CropLife America Honors Award Recipients and Elects Board Leaders

GRANDE LAKES, FLA. –  During its recent joint Annual Meeting with RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) at the Ritz-Carlton in Grande Lakes, Fla., CropLife America (CLA) announced results from the annual election of directors. “The CLA board of directors provides instrumental leadership and guidance, and we thank each director for their time and dedication to serving in this role,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “The board is committed to advancing technology for today’s farmers, which is reflected in our organizational programs and priorities.”

Diane Allemang, director of North America business development and global portfolio at FMC Corporation, was elected for a two-year term as CLA’s 46th chair of the board, and the first CLA board chairwoman. Susanne Wasson, commercial leader – U.S. crop protection of Dow AgroSciences, LLC, was elected to serve as the board’s treasurer and vice chair. Dave Tretter, vice president of procurement at Crop Production Services, Inc, will continue to serve as vice chair and will be joined by James Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience. Vern Hawkins, president and North America regional director of Syngenta Crop Protection, will serve as immediate past chairman. Eric Wintemute, CEO of American Vanguard, will also continue as a board officer, elected in the capacity of vice chair emeritus.

CLA also recognized exceptional member company employees, allies and staff with awards during the General Session and farewell gala dinner on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Award recipients were nominated by industry professionals and selected by CLA leadership.

Named for the association’s first and longest-serving president, the Lea S. Hitchner Service Award represents CLA’s greatest honor. The recipient of this year’s award is Kenda Resler Friend, external communications and media relations leader at Dow AgroSciences, LLC. An active member of the CLA Communications Outreach Committee, Friend joined Dow AgroSciences in 2001 and led executive and corporate communications as well as international communications before being named to her current role in late 2013. She is active in her community, with favorite volunteer areas including various 4-H efforts as well as work for AgrIInstitute. A 2012 Distinguished Purdue College of Ag Alumni winner, she also serves on the Purdue Ag Trust Fund board.

Other awards announced at the 2015 Annual Meeting included:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Honors a member of the industry who has made major contributions over the years and will be honored in their retirement.

  • Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation, retiring January 2016

Presidential Path to Leadership Award: Presented to those CLA members who have shown exemplary service as voluntary chairs of one or more CLA committees.

  • Roosevelt Award (Those who have served one full, aggregate term leading a committee or Issues Management Team):
    • Al Barefoot, DuPont Crop Protection, Endangered Species Issues Management Team
    • Jack Cain, DuPont Crop Protection, Registration Committee
    • Kenda Resler Friend, Dow AgroSciences, Communications Outreach Committee
  • Lincoln Award (Those who have served two full, aggregate terms leading a committee or IMT.
    • Iain Kelly, Bayer CropScience, Pollinator Issues Management Team

Workhorse Award: Recognizing significant and progressive contributions that support the crop protection industry as serving a key role in the production of a safe, affordable and abundant food supply for U.S. consumers.

  • Al Barefoot, DuPont Crop Protection
  • Ray Brinkmeyer, Dow AgroSciences
  • Tilghman Hall, Bayer CropScience
  • Scott Schertz, Schertz Aerial Service

State Legislative Award: Honoring those who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the area of state legislative issues and who promote initiatives that preserve, protect and advance the ability of farmers to provide a safe, affordable and abundant food supply to America.

  • Michigan State Senator Mike Green

Urbanowski Grassroots Award: Presented to non-member individuals who work to promote crop protection within communities and through grassroots activities.

  • Paulette Pyle, Oregonians for Food and Shelter, Inc.

Agriculture Ambassador Award: Honoring members of the media or allied organizations who have made a major contribution to the education of the public about crop protection and their contribution to a safe, affordable and abundant food supply.

  • Glenn Jernigan, Agriculture Alliance of North Carolina
  • Keith Menchey, National Cotton Council (posthumously)
  • Ed Ruckert, McDermott, Will & Emory
  • John Thorne, Bergeson & Campbell

Chairman’s Award: Honoring individuals within the CropLife America staff for his or her exceptional service to member companies, the industry and the association.

  • Kellie Bray, senior director, government relations
  • Rachel Lattimore, senior vice president, general counsel andsecretary

“CLA is proud to honor these winners for their insight, leadership and tenacity in helping CLA achieve our goals,” continued Vroom. “It is the contributions of our members that help make our association the leading voice of today’s agriculture. We will continue to drive the industry forward to make sure American farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to provide consumers with healthy food.”

Michael Leary