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Joe Catron, Hop Pro and Tidal Leadership Grad

Joe is the Quality Assurance Manager for Select Botanicals, LLC, and a Tidal Leadership Program graduate Joe and his daughter

Muddy jeans and a hard work-ethic, Joe Catron doesn’t consider himself a lack-luster, suit-and-tie type of leader and yet he leads a team as the Quality Assurance Manager for Select Botanicals Group, LLC, fueling his passion for breeding new hop varieties, a passion he never thought would come to fruition.

Catron graduated with a bachelor of arts in cultural anthropology from Western Washington University, thinking he was set to be a high school history teacher or even–a  rock star. Soon after graduating, he toured the country as a founding member of the rock band, Cody Beebe and the Crooks.

But even with the new knowledge about the world and his exploration of it, he realized his true passion was back home in Yakima.

He started home-brewing beer before entering one of his creations into a competition, winning first prize as an amateur.

After the competition and one too many beers in, Catron met a guy named Jason and discussed at length to him about his passion for brewing beer.

“I’m a plant geek and a beer geek,” he said.

The next day Catron received an email from Jason who turned out to be Jason Perrault, who Catron calls a rock star in the hops industry. Perrault is the creator of Simcoe and other top hop varieties as well in charge of breeding at Select Botanicals, LLC.

Perrault offered Catron an internship for the summer which ended with a job in the hop chemistry lab, becoming full-time by the next spring.

Catron then set out to get his master’s degree in agriculture at Washington State University.

Joe on a forklift

With his heavy course load, he stumbled upon the Tidal Leadership Program, hoping to take an easy class to lighten the load.

What he found was a lot more than he expected.

“It was a lot of work,” he said. “A lot of work on yourself, work on how you fit (into society), mentally taxing in a good way.”

Catron has always considered himself a stubborn man, in a good way, always trying to get things done himself without the help of others. His passion showed through caring for his family, investing in others and cultivating both land and thoughts.

However, soon into the Tidal Leadership Program, he discovered he had a lot of room to grow both personally and professionally.

“I allowed myself to be in others’ perspectives, to suspend my own beliefs, put myself in others’ shoes,” he said.

Catron‘s unique experiences have allowed him to attract many varieties of people in his life. With that variety, however, came many different perspectives. He said the program pushed him to recognize them and learn patience.

“There are 7 billion people in the world and each one of the them are different,” he said. “I do things a particular way, but others can get there on an alternate path.”

In addition to gaining patience, what he largely gained was developing mindfulness and personal wellbeing.

“I’m not going to accomplish anything by myself, but I’m a really good teammate,” he said. “Doesn’t matter what the title is, it’s being part of the greater whole.”

Catron continues to work toward his master’s and lead his team as the Quality Assurance Manager at Select Botanicals, LLC, taking time to grow his skills as a leader and as a man.

“I feel like I’m a better person,” he said.

Katie Shadler, PR Specialist