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Communication is Key

By Emma Matkin

Bob Stanley

Bob Stanley

West Texas native has been hired as the new Southwest Regional Communication Manager for the Memphis-based Cotton Board.

Having grown up on a cotton farm, Bob Stanley has always had a love for the industry. He graduated high school in Lorenzo, Texas, and joined the U.S. Army. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, he started his college education at Texas Tech University. Stanley received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanized Agriculture with an emphasis on Agribusiness Management in 1976. He has lived in the Lubbock area ever since he graduated from Tech.

“I am very fortunate to live in West Texas because this is the heart of the cotton business right now,” Stanley said proudly. Stanley also said he has enjoyed raising his family here and being in the cotton business. For the past 30 years, most of his career activities have been selling and building cotton gins all over the United States.

“I have really been privileged and fortunate to be involved in the sale and construction of some of the nicest and newest cotton gins that have been built in this part of the world,” he said.

Stanley was vice president of sales and marketing for Lummus Corporation where he managed a broad range of assignments from direct sales of new cotton gins to training and management of field sales staff.

“I always knew I wanted to get more involved in the cotton industry,” Stanley said. “As the new Southwest Regional Communication Manager, this is my chance to give back something and try to help keep our industry viable.”

Stanley started his new job November 17, 2008, and is in the middle of an intensive orientation process. Three other Regional Communication Managers were hired along with Stanley to represent the other regions of the U.S. Cotton Belt. The four managers spent a week in Memphis becoming familiar with the inner- workings of the Cotton Board.

In a recent news release, the new president and chief executive officer of the Cotton Board, Drayton Mayers, explained that the former Field Services positions have been renamed as the Regional Communication Managers to more accurately reflect what their position entails. The new managers will be communicating the activities and achievements of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program to their audiences through a wide range of methods including speaking roles at key industry meetings and events.

“The Cotton Board wants to continue to do a good job and increase communications toward producers,” Stanley said. “It will be my job to travel southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of Texas communicating with the producers, ginners and explaining to them how Cotton Incorporated maximizes their assessments to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.”

Stanley said the thing he will like most about the new position is that he will continue to be actively involved with his friends that are growing and ginning cotton.

“I will be associated with the people I have been working with for years in the gin machinery business,” he said.

Stanley is also excited about getting to organize tour groups for the Cotton Incorporated headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. He will be taking groups of producers every year from the southwest region so they are able to see first- hand what is going on at Cotton Incorporated.

The Regional Communication Managers will report to Brad Robb, vice president of communications and supported by his department as well as other departments within the Cotton Board. Robb said he received a number of very qualified candidate resumes with very tenured levels of cotton industry experience.

“The wealth of experience Bob holds in the industry was the first reason I flagged his resume,” Robb said. “When I met Bob and saw the way he carried himself and exhibited a true passion for agriculture, I knew I had to pull him into the Cotton Board’s home office in Memphis to be reviewed by all Cotton Board senior staff.”

Robb said the candidates were asked to give a short presentation on the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. He said Bob’s presentation was very impressive and his ability to transfer information was evident.

“It’s a true pleasure having someone with Bob’s experience and strong communications skills on my staff,” Robb said. “He will represent the Cotton Research & Promotion Program very well to those he will call on in the High Plains of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Stanley said his greatest accomplishment has been raising a family and maintaining business integrity throughout the years. He intends to spend the remainder of his cotton career trying to help promote the U.S. cotton industry.

“When times get tough, we need to remember how important it is to continue to spend money on research and promotion activities,” Stanley said. “We have got to continue to build markets for our outstanding U.S. cotton.”