Call to Action: WIA Demeter Award Nominations Sought
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (June 28, 2022)
If you have been to a Women in Agribusiness Summit, you most likely remember the presentation of the WIA Demeter Award of Excellence. Since its inception in 2013, there have been more than 25 recipients of the award, who were nominated by a peer for their outstanding achievements.
This year will be no different at the 2022 WIA Summit in Dallas, but with the deadline fast approaching for submissions of nomination forms – by Friday, July 15 – we are putting out a call to action to ensure that those ambitious achievers in the industry are in the running for the award.
The nomination form, which can be found here, is a simple, easy document to navigate and submit. For nomination inspiration, here is a sampling of past recipients (to note: some of those listed may be in new positions with different companies at this time):
In 2013: Amber Northcut, an analyst with Agrium Inc.’s Women’s Leadership Group, was recognized for her efforts with Agrium’s Women’s Leadership Group’s council and volunteer chapters in the development of mentoring, networking, and learning opportunities to help women take charge of their careers.
In 2014: Andrea Mariela Grobocopatel, co-founder, shareholder and vice president of GRUPO LOS GROBO of Buenos Aires, demonstrated innovation in the initiation, development and launch of gender diversity programs resulting in positive change in her company and the industry with regard to women’s advancement.
In 2015: At Dow AgroSciences, Megan DeVelvis, U.S. commercial excellence leader and co-chairwoman of their Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), was recognized for her tenure as WIN chair, and her partnerships with other employee resource groups to elevate the awareness around role-modeling inclusive behaviors.
In 2016: As founder and president of Dairy Girl Network, Laura Daniels was noticed for her vision in forming this network that includes dairy farmers, dairy professionals, and employees on a dairy. “Because of Laura’s insight and vision, a very real need has been met for women in the dairy industry to connect with other women and find opportunities for comradery, experience-sharing and personal development,” said LuAnn Troxel, the Dairy Girl Network leadership team member who nominated Daniels.
In 2017: Summer Butler, director for shopper marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, received the award for her part in spearheading The Coca-Cola’s Women’s LINC program where she successfully launched “Lean in Circles,” as support groups for women within the organization.
In 2018: Nominated as a “visionary leader and facilitator of change… a leading international expert on agriculture and food policies, and a trusted, collaborative partner for our Canadian industry,” was Robynne Anderson, president of Emerging Ag. Anderson is the founder of Farming First, a coalition for global ag advocacy; she also helped build the International Agri-Food Network; and has worked closely with the UN to establish the group’s 2016 International Year of Pulses, and Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Agricultural Investment.
In 2019: Sandra Hulm, of Omaha, Neb., vice president of procurement for Conagra Brands, was recognized for her long and storied career in the food industry, which includes leading mission-critical projects, including managing more than $800 million of annual commodity spend and acting as the project lead for Conagra’s Integrated Margin Management program.
In 2020: Priscila Vansetti Machado, director of global strategy and business development for Corteva Agriscience’s more than $6 billion crop protection business, received the WIA Demeter Award for her trail of “firsts”: from the first woman to hold the title of valedictorian of her class at Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, to the first female scientist hired by Dupont in its agriculture business and the first female business director at its Latin American operations, to being the first female president of DuPont do Brasil, there has been much to recognize.
In 2021: Anne Cleary, VP of human resources for Wilbur-Ellis, was commended in her Demeter nomination letter for her “ability to adapt and even anticipate change that has helped her to lead positive business transformation. And she’s done so with agility, a strong sense of vision, and always with humor and empathy.” She also is credited with centralizing the company's HR systems across the U.S., Canada and Asia – and for the creation of THRIVE (a nod to the company’s purpose) to unify and enhance the recruiting, onboarding and ‘reboarding’ experience for all employees.