The Southern Cotton Growers Association and Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association recognized top leaders in the cotton industry with three separate awards during the groups’ joint annual meeting last month in Hilton Head, S.C.
John Maguire, senior vice president of Washington operations for the National Cotton Council, received the single-most prestigious award presented by the Southern Cotton Growers and Southeastern Cotton Ginners organizations, the “Hall of Honor.” This joint award is presented to those individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, according to Ronnie Lee, president of the Southern Cotton Growers Association.
Since the award’s inception in 2000, there have only been five recipients to date. They include, the first CEO of Southern/Southeastern, Bob Tucker, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and industry giants Bobby Webster, Billy Carter and Roy Baxley.
Lee said Maguire has truly demonstrated his worthiness to be included in this esteemed group through his many years of service to the U.S. cotton industry.
In presenting the award to Maguire and his wife Joyce, Lee said he like many others has always admired Maguire’s uncanny ability in his trade. “You are the benchmark to which all others are compared. Moreover, you have been a great asset and friend to the industry,” Lee said.
A graduate of Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in textiles, Maguire became a member of the National Cotton Council staff in 1979 when he was appointed Far East director for the council’s export promotion arm, Cotton Council International, based in Hong Kong. He was named director of foreign operations and executive director of CCI in 1983. He became head of Washington operations in 1986 and was elected vice president two years later.
Frank Rogers of Bennettsville, S.C. received the “Cotton Producer Recognition Award,” the most prestigious award presented to a producer by Southern Cotton Growers. Qualifications for the award include being a member in good standing with Southern Cotton Growers and devoting a major portion of personal resources to cotton production and being actively engaged in the industry.
In addition, the recipient must be supportive of other organizations while lending support to agriculture research and promotion efforts and must demonstrate a record of participation in industry affairs and of service to the cotton industry.
Rogers graduated from Clemson University in 1977 with a B.S. degree in agriculture economics. He is married to Cheryle and they have two adult sons, Pat and Frank IV. Pat and his wife Blake have a farming operation in Blenheim, S.C. and Frankie and his wife Allison live in Charleston where he has a construction business and she is a nurse.
Rogers remains active in many civic and industry organizations and is a past president of Southern Cotton Growers.
Clover Leaf Gin was named the 2014 Cotton Gin of the Year by the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association.The award is presented each year to a cotton ginner or gin company that shows outstanding leadership in the industry and in the community.
Clover Leaf Gin, based in Donalsonville, Ga., was founded in 1985 with Sonny Davis, Willard Mims, Joe Hall, R.G. Heard, Victor Spooner, and Reuben Brookins as the original board.
Under the leadership key board members Sonny Davis (gin president), Joe Hall (warehouse president), and Willard Mims (secretary and treasurer for both gin and warehouse operations), the business has grown to two gins in Greenwood, Fla. and Donaldsonville, Ga. and six warehouses. Clover Leaf Gin has more than 60 stockholders. Scott Mitchell is CEO and is a director of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association, and the Cotton Warehouse Association of America as well as President and CEO of AFG Feed, LLC.
Other key employees include gin superintendents Alfonzo Kimble and Doug Lane as well as George Gray, who handles public relations. The award was presented to all members of the management and staff of Clover Leaf Gin.