JULIAN J. PATINOJulian Patino (better known as JJ) began his career as an intern with Anheuser-Busch before they were purchased by Inbev. This internship led JJ to become an independent engineering services consultant. Having been drawn to the food and beverage industry from the start, he consulted for Nestle, Sugar Foods Corporation, Sara Lee Bakery, Blue Diamond Almonds, and others.

JJ’s mission at Morning Star is to provide engineering and technical services to different business units, continuous improvement, and aid in Morning Star’s sun dried tomato operations.

How did you first learn about Morning Star?

In 2009, I consulted with Liberty Packing and began working with highly seasoned colleagues to expand evaporation capacity and installed our Lycored project.

Before working at Morning Star, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Working with a contract agency at an Aerospace facility, working around 250,000 pounds of rocket fuel.

What are 3 words to describe Morning Star?

Efficient; strong; persistent.

What drew you to Morning Star originally?

The willingness to innovate and create new processes spontaneously. Our ability as colleagues to direct and complete projects quickly, which would normally take longer in a top-down organization, is impressive.

What do you find most challenging at Morning Star?

One of the most challenging parts of working at Morning Star is navigating our unique style of management. Self- management allows colleagues to truly pursue new ideas and projects but occasionally can create tension when people disagree. It usually takes a bit more creativity and interpersonal skills to work with colleagues who maybe don’t share your viewpoint.

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years?

I would like to help the sun dried tomato operation reach its full potential and see the pouch program that Morning Star has developed excel in the U.S. and grow into a global operation.

Tell me about your family.

I grew up with my family in a very frugal household in Bakersfield, California.  My mom is a third grade teacher at a public school and my father is now retired from his job working with the State of California. My older brother is a 4th grade teacher at a Catholic school.  My mom and I are very similar people so we tend to get in some spirited debates! Interestingly, my mother and my grandmother used to work in tomato fields.

People would be surprised if they knew ________________ about you.

I am a superstar tennis player, or at least I was! When I was 16, my doubles partner and I were ranked #2 in the US from USTA.

I also created the first Lime-a-Rita production line for Anheuser-Busch, which produced 1000 cans per minute. So if you’ve ever enjoyed one, you’re welcome!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I appreciate my alone time – early morning fishing or camping are some of my favorite activities. I also enjoy snowboarding in the winter and love spending time on the water in the summer. I also spend quite a bit of time with my family, particularly my grandmother. Putting a smile on her face when I’m with her makes me so happy.

What is your favorite movie and book?

Favorite movie: The Big Lebowski

Favorite book: Red Notice, by Bill Browder

What’s on your bucket list?

I’m proud to say that I don’t have a bucket list. I prefer to live life in the moment and enjoy my family, friends, and colleagues. You only live once!

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