Assiniboine Community College Alumni Association has announced the five recipients of this year’s alumni awards, which will be presented at the 8th annual Alumni Advancement Dinner in Brandon on April 4.
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award is presented posthumously to Jeffrey Johnston. The award is presented annually to graduates of the college who have distinguished themselves in both their chosen profession and their community.
Jeffrey Johnston (Business Administration, Class of ’81), Distinguished Alumni Award (awarded posthumously):
A lifetime of work in the grain industry started with a decision to pursue a diploma in Business Administration at Assiniboine. Jeffrey (Jeff) Johnston, a 1981 graduate of Assiniboine, used a combination of education and personality to launch a career that would take him to the role of assistant Vice-President of the AgHorizons Canada business unit of Cargill Limited, and would see him recognized as a leader throughout the Prairies for his visionary initiatives, and personal connections with clients, colleagues and most importantly, friends.
Many of the current leaders at Cargill note the profound effect Jeff had on their development. He was a gentleman with integrity, an outgoing personality and a recognized acumen for leadership. Jeff was instrumental in initiating a new sales strategy at Cargill. He led a $30-million initiate to acquire 11 facilities from a Cargill competitor. He ushered the company through a consolidation process that would allow Cargill to operate bigger elevators, thus moving grain more quickly and increasing profit.
Jeff spent time in various roles at Cargill over his 30-plus year with the company. From an entry-level accountant to becoming a Cargill assistant vice-president, Jeff collected career accolades along the way. During his career, he moved from Winnipeg to Elm Creek, MB, Grand Prairie, AB, Saskatoon and then returned to Winnipeg, where he retired after 32 years in the industry.
Upon his retirement in November 2013, Jeff and his wife settled on the family’s land at Lake Metigoshe, near Deloraine, MB. Even as a retiree, Jeff’s passion for community continued. Jeff served as a councillor for the rural Municipality of Deloraine-Winchester, chaired the Building Committee, which saw $3.7 million raised to build a new community hall and rink, and was the past president of the Lake Metigoshe Improvement Association.
All three accolades pale in comparison to Jeff’s one true passion: his family. The college is pleased to recognize Jeff’s lifetime of accomplishments, while cherishing the memory of a person who strived to do more for the communities he served.