Article from ourtownlive.com (Our Town Community News)
What a run for Wilco.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Mount Angel-headquartered business was voted a Top Workplace in Oregon and southwest Washington.
The farm and community centered business also was awarded a plaque from Oregon’s Department of Agriculture for its great work bringing diverse groups together through collaboration.
And now, drum roll, Wilco is the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year for 2015.
Lani Ahmadian of the Wilco Customer Care Team loves her job and her company.
“It is a great place to work. I have only been here nine months and am amazed at how they exemplify their core values,” Ahmadian said. “This company is very deserving of the award. They say they give back to their communities and they demonstrate that regularly. I am proud to work here.”
The main office in Mount Angel and provides support to more than 20 locations throughout Oregon and Washington. Its chief purpose is to support the stores and agronomy centers through transportation, distribution, marketing, human resources, accounting, customer care and more.
“By highlighting Mount Angel, this is an award that all our locations deserve. They do all the hard work; we just help support them,” Jake Wilson, Wilco’s marketing director, said.
Wilco’s benevolence runs deep and wide. Their focus on community and core values led them to making generous donations and sponsorships to a variety of causes, from toy and food drives to multiple blood drives throughout the year with the Red Cross.
The company donated more than $100,000 to events and nonprofits, and its FFA campaign raised more than $130,000 in 2015.
“Wilco puts a lot of focus and effort on our core values and providing the best customer service we can,” Wilson said. “With core values like Community, Integrity, Quality, Respect, Teamwork, and Accountability, we are set up to be successful.”
Wilco was formed by cooperatives that have roots back to the 1930s. The business was officially formed in 1967 when five farmer-owned cooperatives merged together to better serve the membership.
“As an agricultural cooperative, we are very proud to maintain our companies’ roots in a rural community, so it means a lot to be recognized by Mount Angel and it is a clear sign we are headed in the right direction,” Wilson said.
A Wilco employee for 16 years, Wilson explained what makes Wilco successful.
“As a cooperative, our owners are also Wilco’s best customers,” he said. “The cooperative model and our core values help us stay focused on providing the needs of the customers. With regard to communities, our goal is to support organizations and events in the areas we serve so we can spread out our dollars and time to impact as many people as we can. That’s why we have been such a big supporter of the FFA, Youth Livestock auctions, equestrian clubs, and other agricultural youth organizations.”
The company has more than 700 employees, and 100 of those work out of the Mount Angel office and distribution center. The general scope of the business has three units – Agronomy Centers, Farm Stores, and Fuel Services.
When asked what he is most proud of regarding Wilco’s contribution to the community, Wilson responds, “The FFA Forever program has been a huge success and allowed us to impact thousands of students in agriculture throughout Oregon and Washington. We have been able to raise over $100,000 per year in partnership with our vendors, suppliers, customers, employees and Wilco contributions.”