by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : May 2009 Supplement
30 AG BIZ Acceptance Speech:16 Thinking Outside Box 5/4/09 4:34 PM Page 30 2009 NAMA AGRIBUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR NAMAACCEPTANCEREMARKS T by LeonWestbrock, 2009 National Agri-Marketing Association’s Agribusiness Leader of the Year, CHS Executive Vice President/COO, Energy hank you verymuch. I am honored and deeply humbled to receive theAgribusiness Leader of the Year award,NAMA’s highest honor. As professionals associatedwith advertising and public relations, I’m suremost of you have seen the commercials nowrunning for one of the majorwireless phone services. Each depicts an individual in a situationwhere rather than being alone, the central character is surrounded by dozens of people. Their network. Their support system. Their key contacts and connections to the biggerworld. The people essential to their lives. I’d like you to imagine for a moment that I’mnot alone here at this podium. Instead, envision this stage packedwith people—my network. The foundation ofmy success and that of CHS.And rest assured, these are notmy imaginary friends! So,who’s standing up herewith me as part ofmy network? Well, one of themost important ismywife of 35 years, Patt.My partner, sounding board and a person whomakes sure I keepmy feet firmly planted on the ground. Patt was raised in a farmfamily and recently retired fromher career as a health care professional, so she certainly knows the value of having a strong network behind you. Now, if you look to the right side of the stage, youmight notice a large group of peoplewearing clothing frombygone days—the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s and even a fewbad leisure suits fromthe ’70s. These are the people who founded and helped build CHS into the successful global agricultural and energy company it is today. THE TEAM They believed that by having a common goal andworking hard and smart,we could all succeed.And for more than 75 years,we have lived out their vision. I’mproud to have contributedmy small part to the great story that is CHS 30 Agri Marketing s May 2009 And over on the other side, you’ll see some folkswho look like they just came in fromdoing chores. Thatwould bemy family, the people who taughtme the value of hard work and the importance ofworking together toward a common goal. They instilled inme a love for agriculture that ledme to this great To those of you in this roomwho have dedicated your careers to being part of your clients’ networks, I hope you recognize howimportant you are to us.Without your creative thinking, I’mcertain our reception by our targeted audienceswould not be as strong. NAMA Award Celebration Team(l to r) Kristine Thompson, CHS; LoriWohletz, Colle+McVoy; Caroline Snodgrass, CHS; Linda Tank, CHS; Teresa Deering, CHS; LeonWestbrock, CHS; Bill Cobbs, Promo Advantage; PattWestbrock; Lani Jordan, CHS; Annette Degnan, CHS; TomLarson, CHS; AnnMann, CHS, and Phil Johnson, Colle+McVoy. Not Pictured are Cynthia Clanton and Laurie Christen, Colle+McVoy. career. I feel very lucky to have a life anchored by a great passion for the business of giving producers the tools they need to raise their crops and then helping to add value in the marketplace. Behindme are the thousands of great peoplewho are part of today’s CHS and its success, including our energy staff, ourmarketing communications team, ourmember-owners, our customers on the farmand in the retail and commercial sectors. And, I can’t forget one other important part ofmy network, our partners at Colle+McVoy, whose creativity has helped tell the great CHS story and, in the past few years, allowed us to raise the Cenex energy brand to new heights.We’re especially proud of the awardwinning Cenex Guy campaign that has helped us to grow our business and to have a little fun at the same time. SHARED VISION We all knowthat this is not an easy time in our business or any business. But it’s times like these that those to whomwe are connected— our teams, our networks—matter most. And everymember of that teamis important. For it is our shared vision and our commitment to common goals that will carry us through to find creative solutions and new efficiencies. I’d like to leave you with a line froma poembyAmerican poet laureateMaya Angelou. She writes: “Nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone.” I don’t think truerwords have been spoken. On behalf of CHS and all of those who are part of our network, I thank NAMAand the selection committee for thiswonderful recognition.We are truly honored. AM