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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Four Department Graduates to Receive 2014 CFAES Alumni Awards

Feb. 24, 2014

This year, four graduates of AEDE’s programs have been selected by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) to receive alumni awards at a ceremony on March 1st at the Ohio Union. The alumni include Robert Hothem (BS in Agricultural Economics, 1975), Kevin Adams (BS in Animal Science, 1984 and MS in Agricultural Economics, 1986), Matthew Pullins (BS in Agricultural Economics, 2000), and Allison Specht (BS in Agricultural Economics 2004 and MS in Agricultural Economics, 2007).

Robert Hothem is being honored with a Meritorious Service Award. Hothem, who resides in Centerville, Ohio, is currently the Senior Vice President and Director of Sales for PPI International. He began his career with the John Deere Company and over the course of his accomplished professional life he has served as a Director of Marketing or Vice President in five companies. Hothem has also served as president of the Ohio Chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), as well as a national co-chair for the “Best of NAMA” competition. From 1997 to 2012, Hothem served as an advisor to Ohio State’s NAMA student team, helping them to prepare for the annual national competition. Hothem has also lectured in many AEDE management and marketing courses. He is an active donor to CFAES.

Kevin Adams is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Since 2003, Adams has been President and CEO of CGB Enterprises, which is located in Mandeville, Louisiana. Under Adam’s leadership, CGB Enterprises has experienced significant growth. During his time at the company, he has ushered in an era of record profits achieved with a focus on teamwork, production safety and customer service. This effort has doubled the company’s personnel and assets. Additionally, Adams remains an active Ohio State supporter, hosting several events in Louisiana for alumni. He has also contributed to the number of Ohio State students engaged in internships and full-time employment in the field of grain merchandising and operations.

Matthew Pullins will be honored with a Young Professional Award. Pullins is Senior Vice President - Finance Capital and Asset Quality Reporting and Analysis at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has worked with the company since 2006 and in his current role he oversees regulatory capital reporting, asset quality reporting, and capital, asset quality and loan loss reserve analysis. Pullins also serves as PNC Finance’s Ohio State recruiting team captain and yearly leads the organization’s interview process at the Fisher College of Business. He is also a founding member of the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland Bridge Board. Pullins maintains an active role on his family’s farm located in Champaign County, Ohio. He, his parents, and brother, own and operate approximately 1,000 acres of grain and fruit crops.

Allison Specht will also receive a Young Professional Award. Specht, who resides in Denver, Colorado, is a dairy economist for Leprino Foods Company, the largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese in the world. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing federal dairy policy analysis and farm bill dairy policy advocacy, forecasting domestic and international dairy markets, and preparing market reports for the company. Prior to joining Leprino Foods Company, Specht served as a legislative assistant for former Senator Mike DeWine and worked as an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington D.C. Specht has served in both the Rocky Mountain and Washington D.C. Ohio State alumni clubs.

The alumni awards are organized each year through the CFAES Alumni Society Board of Directors who seek to honor those living alumni who personify the College’s tradition of excellence and who bring distinction to themselves and their alma mater through their outstanding professional accomplishments. Tickets for the March 1st luncheon can be purchased here.  AEDE will honor the four award winners with a reception on February 28th

February 24, 2014