OABA Industry Conference Highlights Winners – Ohio Ag Net

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The 2022 Ohio AgriBusiness Association industry conference is underway and members across the state have heard a wide range of diverse presentations.

Additionally, the OABA presented the 2022 Industry Excellence Awards:

  • 2022 Customer Service Excellence — Holly Cotter, Centerra Co-op
  • 2022 Achievement as an Emerging Leader — Brian Spangler, Centerra Co-op
  • 2022 Excellence in Safety and Stewardship – Tim Flock, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Inc.

The winners received a plaque and a cash prize of $1,000, sponsored by Assured Partners – JH Ward Agency. OABA has a distinguished history of serving the agricultural industry and its members through advocacy, political leadership and educational programs. The Industry Excellence Awards recognize excellence, professionalism and achievement by OABA member companies and their employees, and thereby encourage the same excellence in others.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to take the time to recognize the exceptional people in our industry,” said Chris Henney, President and CEO of OABA. “These leaders have set a high standard that agribusiness employees at all levels should aspire to achieve.”

Customer Service Excellence
The Customer Service Excellence Award is given to an individual who goes “the extra mile” in their service to customers, to define what great customer service looks like and to recognize those whose contributions can often go unnoticed. The 2022 award recipient is Holly Cotter of Ashland.

Cotter, a grain marketing assistant at Centerra Co-op, is responsible for grain logistics and communication with stakeholders, including farmers and brokers. With over 20 years of experience at Centerra, she strives to deliver a positive customer experience, making every interaction personal to better serve her customers.

“Holly lives to serve others,” said Paxton Wood, grain dealer for Centerra Co-op. “She would do anything for her colleagues, anything for their family, her family. She lives to help others, even outside of work.

2022 Customer Service Excellence — Holly Cotter, Centerra Co-op

Achievement as an emerging leader

The Achievement as an Emerging Leader award is given to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of leadership as a growing agribusiness professional. Leadership is often difficult to define in day-to-day business activities, but it remains an important skill to cultivate. The recipient of the 2022 award is Brian Spangler from Mansfield.

Spangler, director of grain operations for Centerra Co-op’s Mansfield and Grafton locations, is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations at both branches, managing nearly two-thirds of the grain Centerra handles, as well as the employees at each location. He continually pushes his employees to reach new heights and grow as a team.

“He has an incredible ability to lead people,” said Kevin Berger, vice president of grain operations for Centerra Co-op. “He’s very personable when it comes to his job here at the facility. He definitely leads by example; he asks nothing of his employees that he does not do himself.

2022 Achievement as an Emerging Leader — Brian Spangler, Centerra Co-op

Excellence in Safety and Stewardship

The Safety and Stewardship Excellence Award is given to an individual who demonstrates safety and stewardship in daily activities and customer interactions, encouraging others to put safety first and be good equipment and land stewards. The 2022 award recipient is Tim Flock of Marion.

Flock, security manager for Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, breathes security into his daily life. With a hands-on and collaborative approach, he spends much of his time working directly with employees to implement best practices, to ensure that all employees take safety as seriously as he does.

“He absorbs security through everything in his life; it’s not just something he brings to the job,” said Heather Ferrell, human resources manager for the Central Ohio Farmers Co-op. “As the head of security, people feel they can come to him with anything. He’s going to listen and he’s going to try out their different ideas.

2022 Excellence in Safety and Stewardship — Tim Flock, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Inc.
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