The Ohio AgriBusiness Association recently announced the recipients of its 2019 Industry Excellence Awards, which will be presented Jan. 31 at the 2019 OABA Industry Conference. Winners will receive a plaque and $1,000 cash award sponsored by ABIS/J.H. Ward Agency and The Elliott Group.
• 2019 Excellence in Customer Service, Kevin Brinkman, United Equity Inc.
• 2019 Achievement as an Emerging Leader, Kevin Fall, Rosen’s Inc.
• 2019 Excellence in Safety & Stewardship, Jason Nowakowski, Centerra Co-op
OABA serves 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,” says 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.”
Excellence in Customer Service
This year’s Excellence in Customer Service Award will be presented to Kevin Brinkman of Fort Jennings, Ohio.
Brinkman, head mechanic at United Equity Inc. in Delphos, 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,” says 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.’”
Achievement as an Emerging Leader
Kevin Fall of Middletown, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the Achievement as an Emerging Leader Award. He is a seed treatment specialist for Rosen’s Inc. and seeks to help retail partners all across Ohio and Indiana better understand the value of emerging technology. By offering demonstrations, plots and research results, Fall carries out his personal philosophy, “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,” says 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.”
Excellence in Safety & Stewardship
The 2019 award recipient is Jason Nowakowski of Ashland, Ohio. The Excellence in Safety & Stewardship Award is presented to an individual who 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.
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,” says 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.”
2019 OABA Industry Conference
The two-day Industry Conference, to be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1, in Columbus, Ohio, offers a wide array of 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 and dinner; and the OABA annual meeting. Registration fees are as follows: member: $275 ($350 after Jan. 15); nonmember: $425 ($500 after Jan. 15).
Individual day and reception/dinner-only registrations are also available, as are exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities. Visit the OABA conference website for more information and to register.
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