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Armando Montoya, senior manufacturing manager

“There’s just something so meaningful in the work we do here. You feel good about what you do every single day.”

Although I’ve been with Prolacta for 15 years, I can still remember the excitement I felt after walking out of my first interview like it was yesterday.

It was 2005, and I had been working as a manufacturing supervisor at a therapeutics company for 12 years when I was approached about joining Prolacta.

I was completely fascinated with the idea of creating 100% human milk–based nutritional products, and inspired by the potential to impact the lives of thousands of fragile babies worldwide. It was a mission that I just knew I had to be a part of, so I immediately accepted the position of manufacturing manager.

During my first year on the job, I was charged with finding an instrument that could analyze human breastmilk for things like fat, protein, and calories, and then pasteurize and fortify the milk to create our life-saving products. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy feat. However, if there’s one thing I love about working at Prolacta it’s that we persevere as a team. Throwing in the towel and giving up is simply not in our company culture’s DNA. What is in our DNA is innovative, outside-the-box thinking.

So, I researched everything from food and dairy equipment to pharmaceutical and finally identified what we needed to bring our breastmilk analysis to life.

Today, my team and I work to ensure that we always have product available to serve the nutritional needs of premature infants, and I am proud to say that we continuously achieve that. More than 63,000 premature infants worldwide have experienced proven clinical benefits from our 100% human milk–based nutritional products. This is because everyone here at Prolacta is passionately committed to what they do.

I love the people I work with and often spend time with them outside of work. I organize a yearly barbeque for all of us to get together. We setup in the parking lot and I cook up the meat and everyone brings different sides and drinks. It’s a fun occasion that we all look forward to.

"I’ve been with the company since the early days, and although we have grown by leaps and bounds, that small company vibe still exists. We’re truly a family and committed to what we do."

Prolacta has provided me with wonderful opportunities over the years. I am grateful to have played a role in our initial clinical trial and other key studies. It’s amazing to think of all that we have accomplished.

In fact, I am reminded every day of just how far we’ve come. In our conference room sits our original pasteurization tank enclosed in a glass case. That tank had the capacity to concentrate 80 liters of donor milk into five liters of our fortifier. Today, we just processed 3500 liters of donor milk into 475 liters of our fortifier. This was our largest batch to date and will help hundreds of infants throughout the world.

“I often get asked what my biggest accomplishment is at Prolacta and the answer is simple – helping to save the lives of fragile babies.”