Recently, the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association conducted its summer meeting on a special cruise trip in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 238 members and associates were on board for the festivities. One of the highlights of the meeting was a special award given to TCGA’s executive vice president Tony Williams, who has just completed 25 years of service to the organization,
I have known Tony since those early days in the mid-1980s when both of us were on the staff of the National Cotton Council. When he left the NCC and accepted the offer to lead TCGA in 1988, it was a pivotal moment for both Tony and the TCGA. Looking back on 25 years, I’d say it’s been a win-win situation for all parties. You might say that Tony was in the right place at the right time to have been offered such an opportunity at age 27. But he was definitely the right man for the job. He helped bring stability to TCGA and was one of the driving forces that helped the organization increase its membership. Today, TCGA collects dues on about 98 percent of the cotton ginned in Texas. It has expanded its service to member gins and now offers affordable workers compensation insurance through the Texas Cotton Ginners Trust. TCGA also helps its members in dealing with regulatory agencies, including environmental, trucking and utility rates. And let’s not forget the time that Tony spends working with the state legislature where he offers representation on issues that affect Texas ginners.
For more than two decades, Cotton Farming magazine also has had a special relationship with Tony and TCGA. Our publication is a co-sponsor of TCGA’s annual meeting and cotton trade show in Lubbock. We have gladly provided coverage of this annual event and have supported other TCGA activities such as the scholarship program with Texas Tech University.
If there is any secret to Tony’s success at TCGA, it might be complete professionalism in his approach to the job. He knows how to delegate responsibility to his able staff in Austin – Kelley Green and Aaron Nelsen. And he has developed an excellent reputation for getting things done – especially when it comes to working with the legislature and other industry organizations on key issues.
And, yes, Tony’s best quality might be his cool demeanor no matter what potential crisis might loom over the horizon. We salute TCGA’s executive vice president for the job he continues to do for Texas ginners, and we wish him many more years of service to the cotton industry.