Celebrating individuals who live out our GENEX values

Core Value Award
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At GENEX, it’s our people who make the difference day in and day out. Whether in an office or on farms and ranches across the globe, our people take great pride in serving you – our member-owners and customers.

During every visit and interaction, our team strives to live out our 10 core values. These values drive us, our behaviors and our actions. In other words, they define the people of GENEX.

Our core values:

Annually, we recognize and celebrate 5 employees who exemplify these values in their day-to-day work. Employees are nominated by their peers and selected by an outside committee.

And now, we are proud to announce the 2021 GENEX Core Value Award winners:

Linda Baril, Mail Center Specialist

On a daily basis, Linda demonstrates the values of reliability, excellence, farmer’s spirit and humility.

As the nominator explains, “I would be hard-pressed to think of another employee that I work with who is more devoted, hardworking or dependable. Linda always has the cooperative top of mind, looking for the most efficient way to mail or ship a letter, package or pallet. She demonstrates the farmer’s spirit, realizing the importance of getting a job done outside of the normal workday. At times, she works into the evening and is back early in the morning to get a mailing out as fast and efficiently as she can. At the same time, Linda makes sure the mailings are done to her high-expectation level. Simply put, she has a ‘can do’ attitude about everything she does for the cooperative.”

Connie Cordoba, Int'l Progressive Herd Consultant

Connie, who is based in Argentina, works primarily with farmers throughout Latin America to create value in their genetic programs. She exemplifies integrity, passion and stewardship in this day-to-day role.

Like it has for others, the pandemic impacted her daily work. Her job shifted from on-farm consultation to virtual meetings, but Connie adjusted and chose to apply new and innovative strategies, creating videos and content specific to Spanish-speaking farmers.

She’s also always willing to lend a hand in training. In the last year, Connie conducted more than 30 hours of training sessions for global development programs in Peru, Nigeria and South Africa. She is a teacher at heart and is passionate about training and education. Perhaps it’s because she refuses to settle for the status quo; instead, she is constantly learning and teaching others new ways to grow and thrive on their farm and in their job.

Justin Hergenreder, Director of Beef Sales

Justin, a rancher from Colorado, leads the USA beef semen sales team. His award nomination describes how he demonstrates a “do whatever it takes to get the job done well” attitude.

The nominator goes on to explain how Justin’s leadership style matches up with the GENEX values. “His passion is contagious. He makes his team want to be the best they can be all the time, with integrity, honesty and a work ethic that is second to none. He holds his team to a  high standard of excellence and that begins with him. If he says he’s going to do something, he does it, and expects the same from his team.

Furthermore, he displays humility. He will do anything for his team to help them succeed without wanting to be recognized for his integral part.”

Farmer’s spirit, passion, integrity, excellence, humility – that is Justin.

Michael Sleeper, Associate VP-International Marketing

Michael has worked in international marketing at GENEX and our predecessors for more than 40 years. Currently, he looks after the beef genetic needs of our international wholesale and international retail markets. Whether assisting producers on the ranch, growing the global market by exporting live bulls  or increasing our beef semen offerings in different regions of the world, Michael’s passion for the cooperative and the global cattle industry is clearly visible.

According to his nominator, “Michael is also a mentor and coach to many. He is always willing to roll up his sleeves and lend a hand. He is the guy you love to be on a committee with and love having in a strategy session, because he will challenge your thinking and add thoughtful insight. He’s the one you want on your team. He never makes it about himself; he is always looking for the best outcome for the cooperative.”

Abby Van de Ven, Global Dairy Product Manager

Abby is involved in many behind-the-scenes activities that help make our members, customers and employees successful. She is an integral person in the system who works with the production team, distribution team and GENEX sales teams to meet the genetic needs of cattle producers around the globe.

While her role is important, it’s more in how she does it. As her nominator explains, “She is a reliable and diligent worker who gets projects done. She understands the nuances of what happens in the field and at the farm. And she humbly goes about her work, doing a great job balancing the needs of GENEX, our sales teams and our members. Plus, her organization of tasks, such as GenChoice™ semen production schedules, bull draft preparations and weekly semen allocations, does not go unnoticed. I am proud to be her teammate.”

To all five award winners …

We are proud to have you on the GENEX team, and we are proud to work alongside you serving progressive dairy and beef cattle producers around the globe. Thank you for all you do!

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