Sunderland Co-operative Inc.

Sunderland Co-operative Inc.

December 16, 2010 09:21 ET

New General Manager for Sunderland Co-op as Clare Hayes Retires

SUNDERLAND, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - The board of directors of Sunderland Co-operative Inc. named Blain Thompson as the company's new general manager, effective December 1, 2010. He succeeds Clare Hayes, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Thompson has been associated with Sunderland since 1983, working 15 years in the agronomy, feed and fuel businesses. He was hired in 1998 as a full-time petroleum driver. Since 2003, he has served as the company's petroleum manager.

Thompson has been a firefighter for Brock Township since 1993, and has held the rank of Captain since 2007. He is a lifelong resident of the Sunderland area, active in his church and community. He and his wife Terri-Lynn are parents of two boys, ages 15 and 16.

"Blain will follow nicely in Clare's footsteps," says Dale Hamilton, president of Sunderland Co-operative. "He began his career with Sunderland Co-op around the same time Clare was named general manager and is committed to seeing the co-op continue to thrive under his direction."

Clare Hayes will transition into retirement over the next few weeks. He has been Sunderland Co-operative's general manager for the past 27 years and an employee of the co-op for more than 41 years.

Hayes has promoted co-operative values throughout his four decade career with Sunderland Co-operative and through his support of other co-ops and the community. His tenacity and vision propelled his co-operative from a humble existence of producing one million dollars of sales in 1968 to reporting a significant $46.5 million for fiscal 2009. But most impressive is that this co-operative has managed to pay out patronage dividends to its farmer-members each consecutive year since its beginnings in 1950 and continued to do so under Hayes direction and management team from 1983 on. 

"With his foresight, Clare was able to take on challenges and opportunities in a co-operative way. Throughout his entire career, he has worked tirelessly to promote and enhance the co-operative spirit and way of doing business," says Sunderland Co-operative Director Wilson Rodman.

In October, Clare Hayes received the Ontario Distinguished Co-operator Award at the Ontario Co-operative Association's Annual Conference and Gala at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington for his dedication to strengthening his co-op and his contributions to the community and co-operative system.

Sunderland Co-operative Inc. serves parts of Durham/York Regions, and the county of Victoria. It has a membership of 1,800 farmers or rural-residents and more than 60 years of successful operation. It is a full service agricultural co-operative providing products and services in feed, agronomy, grain marketing, energy products and services and has a retail store on site that provides hardware products, pet supplies and work wear. Sunderland Co-operative is a member-owner of GROWMARK, Inc. and markets its products and services under the FS banner. 

For photos of Thompson and Hayes, please contact Janice Johnson, GROWMARK Communications at: jajohnson@growmark.com.

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