Employee Spotlight: Amanda Thorbjornsen, HR Manager, North America

Amanda Thorbjornsen spent the first half of her career honorably serving in the United States Air Force. Today, she uses that experience to make her the best HR leader for our team in Samson, Alabama. Hear more about her journey.


Your full name: Amanda Thorbjornsen


Your city and country: Samson, Alabama


Your job title: HR Manager


Your functional area: Human Resources


Q: How long have you been with ofi?

Almost 7 years.


Q: What brought you to ofi? What was your experience before coming to ofi?

I did not know anything about ofi before getting hired here. I even had to google peanuts before my interview to see how they were grown.


I was unable to find a job for about 6 months after moving to Alabama and I believe that it was fate that led me to this job.


Q: What has your journey at ofi been like? Have you experienced promotions or switched departments, roles, etc.?

I was hired at ofi as an Administrative Assistant. Then about a year and a half later, I was promoted to the Human Resources department.


Q: What’s the most exciting part about your job?

The people. I love being able to make a positive impact in someone’s life.


Q: What has been your favorite moment at ofi so far?

We did 12 days of Christmas last year for our employees and I loved it. We had little gifts each day with a different theme. It took a lot of hard work, but I received amazing feedback from the employees and am looking forward to doing it again this year.


Q: Our company purpose is ‘be the change for good food and a healthy future.’ In what way do you live our purpose through your work and how might that align with anything you learned during your military service?

As HR, I believe it’s important to hire employees and train existing employees on the importance and meaning of our purpose. I believe that everyone should take pride in what they do, by providing a product that will eventually feed millions of people, they are helping to make the world a better place.


Q: Thank you for your service. Can you share what branch of the military you were in and how long you served?

I was in the United States Air Force for 8 years.


Q: How would you explain your military service to someone with no military background?

I worked in Knowledge Operations Management, my primary focus was records keeping, some basic IT work and writing/reviewing/approving Enlisted Performance Reviews and Officer Performance Reviews.


I was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming for 6 years, then Dayton, Ohio for 2 years and I was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan for 6 months. I received 3 Achievement Medals and 2 Commendation Medals within the 8 years of service.


Q: How has your military experience influenced your leadership style?

The military was very black and white with all of their rules, but the best leaders that I had wouldn’t just lead and expect others to follow. They would partner with us, show us support and then let us lead the way. This is how I like to lead today.