Since 1991, Allen James has been at the forefront of promoting the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers and the valuable role these products play each day as the president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment). James has officially announced his coming retirement from RISE, the national trade association representing the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of pesticide and fertilizer products, effective third quarter 2010.
James was honored during the RISE Annual Meeting, held with CropLife America, Sept. 25-30, 2009, in Orlando, Florida.
“Allen is an incredibly gifted leader who has done a great amount for RISE as an organization and for the industry as a whole,” said Bill Culpepper, president and CEO of SePRO Corporation. “He has exceeded all expectations with the things he has accomplished since joining RISE, and his professionalism and consistent quality of work have become the trademark of the organization moving forward,” added Culpepper, one of the founders of RISE and a member of the initial search committee that hired James as executive director in 1991.
One of James’ major contributions to RISE was growing and expanding the membership base of the organization. When James was named the organization’s first executive director 18 years ago, RISE was a small trade association with only 12 members. Today, RISE has more than 200 member companies which account for more than 90 percent of the United States’ specialty pesticide production.
“The relationship between agriculture and specialty would not be as strong and as productive as it is today if Allen had not been chosen as the RISE executive director in the early ‘90s,” said Jay Vroom, CropLife America president and CEO. “The extraordinary value this relationship brings to our advocacy, regulatory and communications endeavors cannot be overstated. I would like to thank Allen for making this partnership work.”
Josh Weeks, chairman of the RISE Governing Board and vice president, professional products North America for the environmental science business of Bayer CropScience, announced during the RISE annual meeting the creation of a new award to honor James’ many years of service to the industry. The E. Allen James Award will be given annually beginning in 2010 to honor an individual who makes outstanding contributions to the specialty pesticide and fertilizer industry, epitomizing the essence of RISE’s first president.
“This award is a lasting tribute to Allen and will be given for years to come to recognize others who build upon his legacy,” Weeks said. “Allen has contributed an incredible amount to the advancement of the industry, and this award is an accolade to his accomplishments.”
A nationally known and revered expert on the subject of pesticide and fertilizer legislation, James has worked closely with national political leaders to explain the health and safety benefits associated with the responsible use of pesticide and fertilizer products. When the West Nile virus outbreak occurred in 1999, RISE was on the forefront of the national situation for many years, communicating with the public about the disease and supporting strategies to prevent outbreaks and reduce the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses.
Under James, RISE has also been actively involved in defending state pre-emption laws, whereby every municipality and county across the country has the right to use pesticide products to protect their residents when necessary.
“Allen has been constant in his service and vision, and has made great strides in providing a strong, unified voice for the specialty pesticide industry,” said Dan Rosenbaum, incoming chair of the RISE Governing Board and director, specialty products business with FMC Corporation.
Upon his retirement, James will move back to his home state of North Carolina with his wife, Ann. A search committee consisting of members of the RISE Governing Board will begin the task of finding James’ successor in late 2009.