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GEAPS Announces New Leadership

Chris Blair to serve as board president; Barbara Grove is board chair

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The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) announces Chris Blair will serve as president of the international organization for its 2022-2023 term.

Blair, region manager at NEW Cooperative, leads the Palmer, Pomeroy, Knoke, Lanesboro, Glidden and Lidderdale locations for the cooperative.

He has been a member of GEAPS for the last 15 years.

“In the last 15 years, I have had many opportunities with GEAPS. This latest opportunity is a big one," Blair said.

"I am humbled and honored to serve as GEAPS president for 2022-23. Thank you for having faith in me for this important role. I am looking forward to accomplishing much with you and for you over the next year."

Barbara Grove takes over as chairperson of the board

Barbara Grove, CGOM who served as GEAPS president for the last year, now takes the reins as chairperson of the board.

With GEAPS since 2010, Grove works as quality systems manager at Central Valley Ag Cooperative.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve you and our members as your board president," Grove said.

“I have every confidence GEAPS will continue to prosper in the next year. You are in good hands with Chris Blair as your next president.”

Additionally, Chuck Kunisch moves up to the fill the role of first vice president.

A GEAPS member since 2002, is he is corporate safety director and specialty Soybean Manager for Michigan Agricultural Commodities, Lansing, MI.

GEAPS has many opportunities through education, networking

Even before becoming president, Blair appreciated the opportunities GEAPS provides.

“I’ve always been passionate about the grain industry and the safety aspect of things," he said. "I am a person who always wants to better myself. I got my two-year [college] degree at the age of 40 and always push myself to be better. Being a member of GEAPS has helped me be better at my job.”

The networking and relationship opportunities the GEAPS organization provides are beneficial to both NEW Cooperative and Blair, he says.

“I feel that NEW has benefited from the leadership skills I’ve been able to bring back. I have made a lot of contacts in the industry, and we all help each other. That network [of industry peers] is so big.”

Bringing more value for members through education and growing membership numbers are two key initiatives during Blair’s term as president. “Over the last year we started some big projects such as acquiring Country Journal Publishing and launching our new website. These will be exciting to watch develop.”

Blair appreciates the support NEW has given him.

“GEAPS is a volunteer organization. Without the support of NEW, I don’t know how I could have been able to do the things I’ve done. I have found that if there is value in something and you can apply what you learn, NEW will invest in you personally to help you grow professionally.”

A 25-year veteran of the ag industry, Blair has worked for NEW Cooperative for over eight years. He and his wife Jenn have five children and reside in Rockwell City, IA.

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