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Rita Kourlis Samuelson (303) 771-3500, ext. 29, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Malone (303) 771-3500, ext. 35, or email@example.com
(Electronic photos available upon request)
Denver, Colo. - Feb. 2, 2009 - Two members of the U.S. wool industry were recognized for their years of service during the Wool Excellence Awards Breakfast at the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Convention on Jan. 22, 2009. Bud Gutzman of Stockman, Calif., and Jim Elliott of Salt Lake City, Utah, are this year's two deserving recipients of this industry award.
Gutzman's career in the wool business started in 1952 with National Wool Marketing. After 19 months of training, grading and warehousing experience in Boston, Mass., Gutzman was hired in 1953 to work for the Wyoming Wool Co-op in Cheyenne. After two years in Wyoming, Gutzman was hired to grade wool and run the daily operations of the warehouse for Cal Wool Marketing in San Francisco, Calif. In 1957, Cal Wool moved its operations to Stockton, Calif. Gutzman followed and became warehouse manager also managing the Santa Rosa warehouse for a short period of time. In 1971, he was promoted to general manager of Cal Wool and spent the next 30 years there until his retirement in 2000.
Ron Cole, ASI wool consultant, presented the award to Gutzman and said those he queried about Gutzman described him as a respected, honest man who has provided a great deal of education to the industry in both good and bad times.
Working for his father's company, R.C. Elliott and Co., Elliott has been in the wool business since the young age of eight up until recently, when he announced his retirement. He and his brother, Bob, assumed the family business of buying wool after their father passed away. Since that time, Elliott moved the operation to Utah Wool Marketing Warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he continued to grow his business. One of Elliott's talents includes working with hydraulics enabling him to automate much of the labor-intensive, wool-handling warehouse equipment. Some of his inventions include the development of a double-dump cotton baler from junk-yard parts to create a wool baling machine, designed and built a hydraulic coring machine and designed a conveyor system that makes grading wool much easier.
Presenting the award to Elliott, Will Griggs, manager of Utah Wool Marketing, said that he has been able to teach many about the wool industry and has become a well-known figure in the West.
"This award was developed to recognize those that have made a lasting impact on the U.S. wool industry and paved the way for those in the wool industry today," explains Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. "These two recipients are truly two icons of the wool business and we give thanks for their contributions."
ASI is a national organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 70,500 sheep producers.