The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Industry Excellence Awards:
Award recipients will be recognized at the 2019 OABA Industry Conference on Jan. 31. Winners will be recognized with a plaque and $1,000 cash award, sponsored by ABIS/J.H. Ward Agency and The Elliott Group.
OABA has a distinguished history of serving the agricultural industry and its members through advocacy, policy leadership and educational programs. The Industry Excellence Awards honor excellence, professionalism and achievement among OABA member companies and their employees, and thereby encourage that same excellence in others.
“We are extremely proud of these three individuals,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “They represent the best qualities desired in our industry and set a shining example for their peers to aspire to achieve.”
The Excellence in Customer Service Award is presented to an individual who goes “above and beyond” in their service to customers, to help define what excellent customer service looks like as we honor those whose contributions may often go unnoticed. The 2019 award recipient is Kevin Brinkman of Ft. Jennings, Ohio.
Brinkman, Head Mechanic at United Equity, Inc. in Delphos, Ohio, is responsible for all agronomy equipment at his facility, as well as seed treatment, nurse truck operations and much more. Although customer service is not in his job title, Brinkman frequently makes himself available to customers outside working hours to assist with equipment problems.
“It might be a Friday night or a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, they’ll call Kevin direct because they know he’ll answer his phone,” said Dan Haehn, Delphos branch manager for United Equity. “He answers his phone every time and he’ll tell them ‘I’ll be there in 15, 20 minutes.’”
The Achievement as an Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual who represents the spirit of leadership as a growing agribusiness professional. Leadership is often difficult to define in everyday business activities, but it remains an important ability to cultivate. The 2019 award recipient is Kevin Fall of Middletown, Ohio.
Fall, Seed Treatment Specialist for Rosen’s Inc., seeks to help retail partners all across Ohio and Indiana better understand the value of emerging technology. By offering demonstrations, plots and research results, Kevin carries out his personal philosophy that “actions speak louder than words.”
“I think good leaders realize the team surrounding them, be it your customer, be it your team you work with, if they can help aspire each person to be better, the whole team’s going to be better,” said J.D. Hamilton, account manager for Rosen’s. “I know on any given day, any problem or question I have, Kevin will help me answer it.”
The Excellence in Safety & Stewardship Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates safety and stewardship in day-to-day activities and interactions with customers, encouraging others to put safety first and be good stewards of equipment and land. The 2019 award recipient is Jason Nowakowski of Ashland, Ohio.
Nowakowski, Safety and Risk Manager for Centerra Co-op, directs safety and environmental duties to reduce injuries and accidents for Centerra’s 35 branch locations. By involving employees from all areas of the company, he works to improve the overall culture of safety through collaborative, innovative solutions.
“Jason takes it to the personal level of involving employees in the safety committees,” said Jean Bratton, CEO of Centerra Co-op. “We have a lot of branches with very hands-on creative people and Jason will go to them with a problem. And when they challenge him back, he listens to them too and he responds.”
The two-day Industry Conference, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2019 in Columbus, is packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a variety of topics relating to agronomy, grain and feed, safety and more.
All-inclusive registration for the event covers admission to both days of educational programming, all meals, including the Industry Networking Reception & Dinner and the OABA Annual Meeting. Registration fees are as follows:
Member: $275 ($350 after Jan. 15, 2019)
Non-Member: $425 ($500 after Jan. 15, 2019)
Individual day and reception/dinner-only registrations are also available, as are exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities. Visit www.oaba.net/events_conference for more information and to register.
Hotel accommodations for the Columbus Marriott Northwest can be made online by visiting www.oaba.net/events_conference or by calling 614-791-1000 and using the code “Ohio AgriBusiness Association.” The OABA hotel block reservation deadline is Jan. 15, 2019.