Read the top 10 reasons why the AgAmerica team is giving thanks this year.
It’s the season of giving thanks, and we at AgAmerica Lending have so much to be thankful for. We’re thankful that we get to live in such a great country, and that we get to work day in and day out helping some of the finest people in that country: those who feed, clothe, and supply America. We’re grateful for how much our company has grown and expanded, giving us the opportunity to better serve the agriculture industry in all corners of the country.
Our employees have many reasons for giving thanks as well. From family to friends and coworkers to borrowers, we wanted to share 10 things our employees are thankful for.
Ten Things Our Employees are Giving Thanks For
Thankful for Family
Many AgAmerica employees were especially grateful for their families this holiday season. “I would be lost without them,” shared Accountant Carrie Howell, “I would have no one to nag!” Marketing Manager Shelby Poling gave special thanks to her parents, “They taught me what unconditional love and support feels like, and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to build a relationship with them as an adult.”
According to the Ag Census, family farming accounted for about 97% of all farms in the United States. Many of our employees fall under this statistic, having grown up in the agriculture industry, and they are thankful for the lessons such a unique experience has brought them. “I come from a family of farmers and ranchers,” mentioned Relationship Manager Patrick Spinosa. “Growing up in that lifestyle instilled hard work into me at a young age. It made me the man I am today, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
Thankful for New Life
This year brought new life for some of our employees! Like Vice President and Co-Owner Mac Miller and Chief Lending Officer Colin Clyne, who both welcomed children this past year with their respective wives. Colin shared: “I am thankful for becoming a new father to my baby girl, Catie Beth, and that I get to share the joys of parenthood with my beautiful wife, Shannon.”
Additionally, Senior Underwriter David Barber and Correspondent Lender Hunter Helms have wives who are expecting. “I am thankful for my wife, my boys, and my little girl on the way,” shared David, who will be expecting his daughter’s arrival right after Thanksgiving. Hunter also added, “My wife and I are thankful to announce that we are expecting another baby this May.”
Thankful for Friends
The holiday season is also a time to be thankful for the long-lasting friendships we’ve cherished over the years, as well as new friendships we’ve made. Correspondent Lender Ethan Cooper is grateful for just that. “I’m thankful for the friendships I have made in the ag industry while being part of the AgAmerica Family. This job allows me the opportunity to meet some really extraordinary individuals who have grown into some of my truest friends.”
This year, Chief Credit Officer Courtney Eelman gave very special thanks for one of her oldest friends. “I am thankful for the amazing team of doctors and nurses at Moffit Cancer Center, who treated my best friend of 36 years following her cancer diagnosis. On November 1st of this year, after months of radiation, chemo, and surgery, her MRI showed no signs of cancer. This Thanksgiving and Christmas we will be celebrating the gift of life, renewed hope, and health.”
Thankful for Pets
Whether it’s a cat who lives in an apartment or a herding dog who lives on a farm, pets are integral members of every family. That’s how members of our AgAmerica family feel as well. “I am thankful for my wonderful doggies that always show unconditional love,” said Carrie. Shelby agreed, saying, “I couldn’t be more thankful for the impression that my little fur ball left on my life. For 18 years my sweet cat taught me what it’s like to love and take care of another living thing.” Relationship Manager Rachel Cashdollar added, “I am thankful this year for a new puppy who greets me with excitement and tail wags every day!”
Thankful for my Religion
Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Treasurer Jackie Toenes shared, “’In everything give thanks’ (I Thessalonians 5:18). I am amazed at and always thankful for God’s bountiful provision upon my life; He always seems to sustain me through whatever it is that lies in my path, providing for all my needs. For this I rejoice and give thanks.”
Thankful for our Military and Their Loved Ones
AgAmerica is proud to support our military, and many of our employees have family members who currently and previously served. Like Marketing Manager Desiré Ohlinger, who has a sister in the Air Force. Office Manager Lillie Saxon shared her thoughts about her son, “This year my family has taken a new journey, as my oldest son became a member of our Air Force. It didn’t hit me until we were in the deep end all the changes that would take place. And then there was no turning back. The military men and women give up so much freedom to become the best of the best. As the proud mother of my airman, I struggle with not being a part of his everyday life, the lack of communication, and, even worse, not knowing when I’ll get to see my first born again. I am sincerely thankful for this experience; it has opened my eyes and heart for all those on this journey. Thank you for your service! HUA!”
Thankful for Coworkers
Our team grew quite large this past year! New members include: Desiré Ohlinger, Correspondent Lender Doug Moore, Senior Operations Associate Joe Schwartz, Lillie Saxon, Rachel Cashdollar, Executive Assistant Adara Richter, Hunter Helms, Corporate Relationship Manager Jordan Shipley, Patrick Spinosa, Courtney Eelman, David Barber, Intern Evan Atchison, and Senior Underwriter Amy Peerless.
As President/CEO and Principal Owner Brian Philpot always says: to build the right company, you must first tend to the company’s culture. At AgAmerica, it’s safe to say our culture is fostered by the dedication and passion our employees put into it each and every day. That’s why it’s no surprise that so many members of our staff are thankful for each other this season. “I am grateful to have a job that I enjoy and coworkers that are good people and fun to work with,” said Carrie. Closing & Servicing Manager Cindy Price was happy to add, “The mission and the people are awesome!”
“I am thankful for finding a workplace that is dynamic and fun,” mentioned Joe. “Having worked for myself for 30 years, and prior to that for several large companies, I didn’t realize such a place existed. We operate in a no-jerk zone! My colleagues are extremely smart and unselfish.” Senior Fund Accountant Ted Aversa echoed that sentiment, saying: “I’m thankful for the friendly, collaborative, and professional work environment in our office.”
Special thanks were given to our Office Manager this year. “I’m so thankful for Lillie,” Cindy raved, “she takes such great care of all of us everyday!” Carrie added with a smile, “she puts out snacks on days when I’m starving and lunch is hours away!”
Thankful for AgAmerica
“I am thankful I work at AgAmerica,” said Cindy. “It is an exciting, interesting, fun place. It makes ‘going to work’ not feel like work at all!” Correspondent Lender Cameron Flowers seconded the feeling, adding, “I’m thankful for a job that I look forward to every day.”
Others were thankful for the opportunities our company offers to their employees. “I am thankful for a career with a company that fosters entrepreneurial spirit focusing on responsible growth, while maintaining a focus on the customer and long-term growth of the employees,” shared Doug. Adara agreed, “I’m thankful for being with a company that, in a time of growth, not only puts the clients’ best interest first, but also makes employee happiness a priority from leadership opportunities to team building events!”
The employees here understand that we have a unique experience working for a company like AgAmerica. “I am thankful for the platform sustained by AgAmerica that aids farmers and the community, while providing opportunity and employment for all of our teammates,” said Senior Underwriter and Portfolio Analyst AJ Porreca. Ted agreed, “I’m thankful to work for a company that is always looking for ways to be better, to offer more solutions, and to reach more people who may have a need for our products and services.”
We believe Mac put it best when he said, “I am thankful for AgAmerica Lending and all of its members. It is a special place to get to come to work every day and see one united team working towards one common purpose: to improve the lives of farmers and ranchers across the United States.”
Thankful for our Farmers
During the holidays, it’s easy to show our gratitude to our farmers, who are vital to making many of the nationwide traditions we share possible. “When you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table, surrounded by food and family, it makes you extremely thankful for the men and women who get up every morning and get their boots dirty to ensure that food makes it to our tables,” said Corporate Relationship Manager Blake Averitt.
But at AgAmerica, we celebrate our nation’s farmers and ranchers each and every day. “You never really know until you become immersed in a world of agriculture just how hard it all is for the men and women who work in that lifestyle,” commented Shelby. She also shared some recent experiences, “though I’ve been with AgAmerica for many years, I’m thankful that this year I got to meet more of our borrowers and listen to them tell me about their livelihoods. To be a farmer you truly have to love what you do, and I couldn’t be more grateful for those everyday heroes.”
“I’m thankful for the testimonials from the farmers/ranchers and families that AgAmerica has helped with our financial solutions,” Ted observed. “It makes our work here more satisfying.” Jordan added, “I’m thankful we get to help people both enjoy and make the most of the land that they get to steward. It’s fulfilling to see people be able to work the ground on their little piece of God’s creation and make their living from it.”
Thankful that “as I get older, I get a little wiser… or at least I hope I do!” This humorous and self-effacing bit of wisdom comes from none other than Relationship Manager Don Harden.
From the AgAmerica Lending family to your own, we hope this finds you happy, healthy, and giving thanks for many blessings this holiday season!
Find more interesting blogs about our employees:
- Employee Highlight: Courtney Eelman – Ag Lending Done Right
- Employee Highlight: Hunter Helms, Texas Lender
- Q&A With Texas Land Lender and AgAmerica Correspondent Lender, Jordan Shipley
- Team member highlight: Cindy Price on the Land Loan Process
- AgAmerica Team Member, Doug Moore, Putting the ‘Timber’ in Timber Land Loans
- Money Minute: Highlight on Land Lender Team Member AJ Porreca