< Company Core Values
Our diverse workforce is critical to the success of our business and our employees are attracted to our facile environment and culture of innovation, creativity, and flexibility. We share our employees’ commitment and drive to make a difference in the world through positive contributions to science, agriculture, and society around us. We strive to recruit, cultivate and retain the best people to work in a supportive environment where all employees can flourish. We value the sharing of ideas and the initiative to speak freely at all levels of the organization. Continually improving the way we work together and develop our skilled workforce and leaders remains a focus for our ongoing success.
In addition to our approximately 626 employees, AMVAC utilizes temporary contract labor in certain situations to perform various duties, mostly related to product packaging. The contract work force is clearly informed of the temporary nature of their employment and is compensated fairly for the work they perform.
Code of Conduct and Ethics
AMVAC’s Code of Conduct and Ethics applies to all employees company-wide, including the Board of Directors, and addresses a variety of issues including harassment and discrimination, political activity, conflicts of interest, environmental responsibility, and compliance. A copy of the Code is available on the Company intranet and the American Vanguard website (www.american-vanguard.com) and employees are periodically trained on Code provisions. Employees are encouraged to report activities or actions that do not conform to the Code and are provided access to EthicsPoint, a central reporting system that can receive reports via phone or intranet 24 hours per day, 364 days per year. All reports are confidential and fully investigated by the Audit Committee of the Board, for securities or accounting issues, or by the Office of the General Counsel for all other matters.
Compensation and Benefits
In addition to wages, incentive compensation, paid vacation, life and disability insurance, annual merit increases and a 401K plan with a 5% match, we provide an exceptional package of other benefits. For example, we are one of the only public companies that make annual awards of equity to our entire, fulltime workforce, both domestic and foreign. Through equity awards, we enable our employees to share in our success and to take a longer term view of the company more in keeping with that of our other shareholders. In addition, all employees are eligible to participate in the company’s employee stock purchase plan, under which, through payroll deductions, participants may accumulate shares of the company’s common stock at a discount.
Our domestic health program is among the most generous among those offered by public companies. In addition to our dental and vision benefits, we offer a medical plan, which is self-insured by the company, and features access to the largest networks of providers in the U.S. and includes unusually low copays, deductible amounts and annual out-of-pocket maximums. In addition, on average the company pays in excess of 95% of the cost of claims and has kept the low, monthly premium for the past several years, despite significant increases in healthcare costs nationally. Employees may also elect to subscribe to a high deductible savings plan, toward which the company makes an annual contribution, and from which the employee may accumulate a fund for payment of healthcare costs that can be used beyond the current plan year.
AMVAC Fellowship Program Benefits Both Employees and the Company
Lisiane Zeni joined AMVAC in 2013 as Formulation Chemist in the Technology Department at AMVAC’s Glenn A. Wintemute Research Center in Commerce, California. Already equipped with a Master’s degree in analytical chemistry, Lisiane soon identified a great opportunity to better transfer laboratory scale processes to the manufacturing plant by pursuing a Master’s in chemical engineering.
With the support of AMVAC’s Fellowship Program and the mentorship of her supervisor, Humberto Lopez, Director of Formulation and Johann Venter, Vice President of Technology, Lisiane earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from University of Southern California (USC) in 2017. AMVAC’s fostering and flexible environment helped Lisiane balance the two-and-a-half year challenge of attending one of the top graduate schools in engineering with working full-time and raising a family. (Featured in Chemical Engineering News, March 28, 2016). It was during her last semester at USC that Lisiane and husband Diego learned they were expecting their second child. AMVAC’s generous health insurance benefits and maternity leave policies also gave peace of mind to Lisiane, who continued to attend evening classes.
Lisiane was born and raised in Brazil, surrounded by soybean fields and, as a child, developed a true passion for agriculture. Joining the graduate program at USC brought her one-step closer to her personal and career goal of helping feed the world through innovative technology. She felt a true sense of honor and value upon her acceptance into AMVAC’s Fellowship Program.
"I am certain that the knowledge and skills acquired have enabled me to make an even more meaningful contribution towards the growth of the organization."
Lisiane said, “I am extremely thankful and honored that AMVAC encouraged, supported and provided me the golden opportunity to advance my career. I am certain that the knowledge and skills acquired have enabled me to make an even more meaningful contribution towards the growth of the organization.”
When asked to describe AMVAC’s direction in formulation development, Lisiane said, “A great variety of product formulations and wide range of application equipment should serve to ensure that our current and future agricultural scenario will regularly create new challenges, and opportunities, for formulation scientists to deliver innovative products that stand out from our competition. It is a big and exciting challenge!”
Since 2010, AMVAC’s employee wellness program has emphasized the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle and has enjoyed increased employee engagement with an ever-evolving program. As of 2018, the program has included:
- Biometric testing
- Health risk assessment
- Health, nutrition, and fitness coaching
- Lifestyle management programs
- Activity, weight-loss, and healthy cooking challenges
- Educational outreach via videos, books, speakers, on-line programs
- Stress-relief techniques
- Financial planning
- Races, mud runs, and fun runs that benefit local charitable causes
- Fitness center at Los Angeles Manufacturing Plant
A Success Story: Beverly Robinson, Axis, AL Manufacturing Plant
In 2016, AMVAC Purchasing Manager Beverly Robinson had been experiencing weight loss, lack of sleep, and feeling lethargic, all symptoms that she attributed to stress. Upon her return from a well-deserved vacation with her family, Beverly participated in AMVAC’s annual On-Site Fasting Biometric Screening event.
Shortly after the biometric screening at AMVAC, Beverly received a call from a Health Coach regarding her results, which indicated a glucose level three times above the normal level. With that information, and Beverly’s description of her recent symptoms, the Health Coach strongly urged Beverly seek immediate medical attention. Upon examination by her physician, it turned out that she was at risk of suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious but treatable condition from complications related to diabetes. Beverly received medical treatment from her physician, along with medication and a health regimen to control her diabetes.
Beverly is extremely grateful for AMVAC’s Employee Wellness Program. “The program saved my life and I’m thankful for our health insurance”, Beverly said. Recently, Beverly joined AMVAC’s volunteer Employee Wellness Team, with a mission to encourage employee participation, promote wellness at our Axis, AL facility, and improve the overall health of her colleagues.
Employee Development and Training
We strive to bring our employees’ potential to life through a culture of continuous learning and we are committed to empowering employees to succeed in their careers. We provide an extensive array of training, such as safety training in both general and job-specific topics or communication, management and other ‘soft skills’. We support employee attendance at workshops and conferences that enhance employees’ skills and value to the Company. Employees are encouraged to pursue personal and professional growth opportunities whether on the job, in the classroom or by connecting with peers.
Driving Employee Engagement and Corporate Culture
AMVAC continues our commitment to our talented employees by encouraging positive engagement throughout our pipeline. In an initiative supported by our Executive Team, we are enhancing internal communication by launching our first internal mobile application, AMVAC Connect. As our workforce grows globally and multi-generationally, the timely dissemination of crucial information within our organization becomes more of a priority.
AMVAC Connect is a convenient platform by which to communicate information about our products, employee benefits and corporate news. More importantly, AMVAC Connect promotes our core values, recognizes employee achievements and involvement in our local communities, and is invaluable in driving our corporate culture of team recognition, spirit and collaboration globally.
With the use of modern technology, we are sharing the responsibility of communication to our widely distributed workforce and delivering a sense of purpose and motivation throughout our team as we continue our work towards a more sustainable workplace and future.
American Vanguard is an equal opportunity employer that respects the rights of each of us as individuals, regardless of age, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, religion, national origin, or disability, and in addition to any other characteristic protected by federal, state, and local laws. We operate in a region of low risk for human rights abuses with all of our manufacturing facilities located in the U.S. We are unequivocally opposed to the use of child labor or forced labor, while supporting an individual’s personal liberty to freely associate without fear of retribution. We believe all employees have a right to work in an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and fear of retribution. Our company-wide policy prohibits such behavior, and we train employees regularly to prevent workplace discrimination, harassment and retribution.