20 under 40: Carlos Bahena

Carlos Bahena

Owner of Entegro and compliance manager for Bar K Cattle in Sioux Center

SIOUX CENTER—Living in the United States, Iowa or even a small town was not on Carlos Bahena’s radar growing up.

Meeting a Sioux Center native changed all that.

“I’m living Plan B in life and loving it,” said Bahena, who grew up in a city south of Mexico City, an area of about 1.5 million people. “In high school I was really assertive about what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the Mexican ambassador to the UN. At 20 years old, not even graduated from college yet, I got my dream job working for the Mexican Consulate in Omaha. I thought I was doing something right. During that time, I married my wife and once you get married and have family, priorities change.”

They moved in 2011 to Sioux Center where Bahena has worked since 2008 — initially remotely — for Bar K Cattle — owned by his wife’s family — as compliance manager and helps with human resources and safety training for Bar K Cattle employees.

Bahena founded a translation service business in 2012.

In 2016, while at Bar K Cattle, Bahena also co-founded Entegro, which produces and sells the liquid probiotic Flourish and Flourish Jr.

Entegro occupies most of his time, and the company is growing quickly. Flourish is sold throughout the Unites States primarily by independent consultants.

The business operates out of the Bar K Cattle’s Sioux Center office and has a separate lab in Sioux Center where all the probiotics are produced.

“I love working for both companies,” Bahena said. “For Entegro, I know we have a really good product and I know there are a lot of hurting people. My main job is to connect those two. Three out of four Americans suffer for some sort of gut issue and I want to be able to help address that.

“As for Bar K, it’s a really good company to work for. They take care of their employees personally. We have times of prayer, conversation, we try to be real with each other. I appreciate that in a company. We’re a family business but we’re also a business family. We all work together.”

Bahena also serves on the Family Crisis Centers Board of Directors and on an advisory board for the Northwestern College Business Department and was the president of Sioux Center Citizens for Community Excellence, which assisted with the Sioux Center School District bond proposal. He also is involved in advocating for the local Latino community

“I do what I do because I love the community and the people interaction, doing something with a purpose,” he said. “I like the ‘Growing Bright’ motto of Sioux Center. I take that to heart. Growing up in Mexico, you don’t get these kinds of communities at all. It’s a totally different culture and system so when I see something like this community, I want to contribute to it. I take it to heart. I have special love for other people who want to grow bright, to flourish.”