The American Bankers Association will honor Alan “Al” Tubbs and Mark Gold with its premier awards at its Unconventional Convention, Oct. 19-20.
Tubbs, chair of Ohnward Bancshares, Inc., will receive the Bruning Award. Gold, founder of Top Third Ag Marketing, will receive the Blanchfield Award.
Since 1997, the Bruning Award, named after its first recipient, Nebraska banker Frank Bruning, has recognized bankers that demonstrate outstanding leadership and dedicated service to providing credit and guidance to farmers, ranchers and their fellow agricultural bankers.
This year's recipient, Alan Tubbs, is a second-generation banker with almost 50 years of agricultural banking experience. Raised on a grain and livestock farm in eastern Iowa, he spent a short time teaching agricultural finance at Oklahoma State University before deciding to return to Iowa to begin his banking career as president of First Central State Bank in DeWitt.
Tubbs began his ABA service as a member of the agricultural conference planning committee in 1978 and became chairman of the Agricultural Banker’s Division in 1983 during the depth of the farm crisis. He later served on the ABA board of directors, advanced to the chair of the ABA Government Relations Council, and became chairman of the American Bankers Association in 1991.
During the 1980s farm crisis, Tubbs served on USDA’s Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee, where he helped establish a program to share among the producer, the lender, and the government the incredible loss of income and capital in production agriculture. The program helped stem the tide of declining farm real estate values, stabilizing the farm economy and helping farmers get back on their feet.
“It’s remarkable to have my past work in the agriculture and financial industries recognized,” said Tubbs. “Agriculture is where I’ve grown up and the largest segment of our rural economies. Our bank has always done all we can to support the viability and profitability of agricultural business and industry.”
Tubbs has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business from Cornell University. He and his wife, Myrna, live in Iowa.
'Advancement of agricultural lending'
Established in 2015 in honor of John Blanchfield, former senior vice president of ABA’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking, the Blanchfield Award recognizes agricultural professionals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of agricultural lending.
Mark Gold, this year’s recipient, is the founder and managing partner of Top Third Ag Marketing, where he has spent the last two decades helping farmers determine when to sell their products at the best market prices.
“I am honored to have been chosen to receive this award, and to be placed in the same company of people who have won this award before me,” Gold said. “Over the past 22 years, we’ve established that we don’t want our clients speculating. We want them managing risk, and I think that message has finally caught on. As bankers are such an integral part of the farmers marketing decisions, we felt it would be a great opportunity to teach bankers as well their clients a better way of managing the risk without margin calls.”'
Prior to starting Top Third Ag Marketing in 2006, Gold, a self-proclaimed “city kid,” got his start in the ag industry as a runner for the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1973.
He then went on to become one of the youngest members of the Chicago Board of Trade, where he spent 20 years working as a floor broker and a pit trader. During his time at the CBOT, he also served as chairman of the Soybean Pit Committee and on the Public Relations Committee.
Gold holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois. He and his wife live in Illinois.