The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) recently recognized Mandie Seward (Callahan) and Steve McCarthy of Valley Agronomics as a part of its Rising Stars Class of 2020 program at the virtual ARA Conference & Expo on Dec. 1-2.
The purpose of the Rising Stars program is to develop skills and recognize top performers for going above and beyond in their work. Both Mandie, Steve, and the other Rising Stars took advantage of this opportunity, which looks differently from years past due to the COVID19 pandemic, to expand their network and learn new ways to hone their leadership skills.
Despite the transition to a virtual event, ARA Rising Stars were still able to attend the 2020 ARA Conference & Expo and be recognized on the main stage in a video introducing the Rising Stars.
“I was honored to be nominated and recognized by ARA. I was excited to learn more about the way that I work through the Navigator tool and look forward to using personal insights to further develop my leadership skills,” said Mandie Seward (Callahan), Valley Ag, crop advisor.
“The things realized from this process have helped me better balance the different duties within my role and collaborate with my team,” said Steve McCarthy, Valley Ag, product supply manager.
New this year was the incorporation of the ARA NAVIGATOR 360° online leadership assessment tool to assess their leadership skills in two ways: the level of skills the leader has, and the ability to use those skills appropriately when needed.
Another first for Rising Stars was the incorporation of an essay or video contest, led by the new program sponsor Atticus, which focused on what leadership in ag means to them.
“It was refreshing to learn what leadership in agriculture means to each of the individuals of the ARA Rising Stars Class of 2020,” says ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “ARA is
honored to reward our industry’s future leaders, and we are encouraged they will remain involved with the Association and emerge as leading voices to help our industry better serve the American farmers feeding the world.”
Participating as a Rising Star is one of the first programs recommended in the ARA Professional Development Pathway. To stay involved and continue their professional journey, Rising Stars can join an ARA Committee to create new experiences or plan to attend another program to continue building upon their skills.
Valley Ag knows that when employees are challenged, engaged in their own professional development and recognized for their hard work, they are more likely to continue advancing their career with us.
“We’re glad to have such great members of our Valley Ag team and that their efforts were able to be recognized in industry. We appreciate all the work Mandie and Steve do and look forward to where they’ll lead our company,” said Richard Lloyd, Valley Ag general manager.