About Us

Honoring The People
of U.S. Sugar

Welcome

President & CEO Kenneth W. McDuffie

Hi, I’m Ken McDuffie, President and CEO of U.S. Sugar, which has been growing food to feed American families for more than 90 years. And, while we’re proud of that, what truly sets us apart is our people. The culture of U.S. Sugar is unique – we’re a family. The people of U.S. Sugar care about the company; they are a part of the company, and the company is a part of the community. Our farmers include generations of families dedicated to innovating and pushing the boundaries of our vision. This commitment has placed U.S. Sugar at the forefront of sustainable farming, processing, and refining. I’d like to invite you to take a tour of our website and our farms to learn more about our story and our family of dedicated farmers.

At U.S. Sugar, people are the foundation of our sweet success. Our hard working and dedicated employees are the reason we are a recognized leader in the growing and processing of sugarcane, citrus and sweet corn. U.S. Sugar honors its exceptional employees and their years of service during an annual awards ceremony.

Michael Cameron

Michael started working for U.S. Sugar as part of the sugar mill labor crew in 1980. After two seasons, he transferred into the field construction department to work with heavy equipment such as field pumps and excavators on the sugarcane farms.

For the last 15 years, he’s been supervising the crews that maintain farm canals, helping the farmers keep the water that flows into the canal system as clean as possible. Michael takes his responsibility as a steward of the land very seriously, embracing improvements large and small that improve productivity and reduce environmental impact.

Michael and his wife, Sydney, met and married in Clewiston. Michael’s career with U.S. Sugar gave the couple the ability to raise their family in their hometown, including a son who recently graduated from law school at New York University and a daughter who has an environmental law degree from the University of Florida.

"We are constantly looking for improvements in how we do anything that we do. We operate with that in mind. We are always looking to do better."

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"We are constantly looking for improvements in how we do anything that we do. We operate with that in mind. We are always looking to do better."

Loretta Braithwaite

“I was the type of person who wanted to learn,” she said.  “So, I guess when you’re willing and want to learn something, you don’t have a problem with people trying to teach you.”

Loretta Braithwaite

Another proud U.S. Sugar team member, Loretta Braithwaite joined our family shortly after graduating high school and working as a mechanic on a C-130 aircraft. She has been known as a “trailblazer” and “avid learner” from the get go, making history as the firm’s first “lady” truck driver.

“I was the type of person who wanted to learn,” she said.  “So, I guess when you’re willing and want to learn something, you don’t have a problem with people trying to teach you.”

Three decades and several promotions later, Loretta’s still growing in her career as a journeyman machinery operator, a senior position with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.  She says it’s part of an outstanding opportunity that has allowed her to provide for her three children and help put one of her grandchildren through college already.

Carl Stringer

Carl Stringer and his family live on the South Fork of the St. Lucie River in Stuart. Carl, a native of the U.K., moved from Miami 11 years ago to join U.S. Sugar as Chief Information Officer. Today, he is the company’s Vice President of Information Technology and Employee Benefits.

The Stringers, including 14-year-old Cane (serendipitously named before Carl even started working for U.S. Sugar), are passionate about the river. From fishing tournaments to knee boarding, kayaking, tubing or boating with Cane’s classmates, the family spends much of their leisure time on or in the St. Lucie River.

Carl is concerned that lack of knowledge about the real source of water run-off and discharges out of Lake Okeechobee mistakenly colors some of his neighbors’ perceptions about his company and its people.

"My family and I live on the river in Stuart. Its health is important to us. It is equally as important that we understand the issues and work together to find solutions."

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"My family and I live on the river in Stuart. Its health is important to us. It is equally as important that we understand the issues and work together to find solutions."

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"We do a tremendous amount of recycling of our water rather than discharging it, and our best management practices result in far cleaner water leaving our farms!"

Jose “Pepe” Lopez (Retired)

Pepe Lopez met his wife Brenda, a Clewiston girl who had traveled to Spain to study, in Madrid. After completing his engineering degree at the University of Madrid, Pepe moved to Florida and joined U.S. Sugar as a staff engineer.

After 30 years of experience in engineering and water quality issues, Pepe retired as the Director of Water Compliance. He worked closely with U.S. Sugar staff and with the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was responsible for the company’s water quality – permitting, testing, best management practices, reporting and compliance.

"We do a tremendous amount of recycling of our water rather than discharging it, and our best management practices result in far cleaner water leaving our farms!"

Steve Stiles

Steve’s family has worked for U.S. Sugar since 1935. Both of Steve’s parents spent part of their careers with U.S. Sugar and his uncle worked for the company for nearly 20 years.

Steve grew up wanting a career with U.S. Sugar. Once he was hired, with the help of his mentor, he was promoted quickly. Starting out in 1982 servicing trucks, he worked his way up to increasingly higher positions in sugarcane production. Steve now manages a farm of more than 40,000 acres of sugarcane.

I raised my kids right here on a U.S. Sugar farm. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The people who work here are down-to-earth farming types.”

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“I raised my kids right here on a U.S. Sugar farm. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The people who work here are down-to-earth farming types.”

Daniel Rifa

“I don’t want to be anywhere else. I know most of the people who work here. U.S. Sugar provides for my family, for the town of Clewiston and for the other towns around Lake Okeechobee.”

Daniel Rifa

Daniel grew up in Clewiston, went to college at the University of Florida, studied business administration, and came home to work for U.S. Sugar 2 ½ years ago. He started out in the benefits department as a retirement specialist, was promoted to an insurance benefits coordinator and then was recently tapped to be a management trainee in the company’s sweet corn operation – one of the largest in the state.

Daniel’s father, who started out as a field mechanic is now a farm manager overseeing nearly 40,000 acres of sugarcane and managing 50 employees. His mother worked in agricultural administration for U.S. Sugar for 30 years. His cousins also work for the company.

I don’t want to be anywhere else. I know most of the people who work here. U.S. Sugar provides for my family, for the town of Clewiston and for the other towns around Lake Okeechobee.”