Assiniboine Community College (ACC) held its annual Alumni Advancement Dinner on April 4. The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented posthumously to Jeffrey Johnston The following is Johnston’s biography nomination:
Business Administration, Class of ‘81
A lifetime of work in the grain industry, stated with a decision to pursue a diploma in Business Administration at Assiniboine. Jeff used a combination of education and personality to launch a career that would take him to the role of ice-President of the AgHorizons Canada business unit of Cargill Limited, and would see him recognized as a leader through the Prairies for this 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 ate Cargill. He led a $30-million initiative 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 years with the company. From an entry-level accountant to becoming Cargill’s vice-president, Jeff collected career accolades along the way. During his career, he moved from Winnipeg, where he retired after 32 years in the industry.
Upon his retirement in Novemer2013, 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. He 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 these 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.