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Agrimarketing : May 2009 Supplement
16 AG BIZ Customer Quotes:16 Thinking Outside Box 5/4/09 2:52 PM Page 16 2009 NAMA AGRIBUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR ENERGYCUSTOMERSCALL LEONWESTBROCKTRUEPARTNER Editor’s note:We invited CHS energy customers to describe their experiences workingwith CHS executive VP and COO, energy, LeonWestbrock, NAMA’s Agribusiness Leader of the Year. BRUCE CLARK GeneralManager Mountain ViewCo-op Black Eagle,MT Leon has passion for his job and passion for seeing the people around himsucceed—both those on his direct teamand generalmanagers of CHSmember cooperatives.We knowwe can speak ourminds and, while all sidesmay not agree,we will continue towork to find a solution that’s best for everyone. business,which has helped build our business and has increased our bottomline. MARC BINGHAM Owner Roy Bros.Oil&Propane Ashburnham,MA Leon is a listener.He trulywants to understand customer concerns before sharing relevant information to help.His keen sense of humor and forthright, honest approach to business and life has taken himand CHS to great heights. purchases to CHS.We don’t receive patronage for this commitment, sincewe aren’t part of the cooperative system, butwe recognize value in its truest formand Cenex is the leading brand. Leaders demonstrate by exam- ple, notwords. Leon is a leader and he has created a teamof leaders committed to their customers and the Cenex brand. DAVE CHRISTIANSEN GeneralManager Mid Kansas Cooperative Association,Moundridge, KS Leon’s leadership style has always been refreshingly frank.He is a straight-talking communicator, which lends confidence and credibilitywhen you are engaged in discussions or negotiationswith him. Leon’s style is calming in a sea of anxietywhen needed. Leon’s belief in surrounding him- Bingham Leon’s commitment to supply Clark The Cenex brand has always been a symbol for quality,whether it’s representing refined fuels or lubricants. Leon’s persistence on educating those of uswho sell Cenex products on the value of the brand has really come to light over the last several years. Today, the Cenex brand is stronger than ever. We have rebranded several loca- tions over the years to become Cenex retail locations becausewe see the benefits of partneringwith the brand. Evenmore important lately has been the patronage that has been returned to CHS customers. Sincewe pass 100%of that return on to our customers,we have seen a growth in our bulk energy business. Our loyal customers have helped spread theword of the benefits of being affiliatedwith the CHS energy 16 Agri Marketing s May 2009 propane to theNortheast, a new market for CHS, has benefittedmy company greatly. This commitment is demonstrated by the teamof CHS transports ready to serve its clients, valuable price and hedging programs and continuing education opportunities for customers. I proudly displayCenex brand logos on all our bobtails. Regardless of weather, pipeline issues, shipping or world events, theCHS energy team has always keptmy company supplied with propane, and product supply is the lifeblood of any organization. What I appreciatemost about Leon and his teamis their consistently high level of commitment to customers and the brand. Leon’s teamunderstands that if the customer succeeds, so will CHS. They focus on building long-termrelationships, not short-termsales. I amproud to say that Roy Bros. has committed 100%of our propane Christiansen As a customer,we’ve always known thatwe don’t have to go to Leon for an answer—any of his teammembers,who understood Leon’s objectives and howto execute them, can help us through an issue. That type of leadership has placed our systemin a position thatwill be sustainable in the future. Familiaritywith the Cenex brand makes it easy to get retail customers selfwith excellent people and then allowing themto utilize their expertise has enhanced the CHS system. We never have to rely on decisions rolling downhill.