ATLANTA — Michael Wiechman, a longtime member of ADM Milling Co.’s operations support team, is the 2018 recipient of the Milling Operative of the Year award.

The award was presented April 12 during the International Association of Operative Millers (I.A.O.M.) Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony in Atlanta. The ceremony was part of I.A.O.M.’s 122nd Annual Conference & Expo.

Established in 1986 by Milling & Baking News, the award is given to the practicing milling operative who has made the most significant contribution to the progress of a plant, a company and the industry from an operating point of view.

Presenting the award was Mr. Wiechman’s colleague at ADM Milling, Ross Droogsma.

Mr. Droogsma noted that Mr. Wiechman, who has worked in a variety of roles during his milling career, has always led by example and treated co-workers with respect.

“He works tirelessly with those around him to make each mill safer, cleaner, more reliable and more efficient,” Mr. Droogsma said. “Sometimes this involves training, sometimes capital expenditures, sometimes changing business practices, and always working with the people and producing positive results.

“Relationships are where it all begins with him. He knows people are our No. 1 asset, and this is where it all starts for getting something done, and he has proven this principle to be true time and time again.”

Mr. Droogsma said Mr. Wiechman’s positive outlook and enthusiasm for his job rubs off on his co-workers.

“This type of approach garners a lot of respect,” he said. “People enjoy working with him and benefit from doing so. Most wish that he could spend more time with them at their mills — but he is in high demand precisely because of what he does and how he does it.”

After accepting the award, Mr. Wiechman, who is based at ADM Milling’s mill in Enid, Okla., but travels to various ADM mills in the United States as a consultant on operational issues, said: “ADM has given me a great opportunity. Throughout my career I have learned more every day from everyone than what I add.”

ADM Milling is the second largest flour milling company in North America with 23 flour mills and an overall daily capacity of nearly 287,000 cwts.

 Also during the ceremony, the Distinguished Member Award was presented to Joel Hoffa, Cowley College milling technician instructor and former longtime employee at Mennel Milling Co.

“I’ve learned so much from all of you and I thank all of you,” Mr. Hoffa said upon receiving the award.

Others receiving awards at the banquet were:

  • Tom Reed, vice-president North American sales, flour milling division, Repco, who received the Donald S. Eber Award, which is given to a district secretary/treasurer for outstanding service and commitment.
  • Jerry Heath, Industrial Fumigant Co., who received the George B. Wagner Memorial Award for his contribution to the industry and I.A.O.M. in the areas of sanitation and food protection

Jeff Hole, vice-president of operations, Miller Milling Co., Minneapolis, was inaugurated as the 2018-19 I.A.O.M. president.