Welcome to The Vital Life, where we spotlight Vital Proteins® employees. This week, Senior Manager Of Product Development & Commercialization, Luis Vargas, gives us a look inside his day working remotely.
Lively: Thanks for sharing your day with us, Luis! To kick things off, can you tell us about what you do at Vital Proteins and what you enjoy about your role?
Luis Vargas: Do you ever get excited when you go to vitalproteins.com and see new products all the time? That is what I get to do. I am the Senior Manager of Product Development at Vital Proteins. My team and I oversee every single product from the very first idea until the final products are ready to ship to our consumers. I have worked at multiple food companies, always in engineering and product development, but Vital Proteins is something else. I can tell you the working environment moves at a speed that is reflected in the huge growth of the company. As a scientist, I am proud of all the ingredients and good products we offer, and as a manager, I am in awe of the adaptability, learning and speed that my team works with.
L: Walk us through your morning routine – how has it changed (or not) since staying home?
LV: It has changed a little. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. (I know, this is late for most people). I read my daily devotional to start the day with the right perspective, then go out with my 40 lb. puppy. My wife and I rescued a Redbone Coonhound a year ago, and little did we know, his breed is not a “couch potato” breed. I go on a long walk or run with him, then I get ready and head to the office. At the office, I start my day with a fruit smoothie from our café, with our Original Collagen Peptides. That smoothie gets me through the morning. The product development team spends 90% of their time at the Innovation lab, working on exciting new projects all the time. With no traffic, I’ve been biking to the office.
L: Where have you been getting inspiration for projects or tasks you might be working on throughout the day?
LV: The Vital Proteins team as a whole [inspires me]. It is refreshing to be in an organization that is so passionate about the products we create and focused on results. I have a young and growing team and seeing the hard work, dedication, and passion everyone invests in each project motivates me to keep learning, growing and pushing forward.
L: Lunchtime! What’s your plan?
LV: Lunchtime!!! For me, it's usually a good time to catch up on emails while I enjoy some food. Lately, I’ve been into protein bowls (chicken, brown rice, black beans, cheese). My wife created an oven-fried chicken recipe which is the best chicken I’ve ever tried. I've also been into sandwiches with home-baked bread. Amazing!!!
L: You’re hitting your mid-afternoon slump. How do you re-energize your afternoon?
LV: If I'm working from home, I'll take a 5-minute walk with my dog around the block and reset my mind for the rest of the day.
If I’m in the office, my team and I are working on exciting new products. Tasting new products while we develop them keeps me energized and my collagen intake up! Every kid’s dream is to eat your job (!).
L: How have you been practicing #wellnessfromhome these days?
LV: [I spend my days] trying to be active, biking to and from work (I am guilty of using the pedal assist option too much), long walks, running around the neighborhood with my dog and cardio exercises with my wife. I am grateful for being part of such a vibrant organization that keeps growing and expanding in the midst of a global crisis. This tremendously helps with your mental health.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Podcast? Dr. Charles Stanley and The Dave Ramsey Show. I also just started The Hope We Hold.
Favorite Workout? Doing POPSUGAR workouts with my wife. It's really good to spend time together and burn some calories!
Binge-Worthy Show? The Gilmore Girls (thank you, Pao 😉), The Office and Schitt’s Creek