Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2011)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) has awarded its prestigious Director of the Year award to Francis (Fran) Podvin, chairman of the board of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., a co-op member of NCFC.
Podvin has served on the Ocean Spray board for 10 years, the last six as chairman, and has been a member of the cooperative for over 23 years. He has been active in the cranberry industry since 1965 and is a general partner in City Point Cranberries, LLP, a 110 acre cranberry marsh located in City Point, Wis. Podvin is also a practicing attorney who heads Podvin Law Firm, which specializes in water and wetland issues involving new and existing cranberry marshes.
“I would like to congratulate Fran on his achievement. Over the last decade, he has provided the grower-owners of Ocean Spray with outstanding leadership and foresight, and has shown a strong commitment to the wider farmer cooperative community and in promoting the co-op model,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner.
The Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year Award was established to recognize the outstanding achievements of a farmer cooperative director who takes the lead to help their board of directors make decisions vital to their cooperative.
Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year nominees were examined by a panel of judges representing the NCFC members and outside experts. In selecting the winners, judges looked at four broad criteria: how well the nominee understands his cooperative; the ability to provide leadership and be a team player; the possession of good business judgment; and the ability to communicate effectively.
To honor award winners, the NCFC Foundation provides a $5,000 donation to the scholarship fund of a land grant university chosen by the winner.
The award was presented on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at NCFC’s 83rd Annual Meeting, which was held at the Waldorf Astoria Naples in Naples, Fla.
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.