During his college years, Tim Ingle received incredible internship opportunities at Walt Disney World in Florida. However, when it was time to choose a career after graduating, he defied expectations, and instead of joining the folks at Disney, he joined a small organization in Indiana. This was in 1991, and since then, Ingle has been an integral part of the seventy-five-year-old tomato processing company, Red Gold.
“I took the path less traveled,” he says. “I chose this small company where I could have a big impact and learn a whole new business. Back then we were not the biggest, but we focused on being the very best.”
Ingle started as a production supervisor and was given the opportunity to learn about many different areas of the company. Within two years, he was asked to run Red Gold’s new plant in Ohio. This was the springboard for the rest of his career, as he was able to truly learn about people and the value of having loyal, dedicated employees.
“The company was growing so fast that at that point, I thought I would become a plant manager and subsequently a pure manufacturing path. But, I liked the whole focus on developing people and so I became the director of Human Resources at the age of 26,” he says.
In 2012, as he got involved with corporate planning and strategy, he was promoted to the Vice President of Human Resources, responsible for setting the company’s high-level goals and the long-term planning process. Having appropriate metrics to measure their ability to develop talent internally is important to Ingle.
“We want to be able to recruit and retain the best folks in the tomato industry and set ourselves apart from our competitors. Making talent an advantage is key to the company. Being able to develop people is a priority. We also look at ways in which we can manage our employee benefits and make our employees happy and healthy, whether it is their actual physical health or their emotional health, and also invest in their retirement and financial well-being,” he says.
Ingle, as a leader, is known to set lofty goals while believing in the power of persistence. He likes to surround himself with talented people and wants to create opportunities for them to create their own legacy accomplishments someday.
With this in mind, he has partnered with high schools and vocational schools, as well as with the Anderson statewide campus of Purdue University.
“We really have a huge impact in terms of developing the local workforce and we invest in their future. We allow those communities to be very viable and have kids coming out of high school or college and have opportunities for them to make a great living,” Ingle says.
The culture Ingle has cultivated at Red Gold is very employee driven. He mentions he is lucky to have self-motivated employees who invented the company’s mission statement to produce the freshest best testing tomato products in the world. And so, he follows the words of Walt Disney that says you can dream big, but you need people to make that dream a reality.
“We can have big, lofty goals but we need a lot of people excited and engaged to make those goals a reality,” he says.
Apart from focusing on the welfare of the people working with him, he is also involved in giving back to the communities they operate within. Alleviating hunger is important to Red Gold and their annual run to crush hunger program has donated over a quarter of million dollars in the last six years, along with millions of pounds of food across the entire United States. Ingle has also served on the board of directors to support the Migrant Head Start program to help migrant children with education.
Under the leadership of Ingle, the Human Resources department of Red Gold has always created an impact in the education sector. They are currently working on a career center to fuel economic growth and prosperity in the Midwest.
“Whether students end up working for us someday or working for another great company, we want to basically put the technical career and technical education back into some of the opportunities for young people coming out of high school. If they are not sure what they want to do, where they want to go, or may not be able to afford a particular university, Red Gold can offer the key to their success. This will be great for economic and workforce development, while providing a great model to follow nationally,” Ingle says.