“I really believe that the way in which you can move ahead and do whatever you really want to pursue, is by learning. And there are many, many ways of learning. You shouldn't stop learning. Never. Never. You should be open. It doesn't mean that you have to do everything, but you have to be open to everything and listen to everything and learn. Once you have the information, you can decide if you go that way or not. But you should be learning."
– Silvia Santiago, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Maestra Ronera,
Master Blender at Destilería Serrallés.
In this episode of the podcast, we sit down with Silvia Santiago, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Maestra Ronera, Master Blender at Destilería Serrallés to talk about her career, and the role of innovation at Serrallés.
Anchored by a lifelong curiosity and love of learning, she shares her POV on how to preserve time-honored tradition while 'shaking the tree,' to drive change and the human side of innovation.
We discuss sustainability: Don Q is one of the most environmentally sustainable distilleries in the region – if not the world; Silvia shares with us why sustainability matters to the manufacturing process, the company, and the people at Serrallés.
Silvia began her career in the company in 1973, working with fermentation as a microbiologist. She continued moving to other positions such as Laboratory supervisor, Director of Quality Control, and Compliance Director up to her current position.
Besides being responsible for the entire manufacturing process, starting with purchasing sugarcane molasses up to bottling the finished product, blending, and tasting distillates and aged products is part of Silvia's daily work.
Destilería Serrallés is best known for its Don Q rum brand. Serrallés is Puerto Rico's oldest family-owned company. Don Q is one of the most environmentally sustainable distilleries in the region, if not the world. The distillery has eliminated the dumping of wastewater into the ocean, which is, unfortunately, a common practice for rum distilleries in the Caribbean. Don Q rum is a proud partner of the Surfrider Foundation and supports efforts that promote clean and healthy ocean environments.
Don Q sells in the United States, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Spain, and several other countries.
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