Vanessa Faggiolly, EMBA, does not know the meaning of defeat. Starting from nothing, she has been able to attain the American dream. Armed with resilience, a deep love for her family and a lasting connection to her homeland, she – along with her business partner and mother, Nora Saca – transformed a perilous future into a successful business. Furthermore, Ms. Faggiolly relocated to the United States from El Salvador and became a successful business owner.
Amerisal Foods is a certified woman-owned, Central American food distribution company owned by the mother-daughter team, not only became a lucrative means of sustenance for their family, but it also made a profound impact on its employees and their families. The company was purchased as it was on the verge of bankruptcy, and revamped by Ms. Faggiolly and her mother. With operations in Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Alaska, Amerisal Foods has inked deals with major supermarket retailers in the United States. Some of which include Vallarta, El Super, Cardenas, Superior Grocers, Super King, Northgate, Numero Uno Markets, Baja Ranch and R Ranch Markets.
As chief financial officer, Ms. Faggiolly maintains her responsibility for the company’s innovation process, including identifying strategies, technologies and business opportunities, as well as developing new capabilities with partners, new business models and new industries structures. Additionally, she is in charge of overseeing the logistics of the company. This includes communicating with vendors on the availability of products, and ensuring that certain issues such as recalls are dealt with professionally and efficiently.
Ms. Faggiolly is particularly gratified with the work environment that she fosters alongside her mother. While many feel it may be hard to conduct business with a close relative, she finds the relationship fairly rewarding and one of a kind. As a mother-daughter team, Ms. Faggiolly is appreciative of her mother’s ideas and values that the energy is reciprocated accordingly. Outside of her wonderful mother-daughter business dynamic, she also promotes a workspace that allows mistakes for the simple fact of learning and growing from them.
An expert in her field, Ms. Faggiolly earned an associate’s degree from Ave Maria College and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in finance from California State University, Los Angeles. Subsequently, she pursued an executive master’s degree in business management at Pepperdine University. Over the years, Ms. Faggiolly has also completed leadership coursework at the University of Southern California, as well as the 10,000 Goldman and Sachs Small Business program at Los Angeles City College, the SBA Emerging Leaders program and the Inner Cities Capital Connection Initiative Mini Master of Business Administration program.
Ms. Faggiolly currently sits on the executive board of directors at California State University, Los Angeles, where she helps first-generation student leaders become entrepreneurs and gain real life leadership experience. She is very proud of her academic growth because she is the first person in her family to graduate from college. Ms. Faggiolly credits this achievement to her overall personal growth and as an entrepreneur.
In a career filled with several highlights, Ms. Faggiolly is most proud of receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the National Latina Business Women Association in 2016. Likewise, she was presented an award for Business Woman of the Year from the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that year. For Ms. Faggiolly, her deep roots in the Latin American community drives her passion; “we are solving a pain,” she says, “A pain of nostalgia and authenticity.” She sees new generations thousands of miles away from their homeland, tasting her foods and passing down memories and traditions that will last a lifetime. She attributes her success and strong work ethics to her parents, who are both entrepreneurs. They both taught her from a very young age how to purse and achieve dreams.