Recently, U.S. Sugar’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Judy Clayton Sanchez was honored with Ragan Communication’s “Top Women in Communications” Hall of Fame award, which is awarded to the nation’s very best female communicators that have set themselves apart from their peers in the industry.
Sanchez has served as U.S. Sugar’s top spokesperson and communications lead for just over 30 years. She is a member of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, Agriculture Communicators of Florida and also serves on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Trade Advisory Council (ATAC) on Sweeteners.
Sanchez was honored on May 25 at a luncheon in West Palm Beach and joined by U.S. Sugar’s public affairs team, her son Matt and husband Julio, and communications professionals she has worked with over the past few decades.
Sanchez grew up in and around farms in Florida and Louisiana and that made her uniquely qualified and extremely passionate about communicating complex processes involved in farming to the public. She started at U.S. Sugar in October of 1993, earning a seat at the table in a room mostly filled with men.
“She is not only a mentor to other women, but she also earns the respect of the men with whom she works,” said Jeanmarie Ferrara, EVP of Wragg & Casas. Ferrara recalls working with Sanchez in the mid-90s when Judy “became the face of U.S. Sugar.” She recalls Sanchez being a pioneer in advocating for the Communications Department invariably being a part of the overall development and decision-making process of a corporation.
Knowing the company’s mission and being able to execute the vision in a highly effective and purposeful way is what puts Sanchez in the top tier of communications professionals across this country. Acute knowledge of all the industries that touch U.S. Sugar and perfecting the education and information process, places her in an elite category. Sanchez has been a leader in corporate stewardship making sure it is an integral part of U.S. Sugar’s culture.
“Judy is a leader among her peers in the communications world, and our rural farming region has benefitted significantly because of her strong voice,” said former Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who represents Sanchez’s hometown of Belle Glade. “Her vast knowledge and skill in educating people about the importance of agriculture have served our community very well over the years.”