A Balancing Act: How Target VP Juan Galarraga Pays it Forward

October 14, 2013 - Article reads in
Juan HHM

As the Vice President of Store Supply Chain and Operations at Target, Juan Galarraga certainly had to work hard to get to where he is today.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Galarraga moved to Miami by himself when he was 18 years old without knowing any English.

“That experience taught me many lessons,” he says. “I was forced to mature at a young age in order to take care of myself in a new country while learning the language. I also learned to get up quickly after making mistakes.”

Between learning a new language and going to school on a college soccer scholarship, all while finding his footing (pun intended) in a new country, Galarraga started working for Target as a team leader unloading trucks during the night shift.

Nearly 15 years later, he is responsible for the overall development, implementation and execution of all of Target’s store supply chain tactics and strategies. (Basically, making sure that guests can always find what they’re looking for on Target shelves.)

“I am living the American dream,” he says.

“From the moment I first moved to this country, I learned to work hard, dream big and, most importantly, never forget where I came from. I owe my career success to my parents, who instilled those values in me at a very young age.”

And now, Galarraga is paving the way for other Hispanic team members and leaders. In addition to his VP role, he serves as the executive sponsor for Target’s Hispanic Business Counsel (HBC). The HBC defines strategies to hire, retain and develop future Hispanic leaders within the company — just another part of his balancing act as well as part of Target’s mission to celebrate the diverse culture of Hispanic guests.

“Target is focused on providing a guest experience that meets our Hispanic guests’ needs, from a relevant product and brand assortment to relevant marketing to hiring team members that reflect the local community and speak Spanish,” says Galarraga.

“Most importantly, I want to help others with similar backgrounds achieve their goals,” he adds. “I know I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the many Hispanic role models I’ve had over the years. The Hispanic Business Council is the best tool I have to pay it forward.”

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