Samuel Santos is the epitome of corporate America from his tailored suit to his polished loafers, and Rolex on his left wrist. You would never think that this former executive of a Fortune 500 company spent his formidable years wading through trash on the streets of Brazil. Now, Santos shares how he grew in business and faith with his memoir “In Spite of the Headwinds: My Journey from Waste Picker to Vice-President at a Top-Forty Fortune 500.”
“In Spite of the Headwinds” chronicles Santos’ rise from lowly waste picker to an accomplished 40-year career at Johnson & Johnson. Santos discusses his poverty-stricken upbringing and determination to provide for both himself and his family. He shares his personal story of venturing into manhood, when he leaves his family to obtain an education and find a profitable job that will help provide for those he left behind.
His journey to personal and professional success is hindered by moments of discrimination and familial toils. Nonetheless, Santos remains focused on his business goals and his steadfast Christian convictions.
“In Spite of Headwinds is a unique blend of faith, work in corporate business and diversity,” Santos said. “At times, all I had was my faith as reliance to succeed and move me forward into a better environment – both personally and professionally. You dictate your own path, so long as you trust in God, while embracing courage and perseverance.”
Santos story is one of hope, belief and determination, demonstrating how one’s humble beginnings do not determine their future.
Samuel Moody Santos is an engineer, retired Johnson & Johnson vice president of research and development, ordained minister, husband, father, grandfather, former college professor, career coach, and business consultant. He resides in Tennessee and has also worked and lived in Brazil and China. Brazilian born, Samuel is a U.S. citizen.