Champions of Customer Connection

:: Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Over the last century and a half, U.S. Borax has built an unparalleled legacy of borate knowledge and experience. We’ve become the trusted resource for all things borates among industry, manufacturing, and agricultural producers worldwide.

And, how do our customers stay connected to us—across miles, through pandemics, and during disruptions? Through our sales teams.

Our sales leaders provide their teams with the resources and tools they need to meet customer needs—supported by a strong backbone of knowledge and industry experience.

Meet the leaders in borate sales

The sales leaders bring extensive experience with borate products—and deep knowledge of the industries and applications that use them.

George Zhang: Country Manager, China

George Zhang's portrait“Fostering a fun work environment is essential to help the team to have a more positive mindset, enjoy better well-being, and support mental health. It also makes the team more productive, creative, and engaged.”

Experienced serving customers in China, George stands out as the sales leader with the longest tenure at U.S. Borax.

Before taking on his current role, George worked for more than five years in Rio Tinto procurement as a raw materials manager in Shanghai. He says his procurement experience provided essential preparation for sales. “It helped me truly understand what matters from the buyer’s perspective and what influences the purchase decision.”  › George's bio

Adam Brodie: Sales Director, Americas

“It’s great to be in an organization that serves such diverse industries in a global market. The amazing thing is that for the last two years, we’ve been effectively serving that global market from our living rooms—and still somehow getting it done.”

Adam understands the significance of the pivot to virtual sales relationships. Throughout his decade in the borates industry, he has created personal connections with customers—traveling to their locations, seeing manufacturing operations, and walking through fields with growers and agronomists.

The global pandemic forced him and his team to serve customers virtually just as well as they had in person. “Our accessibility to customers is essential. Our sales reps live and work in the regions they serve, so they understand both the culture and the businesses. That enables us to help our customers get the greatest value from the products they buy from us.”

Matt Kulmar: Senior Sales Manager, Asia-Pacific

Matthew Kulmar's portrait“I love living and doing business in Asia. I have lived in China and Singapore for the past 10 years and I find the cultural diversity as well the dynamic pace of business in Asia truly exciting.”

The Asia-Pacific region is vast—ranging across mountains and deserts, islands and rain forests. And the industries and customers that U.S. Borax serves are just as varied. That variety is what Matt loves most.

His immersion in the region serves Matt well as he works to bring together the resources needed to provide individualized solutions for customers. His background in procurement informs his leadership approach. “I understand the importance of consistent quality, security of supply, and the value of close partnerships between suppliers and buyers to maximize the value of the relationship.”  › Matt's bio

Javier Jusué de Olives: Senior Sales Manager, EIMEA

Javier Jusue de Olives's portrait“Companies are people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand companies. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend, but you do have to understand their needs.”

Javier joined U.S. Borax after 17 years with another global mineral producer, bringing with him a rich experience of sales development and distribution. His background spans a wide range of applications including polymers, agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and animal feed.

Born and raised in Spain, Javier has traveled and worked across borders for his entire career. He speaks multiple languages—fluent in Spanish, Catalan, Italian, and English and conversational in French, German, and Portuguese. He believes it’s important to converse with people in their own language when possible. “After all,” he says, “there’s always something lost in translation.”  › Javier's bio

Building connections that make a difference

If you sense that that our sales leaders share many common values, you’re right. For our global teams, customer relationships are the foundation of everything we do.

“We’re definitely not your door-to-door or cold-calling kind of sales organization,” says Adam. “We build trust with customers, take the time to understand their needs, and bring extensive knowledge of why and how they use our products.”

Those relationships start with open communication, says George. “Our team maintains open communication with our customers—and that communication goes both ways. The sales reps are always listening for customer feedback—whether it’s a compliment or a complaint—to continuously improve their service and relationships.”


Collaboration and education

As the sales teams spend time with customers, they soon become a key consultative resource. Sales reps are able to access resources from across the company, including the technical support and product stewardship teams, as well as outside research partners such as universities and professional agronomists. 

“These connections and resources matter because we and our customers need to understand why our product works, how it works, and the actual technical difference it will make for your application or crop,” says Adam.

Sales teams consult with industrial customers, who are under constant pressure to reduce costs. We help organizations optimize logistics costs and inventory management—and provide expert recommendations for best product use. Our sales teams are often the point of contact when customers have inquiries about borate-related finished product analysis, customs clearance, product stewardship, and market information.

Likewise, we are actively invested in aiding agricultural producers. Our sales and technical teams collaborate with our agriculture customers in crop trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of borates—an important micronutrient used in fertilizers to improve both crop yield and quality.

We also work closely with distributors to ensure our partners understand the end value of the products they carry—and that they see sell-through. Our knowledge and accessibility is just as important in distributor relationships as it is with our direct customers.

Leadership = Empowerment

Providing such a rich customer experience is no small feat, and our leaders understand that their primary role is ensuring their teams have everything they need to succeed. And that means wearing many hats.

Matt says, “My role is about stakeholder engagement and supporting the team to service our customers. This starts with ensuring that we understand our market so that we have the skills, expertise, products, and commercial frameworks available to create value for our customers.”

What you need, when you need it

At U.S. Borax, sales are more than transactions, and sales representatives are more than order takers. The sales team’s experienced guidance helps our customers make informed decisions, consider best practices and creative alternatives, and support the innovations that keep modern life moving.

Javier knows that we often get back as much as we give to our customers. He says, “When our customers value our connection, we create synergies and discover opportunities for new developments. Those sparks come from our customers.”

If you’re looking for a borate supplier who is invested in your business’ success, contact your regional U.S. Borax sales team.




U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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