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OABA Industry Excellence Awards

For the purpose of honoring excellence, professionalism and achievement among OABA member companies and their employees, thereby encouraging that same excellence in others.

OABA accepts nominations for three award opportunities: Achievement as an Emerging LeaderExcellence in Customer Service and Excellence in Safety & Stewardship. Nominations can be submitted by any industry professional, but the nominee must work for an OABA member company. Additional details on each award are below. 

2020 Industry Excellence Awards

Sponsor Graphic Abis2020 award recipients will be recognized at the 2020 OABA Industry Conference on Jan. 30. Winners will receive complimentary registration and lodging for the conference, recognition in industry publications and a $1,000 cash award. 

Thank you to our 2020 Awards Sponsor: ABIS/J.H. Ward Agency. 

Scroll down to learn more about each award. 


Excellence in Customer Service

Whether your agribusiness is grain, crop inputs, custom application or another sector of agriculture, providing excellent customer service is key to making that business successful. By recognizing those that go “above and beyond” in their service to customers, we can help define what excellent customer service looks like as we honor those whose contributions may often go unnoticed.

Outstanding nominees will demonstrate exceptional service to customers in carrying out their day-to-day work, whether it's in a front line sales position or not. Nominees should demonstrate a level of serving others that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of the job description. 


Hebble Customer Service

2020 Recipient - Charles Hebble - Mid-Wood, Inc.  

The 2020 award recipient is Charles Hebble of Shelby, Ohio. 

Hebble, Crop Specialist at Mid-Wood, Inc., makes seed, crop nutrient and crop protection recommendations for grower customers in Central Ohio. His customer-first attitude drives his daily interactions at work, whether it is scouting fields and reporting back to customers, delivering needed supplies outside regular business hours, or periodically calling to check on overwhelmed farmers.

More information on the 2020 awards and Industry Conference is available here


Achievement as an Emerging Leader

Leadership at all levels in agribusiness is crucial to navigating the many issues facing the industry. Leadership is often difficult to define in everyday activities of business, but it remains an important ability to cultivate. By working to recognize leadership among those early in their careers, we can provide guidance that shapes their future, as well as that of the industry at large.

Outstanding nominees will exhibit leadership ability in day-to-day activities, while encouraging others to "do the right thing." Nominees should put the needs of their business above of their own and serve as a leader to emerging agriculturalists through local civic organizations.


Staley Emerging Leader

2020 Recipient - Karie Staley - Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Inc.

The 2020 award recipient is Karie Staley of Mount Gilead, Ohio. 

Staley, recently promoted to Branch Manager of Central Ohio Farmers Co-op’s Mount Gilead facility, now oversees all aspects of the facility’s operations, expanding her role and responsibilities after more than 20 years on COFC’s agronomy staff. Staley continually demonstrates a servant leader approach, putting the needs of the organization, her employees and customers above her own.

More information on the 2020 awards and Industry Conference is available here


Excellence in Safety & Stewardship

As an underlying element of business, safety cannot be over-emphasized. Lack of attention of the safety of employees and customers can result in loss of life and business. Stewardship, too, is an extremely important aspect of he best management practices of today’s agribusiness. Stewardship goes beyond responsible care of the environment. It means care of facilities, equipment and relationships to the benefit of all involved.

Outstanding nominees will demonstrate 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. 


Ridzon Safety Stewardship

2020 Recipient - Cindy Ridzon - Witmer's Feed & Grain, Inc. 

The 2020 award recipient is Cindy Ridzon of New Waterford, Ohio. 

Ridzon, Office Manager and Safety Coordinator for Witmer’s Feed & Grain, Inc., oversees office functions, develops and maintains safety policies and procedures, and ensures Witmer’s stays in regulatory compliance. Ridzon empowers employees to make safety their number one priority every day and encourages them to identify and address any safety risks before they cause an issue.

More information on the 2020 awards and Industry Conference is available here


Past Recipients

Excellence in Customer Service

Achievement as an Emerging Leader

Excellence in Safety & Stewardship 



Please contact Nicole Volk with any questions about the OABA Industry Excellence Awards.
Phone: 614-326-7520, ext. 4