyes it becomes easier to bridge the gap between their needs. She sees everybody in the company as a family.
“Everybody plays an essential role in growing the wine grapes,” she says, “They need each piece to work, and everybody is important to that functionality from irrigation to the tractor drivers to the CFO and the CEO.”
Whether it’s work family, personal family, or whatever family you can tell that family is the most important thing to her. And to her being a good member of a family is all about being the bleacher granny. She sees it as being a role model, a person who inspires other people to do their best.
“You’re a cheerleader sometimes,” she says, “you are a teacher sometimes, but you are always helping them succeed.”
Everybody needs a bleacher granny in their life; and there is no bleacher granny you would rather have on your side than Julia.