UB’s very own selected as a Fellow at Newman’s Own Foundation

Juan Muñoz sits beside a countertop with Newman's Own products

Above: Juan Muñoz at Newman's Own headquarters in Westport, Connecticut.

Juan Muñoz, a 2019 bachelor in business administration graduate with a marketing concentration, was on a quest to land a position in a mission-driven organization with a goal of giving back for the betterment of society.

Muñoz, a native of Bogota, Colombia, in South America, discovered what he describes as an incredible fellowship with Newman’s Own Foundation in Westport, Connecticut. “I feel so fortunate to be chosen along with 13 other fellows to work and learn from the best.”

Dispersed across the United States, the 2019-2020 Newman’s Own Foundation Fellows bring the foundation’s mission to selected charitable organizations that currently includes California, New York, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Connecticut. Muñoz considers it a true honor to be selected for a fellowship in the foundation’s Westport headquarters.

“The Fellowship program, designed for recent college graduates planning to work in the non-profit sector, includes five leadership development sessions over 12 months,” he said. “The program is perfect for me as it matches my interest in marketing with that of an organization that gives back in a big way.”

Newman’s Own Foundation gives the profits from the sale of Newman’s Own products to charity. According to the organization’s website, all profits since its launch in 1982, totaling more than $550 million, go to thousands of charities and reach millions of people.

Muñoz said he did not know who Paul Newman was when he applied for the fellowship. “I did not yet know what he did or what he stood for, but I have learned that he carried himself with a good deal of humility and had a big heart for his community,” he added.

So much more than his Hollywood stardom and the world’s most famous blue eyes, Muñoz describes Paul Newman as a legendary movie star with a genuine social conscience before it became fashionable. Remembered as much for his standout performances as he is for his good works, Newman was and is an inspiration for all time.

Thirty-seven years ago when Newman established Newman’s Own along with his friend A.E. Hotchner, he articulated the purpose for giving all the profits away:

“I want to acknowledge luck. The benevolence of it in my life and the brutality of it in the lives of others.”

Newman's Own Foundation was established by Paul Newman in 2008 to continue using the power of giving to help transform lives and nourish the common good.

A typical workday for Muñoz starts early due to a regimen he developed as a soccer player on UB’s soccer team where he played goalkeeper under Coach Pete Doneit’s direction.

"At UB, Juan was a purpose-driven student who continually set high-achieving goals, excelled in and out of the classroom, and enhanced his entrepreneurial skills,” said Elena Cahill, director of the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business.

Like his time at UB, Juan carries out his fellowship responsibilities with a strong sense of duty. “I understand the priorities of the Newman’s Own Foundation and the significance of continuing to strengthen the brand and Paul Newman’s legacy.”

Every day he comes to work feeling on top of the world. Muñoz believes that Newman’s Own Foundation is a gold mine for learning the fundamentals of promoting a purpose-driven brand and engaging individuals who seek transformational change through an open heart and generous spirit.

“While working in the Communication Department as a fellow, I have the opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm,” he said. “I love being part of the conversation and helping to impact this powerhouse of philanthropy.”

In a communicator role, he works with his supervisor in delivering the organization’s mission across social media channels.

“Juan is full of enthusiasm and great ideas, and we welcome his contributions to the communications efforts at Newman’s Own Foundation,” said Jennifer Smith Turner, Interim President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. “Our Fellowship program provides great opportunities for the Fellows and host organizations to benefit from the experience, and we’re very grateful to have Juan on board with us.”

Crediting UB for preparing him in various ways for this high-level fellowship, Muñoz said, “My studies helped me to build an integrated marketing campaign from the ground up, understand consumer behavior, manage risk effectively, and understand the power behind a strong brand. I was able to apply these skills in different internships while at UB, which gave me the experience to thrive at my fellowship.”

Muñoz said that Dr. Nikki Wingate challenged him to plan strategically, think outside the box, and use data to make smart business decisions.

From homemade salad dressing, to popcorn, to peanut butter cups, and more—Muñoz is part of an organization that changes the world with one quality product and quality person after another.