It was two years ago when Dejéan Murray received a LinkedIn message about a role at Bolthouse Farms. With a little research, Dejéan saw an opportunity to join a company that he viewed as up-and-coming. While being interviewed for the Sr. Demand Planner role, he knew Bolthouse Farms was where he wanted to be. “It was a no brainer, it was the people, the culture and the growth potential of Bolthouse Farms that brought me here, and it’s those same things that are keeping me here.”
In his role as Sr. Demand Planner, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Dejéan is responsible for analyzing customer (retail stores) sales, trends, and promotional data. It is that information that drives the quantity of ingredients needed to procure and the number of cases to be produced, down to the individual product level. What Dejéan loves the most about his role is having direct contact with customers to ensure that he delivers the most optimal plan to the production team and ultimately to the customer. “The closer you get to the customer the better your plan,” he said.
Reflecting on his time with the company, Dejéan said his favorite memory was the recently restarted tours of the carrot fields and product production facilities. “The first tour I was scheduled for as a new hire was cancelled, and then the COVID-19 shutdown happened, making rescheduling an unknown.” Dejéan said. “Starting with the fields and seeing how much happens there before the carrots get to the production facility was the wow moment for me. Then seeing the fresh carrot production and the beverages and dressings facilities, everything came full circle.”
Dejéan hails from New Orleans, Louisiana, a place known for its amazing food, so it is no wonder that he loves to cook! “My favorite way to cook carrots is to sauté them with other mixed vegetables. And coming from NOLA that means adding some seasoning too!” Dejéan also uses his culinary skills to incorporate carrots into a variety of vegetable soups he creates.
As a non-meat eater, healthy eating is important to Dejéan, and when asked what our mission of Plants Powering People™ means to him, he said “It means that the healthiest of ingredients are making their way into our bodies. At Bolthouse Farms we source the best ingredients and strive to use only the best practices in farming. What we put into bottles is Plants Powering People every day!” He went on to share he feels there is the need for Bolthouse Farms to add a children’s line of products, “we need to start educating kids early on what it means to eat healthy.”
Dejéan’s favorite Bolthouse Farms product is by far the Protein Plus® Banana Honey Almond Butter shake, which he used to get from the vending machine at the Bakersfield facility every morning for breakfast.
The person Dejéan admires and looks up to most is his mom, Erica. “My mother is my personal hero. I got to witness the work ethic that it takes to become successful. Having those steppingstones that she created and watching what she did in life made me realize she was speaking from experience. Kids learn not only from what they hear, but from what they see. She taught me by showing me the way.” It is clear that his personal motto, ‘failure is not an option’ is an embodiment of his mother.
Giving back to the community is Dejéan’s passion. As an alumnus of Clark Atlanta University, he returns to the campus once a year to speak to students seeking a degree in his field of study, Supply Chain Management. And along with four friends he created an ongoing college scholarship fund for young people in need, “it is small, but it is something we can do each year for four students to help fund things likes books and supplies.” Like his hero LeBron James, he does not just want to help himself or his immediate family. Dejéan wants to lift up others so that they can make something of themselves. “Find a way or make a way” is his second motto – shout out to Clark Atlanta University for that!