West Texas Ginner to Lead NCGA in 2008

The Memphis-based National Cotton Ginners Association elected its officers for 2008 at its annual meeting in Memphis on Feb. 9.

February 9, 2008
Contact: Marjory Walker or T. Cotton Nelson
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS – The Memphis-based National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) elected its officers for 2008 at its annual meeting here today.

The officers include: president, Chris Breedlove, who is manager of the Olton Coop Gin in Olton, TX; first vice president, Sledge Taylor, Como, MS; second vice president, Kirk Gilkey, Corcoran, CA; third vice president, Kent Fountain, Surrency, GA, and chairman, Van Murphy, Quitman, GA. Harrison Ashley of Memphis serves as NCGA’s executive vice president.

In addition, Curtis Griffith of Morton, TX, was named the 2007 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year and National Cotton Council (NCC) Vice President Bill Norman is the recipient of NCGA’s 2007-2008 Distinguished Service Award.

Griffith, who grew up on the family’s cotton farm in Morton, attended Lubbock Christian College and Texas Tech University where he received a degree in Agricultural Economics and a law degree. His family, which owns farms in Cochran and Terry Counties in Texas and in New Mexico’s Roosevelt County, has been in the ginning business since 1945, eventually owning all or part of four gins in Cochran and Yoakum Counties. Since 1992, Griffith has served as president and general manager of that four-gin consortium - Southwest Gin of Texas. He also is the chairman of Module Truck Systems, which manufactures and services cotton module trucks.

In addition to cotton ginning, Griffith is board chairman of the First State Bank of Morton, and continues to serve as board chairman of City Bank, which has several locations in Lubbock, in eight other South Plains communities as well as in Dallas, El Paso and Houston. He also serves as president of Zia Financial, Inc., the parent bank holding company of City Bank New Mexico.

A NCC delegate, Griffith is a member of several state and regional producer and ginner interest organizations, and currently serves as a director of and on the executive committees of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association and the Texas Independent Ginners’ Association. 

Griffith also is member of several trade and professional organizations, including the State Bar of Texas, Texas Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. In addition, he serves on the boards of several civic and charitable organizations, including the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, the Texas Tech University Foundation, the Texas Tech Cotton Economics Advisory Committee and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

In 2000, Griffith was the recipient of the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturist Award in Agribusiness from Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and in 1998 was recognized as Distinguished Alumnus from the university’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He also is a founding member of the American Museum of Agriculture, having served as its treasurer and currently serving as secretary. 

Dr. Bill Norman, the recipient of the NCGA’s 2007-2008 Distinguished Service Award, joined the NCC in 2001 as director of Ginner Services and was later promoted to vice president, Ginner Services. Simultaneously, he served as NCGA executive vice president. In 2007 he was named vice president, Technical Services for the NCC and executive director of The Cotton Foundation.

Norman’s career began at Continental Eagle Corporation. He progressed from field engineer in Arizona/California to chief engineer, then was elected vice president of Engineering and later served as the company’s vice president of Business Development, a position that included project development and identification of business opportunities worldwide. He was especially active in Australia, including an appointment as a director of Continental Eagle Pty. Ltd. in Australia.

Active in the Boy Scouts of America and Germantown Methodist Church, Norman received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering from Texas A&M University.