Gaylon Booker, president and chief executive officer of the National Cotton Council, where he has worked for more than four decades, received the NCGA’s 2002 Distinguished Service Award. The awards were presented at the recent NCGA annual meeting, held in conjunction with the National Cotton Council’s 64th anniversary meeting in Tampa, Fla..
NCGA officers also were elected at the meeting and are: Richard Holder, Kinston, N.C., president; Sid Brough, Edroy, Texas; first vice president, Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark., second vice president; and Russell Kuhnhenn, Glendale, Ariz, third vice president. Outgoing president Michael Hooper, Buttonwillow, Calif., now serves as board chairman, and Bill Norman, Memphis, Tenn., is executive vice president.
The Horace Hayden award is presented to the ginner providing outstanding leadership to the U.S. cotton industry, superior customer service and civic contributions.
Outgoing NCGA President Michael Hooper said Mitchell "has been and continues to be an active and vocal leader in just about every industry association that he can be a part of."
Mitchell has served both as a ginner delegate and a producer delegate to the National Cotton Council, and currently is a NCC director and a director of Cotton Incorporated. He is a former president of the Texas Cotton Ginners, Texas Independent Cotton Ginners and Plains Cotton Ginners associations.
Mitchell has taken leadership roles in several areas that affect the U.S. cotton industry, including serving as chair of the Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee and being an active and consistent participant in the USDA/AMS Cotton Division classing review sessions.
"Myrl is a vocal supporter of our classing system, and encourages others to be as well," Hooper said.
The NCGA Distinguished Service Award is given on behalf of the U.S. cotton ginning industry to the individual making outstanding contributions to the industry and to NCGA.
Booker, a native of Water Valley, Miss., and graduate of the University of Memphis, began his career at the NCC in 1961 as a market analyst in the Economic Services Department, where he conducted numerous studies and reports on cotton’s competitive position in various market outlets. He later headed that department and also served as vice president of operations and senior vice president at NCC before being called out of retirement in early 2001 to head the organization.
Booker also has been recognized for his volunteer efforts on behalf of the disabled, including founding and serving as the first president of Partners in Placement, which provides job placement services for people with disabilities.