Back to Our Roots: Conquering The World … of Desserts

PreGel AMERICA (PGA) caters to the greater market of the entire U.S., including Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. territories, but that’s not all. The “AMERICA” in the name means PGA also encompasses the continents of North and South America. I know you are thinking you’ve heard of PreGel CANADA and PreGel MEXICO, both which are wholly owned subsidiaries, and you are right. But when it comes down to operations, centralization is the name of the game and one savvy, multilingual lady is leading the way.

PreGel AMERICA oversees the subsidiaries PreGel CANADA (PGCA), PreGel MEXICO (PGMX) and PreGel BRAZIL (PGBR), and heading it all up is Subsidiaries Manager Jeannette Pantani. Fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and by now a chairman-level frequent flyer and Skype aficionado, Pantani serves as head liaison between the home office (PGA) and each subsidiary. While each location has personnel to run its day-to-day operations and efficiently serve its markets, the supply chain, communications and structural development of each lead back to the home office in Concord, NC.

The role Pantani has is a unique one which requires her to wear multiple hats and dabble in all aspects of business. The lessons and models that PGA has experienced as it grows have proven to be a good guide for the subsidiaries, despite outright market differences – allowing Pantani to draw from them, tweak accordingly and implement them. The vast responsibilities of her position include dealing with import/export regulations, planning trade shows and trainings, managing product stocks and sales, budgeting, serving as an HR liaison and hiring new faces within the subsidiaries. No two days are the same for Pantani.

On most days, however, she is on a plane. Already an accomplished world traveler, having lived in the U.S., Italy, Colombia and Venezuela, Pantani spends at least two weeks of every month at one of the aforementioned subsidiaries and/or at events, demos and meetings within the regions. A mother of a college-bound daughter and another high school-aged daughter, Pantani finds it hard to be away so much, but she also recognizes that the subsidiaries are also like growing children and she understands that they need her attention as well.

When Pantani isn’t traveling, her reality only furthers the argument that global businesses can be run across miles and miles of oceans and terrain. To do this, Skype is perhaps the strongest tool in her arsenal. To stay abreast of the goings-on of each subsidiary, Pantani religiously uses Skype to conduct business and check in with the faces she manages so far away. Pantani is a modern-day manager who understands the balance of being everywhere at once and making her presence known, whether in person or via computer screen, and this savviness is what fosters success for both her and PreGel’s North and South America subsidiaries.