On Dec. 2, Dümmen Orange announced that its current longest-tenured employee, Carmen Bautista, would be retiring in a press release.
Bautista, who grew up in San Diego County, started working in 1977 at the former Paul Ecke Ranch, now a key Dümmen Orange breeding facility, in Encinitas, California as a direct laborer. She dedicated the past 43-plus years of her career to becoming a fast learner, hard worker and knowledgeable handler of poinsettias and mums grown in Southern California’s ideal coastal conditions.
“Carmen has always been willing to help no matter the task and she’s really been part of the backbone of our business,” said Luis Hernandez, production manager at Dümmen Orange. “She does the day-to-day work of caring for the flowers and plants, always giving her best and taking the details to heart.”
“What she does is important because her work today lives on as a legacy,” said Ruth Kobayashi, breeding manager at Dümmen Orange. “With 30,000 plants to look through every year, we are very fortunate to have Carmen help us finish yet another poinsettia season to keep future seasons on track. We are stronger as a company by her sharing her extensive knowledge with other team members.”
“I loved all the years that I worked here,” said Bautista. “I hope that everyone who comes to work here will also love what they do. For me, it was mostly the poinsettias — I really love the poinsettias.”
Her last official day at Dümmen Orange is Dec. 4, 2020.