Veronica Segovia is always the first person to walk through the doors of Baron Chemical Co., Inc., each morning. She wants to make sure that someone is there when Oscar Fatuch, Baron’s 91-year-old owner, comes in for the day. And yet, she is usually also the last one to leave, not departing until all her work is finished for the day. She receives no commission, but sets and reaches her own sales goals. Her strong work ethic just comes naturally.

“Hard work is in my blood thanks to my parents. My parents are farm workers and they taught me the ropes to work,” Segovia says. “They said it’s very important that you are on time and make sure you finish your work. It’s better to leave late and have everything done. My dad taught me right.”

This strong work ethic was put to the test early. When Fatuch took over the 
El Paso-based company in 1986, Segovia was one of only three employees to survive the buy-out. She was only 20-years-old and working in receivables, but Fatuch believed she could succeed at sales if she tried hard enough.

Segovia didn’t let him down. She called her customer list non-stop, even when she went on leave to have her baby just months later. Even today, directed or not, she follows up on her complete list of clients once a month to see how everyone is doing on supplies.

Despite a new owner and a rookie salesperson, clients stuck by the company. And 25 years later, more than 90 percent of the pre-acquisition customers still currently do business with Baron — and a big part of the reason has to do with their rapport with Segovia.

Clients know that Segovia will always put the customer first — and they love her for it. When orders are placed, it’s not uncommon for her to check in with the warehouse manager or delivery drivers to double-check the status.

“She knows all the customers and she takes care of them,” says Lea Fatuch, vice president and co-owner. “She’s just such a hard worker; even if she wasn’t at Baron, she’d be a hard worker.”

Her strong work ethic even extends beyond sales. In small companies it’s not unusual for employees to wear a variety of hats. But to call Segovia a multi-tasker would be an understatement. She has no college degree or formal training, but still took it upon herself to learn a multitude of operations — from sales to account payables to purchasing.

“She just steps in and does it. She won’t say ‘That’s not my job,’” says Fatuch. “She knows everything about the company. She could do everything by herself. She’s like a one-woman show.”

For example, when the purchasing manager was let go, Segovia not only took over the job, but she started doing it better; saving the company money while increasing her sales volume.

“I’m a fast learner, I have a good memory,” she says. “I can recite numbers off the bat.”

She’s not kidding. Known as a “walking phone book” at home and “walking inventory” at Baron, ask Segovia for a phone number or product code number and she’ll recall it of the top of her head.

“I deal with so many customers day-in and day-out. I’m always working with numbers. I just learned to remember every code in the book,” she explains. “It’s been 28 years, c’mon, you have to be able to remember one thing or another.”

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