If you’ve been to or communicated with West Pak’s New Jersey facility, you’ve likely met Carlos Rojas. He started with the company in a warehouse lead position long before the doors officially opened in the East Coast facility. He was part of the team responsible for a successful opening. Today, Carlos is the newly minted Site Manager, leading a group of 25 employees working together to keep warehouse operations moving like a well-oiled machine.
Learn more about the leader-in-chief of our Northeast distribution center:
Tell us about what you do at West Pak.
Carlos: I’m the Site Manager in New Jersey. I was recently promoted to this position from Lead. I started in the company when we opened the New Jersey facility, and within a year and a half, I became the Site Manager.
How is everything going so far – being such a new facility?
Carlos: Everything is going well – it’s like a brand-new house. Visitors are always so impressed. Everything is new and clean, and we aim to keep it that way.
I got the chance to be with the warehouse from the very beginning when it was nothing else but walls. Seeing all of the efforts we put into getting started paying off really motivated me to be the best leader I could be and take on more responsibility.
Are you from New Jersey originally, or did you transfer to the area when West Pak opened the facility?
Carlos: I’m from New Jersey right now, but I am originally from Chile.
What are your current responsibilities as Site Manager?
Carlos: I oversee the entire warehouse and its employees while ensuring everybody gets home safely and our customers always receive a quality product.
What is the typical day like for you in your current role?
Carlos: Each day during the week, I do a walkthrough of the entire warehouse to make sure nothing happened overnight or is out of place. I engage with the team, review goals for the day, answer emails and calls, and communicate with other departments, such as planning, logistics, and sales. I work with HR when onboarding new hires. I also communicate with vendors and ensure visitors are happy and receive a warehouse tour.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Carlos: What I really like about the role is being able to be a leader, to watch the capabilities of the team, their resolve, and the successful outcomes. Seeing their success gives me the energy and determination to be a better leader.
What are the strengths that you bring to your job?
Carlos: I am passionate about my job and give 100% to each task. I enjoy challenges and can never let a problem go unsolved. My family taught me the importance of responsibility, so I’ll always be there for the company and the team.
What would you consider to be the most challenging part of your job?
Carlos: One of the most challenging things is last-minute changes in the schedule. It can lead to an unpredictable workday. But our focus is always on the customer’s needs, so no matter what, we all work together to complete the task.
What is your favorite thing about West Pak as a company?
Carlos: West Pak believes in their employees, and they don’t treat them as a number – they treat you like family. Our people are very friendly and treat you as an equal; nobody is better than anyone else. That’s something I appreciate as an employee and as a person.
To what do you attribute your success?
Carlos: My team has been a very important part of my success. It’s not just me. I have not been doing everything by myself. I have been doing it with them. I am also thankful that the company saw my potential and gave me the opportunity to grow.
What’s one thing co-workers don’t know about you that might surprise them?
Carlos: That it’s just me here in the United States. I have no family here, only my girlfriend. My family is 10,000 miles away in Chile, so it’s not like I can go see them on the weekend – it’s not that simple. I get to see them every three years – I just came back from Chile, so it was three years that I didn’t see them.
What has your journey to success been like?
Carlos: I came here (to the states) when I was eighteen all by myself, without knowing the language. I wanted to be someone, so I got to work. I started learning the language and the produce business. I got to know the warehouse and all about shipping, receiving, packing, and quality control.
A few good friends that have been here longer were guiding me, telling me what to do and what not to do with things like taxes and dealing with my credit. After all that effort, I was able to become a U.S. citizen, and recently, I was able to buy a house. Right now, when I see someone starting out the same way I did, I try to guide them the same way someone else guided me.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Carlos: I love to watch action movies and spend time with my girlfriend.
Do you have a favorite motto or saying?
Carlos: Enjoy your family, and always enjoy your day.
What’s your favorite way to eat avocados?
Carlos: Avocado toast!