I am a native of Greece, from the small town of Gythion. I immigrated to the United States in September of 1965, knowing very little English. After graduating from St. Basil’s College, formerly of New York but now located in Boston, with a degree in education, I got my first job with Saint Thomas’ Greek Orthodox Church of New Jersey, as a school teacher and administrator.

I educated youth in the Cherry Hill area for 18 years in my role with the church. This is also how I was introduced to Mr. Andreas Economou, a pragmatic businessman who offered me a position in the accounting department of his company. After such service to my community in education and learning, I felt it was time to learn something new myself and accepted the position Mr. Economou offered me with excitement and a bit of trepidation.

Looking back after 28 years of work with Mr. Economou, it seems absurd that I was ever nervous to accept the position all those years ago. I had practical experience in many aspects of math and accounting, but the fruit industry was a completely new field to me. It was difficult to start—there was so much to learn, but I learned quickly. I began as an accounting clerk, persevering through sheer grit and determination to eventually head the receivables department. I have advanced my role and my knowledge through hard work and dedication, but if it were not for Mr. Andreas Economou pushing me to work harder, to never give up and be the best that I could be, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Because all Tastyfrutti employees treated me with respect, so much interest and closeness, I felt I was with family.

While I had previous experience in many areas, the fruit business was a new experience—but with the help and support of Mr. Economou, I learned a great deal and I have enjoyed working at Tastyfrutti for many years.

I am very proud to have been associated with this company and my team of coworkers, and I remain eternally grateful for every opportunity and the trust the company placed in me.