California Cotton Ginners name leaders

Mark Ptacek, manager of Eagle Field Ginning Co. in Firebaugh, Calif., is the new chairman of the California Cotton Ginners Association.

Ptacek was elected to replace Stan Creelman of Tulare, Calif., at the association's recent annual meeting in Monterey where Creelman was honored as the association's ginner of the year.

At that same meeting, Dennis Tristao, environmental officer for J.G. Boswell Co., was presented the association's 2002 distinguished service award.

A native of Lemoore, Creelman is manager of Mid Valley Cotton Growers, one of the nation's largest ginning cooperatives in the nation. He began his career in 1978 as an assistant gin manager for J.D. Heiskell after completing his bachelor of science degree from California State University, Fresno.

He became Mid-Valley's manager in 1991. He has served on several industry organizations and is currently the Western region's ginner representative to the board of directors of the National Cotton Council.

A University of Arizona graduate, Ptacek began his career in 1972 with Producers Cotton Oil. He became manager at Eagle Field in 1996 after working in both Arizona and California. He is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board and also president of the California Association of Grower Owned Gins.

Tristao, a Tulare native, was honored for his involvement in agricultural air quality and conservation issues.

National president

On the national level, another California cotton ginner, Michael Hooper of Farmers Cooperative Gin in Buttonwillow, Calif., is the new president of the National Cotton Ginners Association. He is only the fifth Californian to hold the post.

A graduate of California State University, Bakersfield, Hooper began his career in 1976 with Calcot and in 1988 became assistant manager of Farmers Cooperative. He became manager in 1990.

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