The Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association

September 26, 2007 14:54 ET

Celebrating a Lifetime of Co-Op Involvement and Support

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 26, 2007) - A long time Simcoe District Co-operative Services board member and GROWMARK, Inc board member will receive an award celebrating his lifetime of co-op sector involvement, support and achievements. Len Mortson, who recently retired from the board of directors of both GROWMARK, Inc. and Simcoe District Co-operative Services, will be presented with the Ontario Co-operative Association's Lifetime Achievement Award at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington on October 17th.

Len Mortson has been an active member of the agricultural sector for over 57 years, and has received several awards from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to show for it. His co-op experience began in 1958 when he began working for Newmark Co-op and continued as he became more and more involved in the co-operative movement. He has been a director of The Co-operators Insurance Group of Canada since 2000, a GROWMARK director for the last 12 years and a director with his nominator, Simcoe District Co-operative Services for 16 years. In his nomination letter from Simcoe District Co-operative Services, Mr. Mortson was praised for being "one of the most proactive board members regarding agriculture and the changes it has faced in the last five decades." Mortson and his wife Marg, along with their son Greg, operate a dairy farm in Oro Station.

Along with his board involvement with Simcoe District Co-operative Services board and becoming GROWMARK's first Ontario's board member in 1995 (upon GROWMARK's introduction to Ontario), Len was also an active participant in the formation of FS PARTNERS - a management company that was established in the spring of 2005 to gain efficiencies in the day-to-day operations of several FS agri-businesses in south-western and central Ontario. Bernie Daly, Ontario region manager for GROWMARK says that Len was a key partner in creating unity among different regions of GROWMARK and was an effective communicator for Ontario's with the GROWMARK Board.

Len Mortson, of Oro Station Ontario, will be presented with his Lifetime Achievement Spirit Award on Wednesday October 17 during the 9th annual Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards banquet and ceremony. The awards ceremony, the crowning jewel of the Co-operative Conference and Gala, takes place at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West in Burlington Ontario.

The Co-operative Conference and Gala, now in its 7th year, is a two-day event that brings together co-op sector supporters, champions and friends from across Ontario and beyond for professional development, meetings and networking. The conference includes tours of Hamilton-area co-ops and more than a dozen workshops and sessions. This October, the Spirit Recognition Award banquet, a tradition in the Ontario co-operative sector for almost 10 years, will celebrate the successes of 10 of Ontario's most distinguished co-operators, including Len Mortson.

The Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op), host of the Co-op Conference and Gala, and the Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards ceremony, is a resource and common voice for Ontario credit unions and co-operatives in the areas of co-operative development, government relations, membership and communications, and lifelong co-operative learning.

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