From Ohio’s Country Journal

The 2022 Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is underway and members from around the state heard a wide array of diverse presentations.

In addition, OABA presented 2022 Industry Excellence Awards:

  • 2022 Excellence in Customer Service — Holly Cotter, Centerra Co-op
  • 2022 Achievement as an Emerging Leader — Brian Spangler, Centerra Co-op
  • 2022 Excellence in Safety & Stewardship — Tim Flock, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Inc.

Winners received a plaque and $1,000 cash award, sponsored by Assured Partners — J.H. Ward Agency. OABA has a distinguished history of serving 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.

“Now more than ever, it is important to take time to recognize outstanding individuals in our industry,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “These leaders set a high standard that agribusiness employees across all levels should aspire to achieve.”

Holly Cotter

Photo Credit: Ohio’s Country Journal

Excellence in Customer Service

The Excellence in Customer Service Award is presented to an individual who goes “above and beyond” in their service to customers, in order to define what excellent customer service looks like and recognize those whose contributions may often go unnoticed. The 2022 award recipient is Holly Cotter of Ashland.

Cotter, Grain Merchandising Assistant at Centerra Co-op, is responsible for grain logistics and communicating with stakeholders, including farmers and brokers. With more than 20 years of experience at Centerra, she strives to deliver a positive customer experience, making each interaction personal to better serve her customers.

“Holly lives to serve other people,” said Paxton Wood, Grain Merchandiser for Centerra Co-op. “She’ll do anything for her coworkers, anything for their family, her family. She lives to help other people, even outside of work.”

Watch a video about Holly here:

Brian Spangler

Photo Credit Ohio’s Country Journal

Achievement as an Emerging Leader

The Achievement as an Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual who represents the spirit of leadership as a growing agribusiness professional. Leadership is often difficult to define in everyday business activities, but it remains an important ability to cultivate. The 2022 award recipient is Brian Spangler of Mansfield, Ohio.

Spangler, Grain Operations Manger for Centerra Co-op’s Mansfield and Grafton locations, is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations at both branches, managing nearly two-thirds the grain Centerra handles, as well as the employees at each location. He continually pushes his employees to strive for new heights and grow together as a team.

“He has an uncanny ability to lead people,” said Kevin Berger, Grain Operations Vice President for Centerra Co-op. “He’s very likable when it comes to his work here at the facility. He definitely leads by example; he doesn’t ask anything of his employees that he doesn’t do himself.”

Watch a video about Brian here:

Tim Flock

Excellence in Safety & Stewardship

The Excellence in Safety & Stewardship Award is presented to an individual that 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. The 2022 award recipient is Tim Flock of Marion, Ohio.

Flock, Safety Manager for Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, exudes safety as his daily life. With a hands-on, collaborative approach, he spends much of his time working directly with employees to implement best practices, to ensure all employees take safety as seriously as he does.

“He absorbs safety throughout everything in his life; it’s not just something where he’s bringing it to work,” said Heather Ferrell, HR Manager for Central Ohio Farmers Co-op. “As our safety manager, people feel that they can go to him with anything. He going to listen and he’s going to try their different ideas.”

Ohio Agribusiness Association

2022 OABA Industry Conference

The three-day Industry Conference event, Jan. 25-27 at the Columbus Renaissance Westerville, was packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a variety of topics relating to agronomy, grain and feed, safety and more. More details will be made available at