The Maine Potato Board held its annual meeting in late July. Guests enjoyed the “meet and greet” opportunity to spend time with industry colleagues.
One of the highlights of the meeting is always the presentation of the outgoing president’s President’s Award. Due to Covid-19, no annual meeting was held in 2019, so outgoing 2019 board president Brent Buck took his opportunity to present his award to MPB Executive Director Don Flannery. Brent’s comments about Don were received by a standing ovation from the attendees. Here are Brent’s comments:
For my president’s award, the only person who will probably be surprised by my choice will be the recipient.
The recipient of my President’s Award has been involved in the potato industry their entire life. This person is someone that I have grown to greatly admire because of their dedication and support to not only my family but the Maine potato industry as a whole.
I think it’s safe to say this recipient is known by everyone in the Maine potato industry and hundreds across the potato industry in North America.
This person has spent his career helping potato farmers in Maine and other than the growers themselves has spent more time worrying about the details than anyone in the industry.
I would like to acknowledge Don Flannery for his outstanding career of service to the Maine potato industry. His dedication, leadership and support as Executive Director of the Maine Potato Board has been vital in keeping the Maine potato industry sustainable.
Don has been involved in the potato industry all his life. He has worked in many aspects of the agricultural industry, including as a grower and in economic and business development. Don started working for the Maine Potato Board in 1997 as an Assistant Executive Director and was promoted to Executive Director just 5 years later in 2002. As Executive Director of the Maine Potato Board, he has been directly involved in development and research activities of the industry. Don has been active in securing federal and state funding for a multitude of agricultural projects such as construction of a potato research facility, infrastructure development for two processing plants and funding to support the State seed production facility.
Don’s commitment to the potato industry, locally and nationally, and his cooperation with the Maine Potato Board and growers has been invaluable. His leadership and supervision have paved the way for the Maine potato industry to be a leader in an ever-competitive market.
Don, thank you for your support, guidance and friendship. I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated working with you.