March 19th, 2018
Saeid Rad plays a big role at FGF. He’s a Quality Assurance Lead at two of FGF’s facilities, leading a team of 12 team members. He’s also the first person to ever to receive the BRC Global Standards Professional designation! With so much to learn, we sat down with Saeid to chat about his personal growth and his advice on how others can follow in his footsteps.
What’s your name and what do you do here at FGF?
My name is Saeid Rad and I’m a Quality Assurance Program Lead here at FGF.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Iran where I studied animal science at university. At the age of 26 I got my first job working at a food manufacturing company. Due to an unexpected illness, my boss stepped aside and I took over his position and responsibilities. I worked extremely hard and learned a lot from that business.
In 2006, I decided to immigrate to Canada with my family, and finding a job was hard. I had lots of Quality Assurance related skills and experience, but little experience here in Canada, so landing my first job took some time.
Eventually, I found work in the egg industry doing quality assurance and stayed at that company for 5 years. From there, I moved on to FGF.
When did you start at FGF? What was it like when you got here?
I started working at FGF in 2011. There was very little information available on FGF back then but I found out through a friend that FGF was growing, and growing quickly. They had opened a few new facilities and that’s what I wanted: a company that I could grow with.
I remember meeting Tejus – one of FGF’s co-founders – for the first time in his office. There were lots of screens on the wall and we were watching the manufacturing process as we chatted. He was friendly, smart, and cared a lot about the quality of their products. It was clear to me at that point, I knew FGF was the right fit for me.
My first position at FGF was as a Quality Assurance Supervisor at one of the FGF facilities. While the principles were the same (food safety, quality management systems, etc.), it was a big learning curve for me because my focus at that point had been on the egg industry. For the first 6 months, I studied a lot. FGF is a fast-paced environment, so for the first few weeks I would do lots of research online and watch YouTube videos – basically anything that could help me better understand QA as it related to the bakery business.
Did FGF provide you with any training?
Yes, FGF provides a lot of on-the-job training. I always tell my team that if they want to move up in the company and have a passion for learning, FGF is there to provide the resources. That’s what they did for me, and I’m proud to be part of a company that embraces the learning and development of team members.
Tell us a little about your growth at FGF.
In 2011, I began as a Quality Assurance Supervisor and was promoted to the BRC Global Standards and Audit Leader after 18 months. A year after that, I was promoted to Food Safety Corporate Leader; and to Quality Assurance Corporate Leader a year after that. This kind of movement is part of FGF culture. FGF has a motto: “We embrace speed, change and uncertainty,” and we really mean it.
What do you think is special about working here?
You don’t feel like you work for a large company. I feel appreciated and really connected to the people I work with. Something that’s always impressed me about FGF’s co-founders – Ojus and Tejus – is that they know most people by name; a feat when you have hundreds of team members. To me, FGF is like a second family.
What’s your biggest achievement so far at FGF?
I have two. The first is the BRC Global Standards Professional designation. I received this just a few months ago and I’m very proud to be the first person in the Americas to receive it. The second achievement is the positive culture I’ve helped create. We perform very well on audits and I love motivating and training my team to hit high scores and targets. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people I’ve coached hit challenging targets and move up in the company.
What are two things you’ve learned here at FGF?
I’ve learned so much at FGF. If I had to pick just a few, I would say adjusting to change and how to work in a multicultural workplace. Our team members here at FGF come from many different countries and diverse backgrounds. I’ve had to learn how to communicate better and how to make sure I’m always treating people with respect.
Any advice for someone looking to start a career here at FGF?
FGF is a great place to start a career. It’s a multicultural company and everyone here has the same opportunity to grow as long as you’re willing to put in the work. So, my advice to potential new team members is don’t be afraid to ask questions, be open and don’t hesitate to voice a new idea. FGF does not have many of the traditional boundaries like you might find at other companies; we encourage questions and new ways of solving problems.