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GCCA crowns first Anthony M. Leo Scholarship recipients

Aug. 17, 2021
Interstate Warehousing, Valley Cold Storage employees secure opportunity to participate in three years of WFLO Institute training

The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and RLS Logistics recently named MJ Faison of Interstate Warehousing and Christian Avila of Valley Cold Storage as the first recipients of the Anthony M. Leo WFLO Scholarship.

The scholarship will provide the opportunity for these individuals to participate in all three years of the WFLO (World Food Logistics Organization) Institute training program in memory of Tony Leo’s contributions to GCCA and the cold chain industry.

“MJ and Christian both embody the spirit, leadership, and work ethic that we’re looking for to honor Tony’s love of the industry,” said Matthew Ott, president and CEO of WFLO. “Tony was a passionate advocate for training and educating the next generation of future cold chain leaders, and with this scholarship we will be able to honor that passion for years to come.” 

Faison works as a supervisor at Interstate Warehousing in Colorado. According to his supervisor, he has an ability to connect with fellow employees and build relationships, while keeping up his positive attitude.
Avila works as the general warehouse manager at Valley Cold Storage in New Mexico. According to his supervisor, he started with the company six years ago, learning how to drive a forklift, and has worked his way up to be the manager of VCS’s largest facility. Both recipients have gone above and beyond and become integral parts of their companies, and are outstanding examples of leaders in the cold chain.

Through the Anthony M. Leo WFLO Scholarship, one individual will be selected annually to begin as a Year 1 student. In addition, RLS Logistics will contribute funds to allow for a second scholarship to be awarded. Each scholarship will cover registration fee and travel expenses. Nominees were evaluated on their status as a high-performing professional member of their organization, attitude, leadership skills, and overall dedication to the industry, as well as how the WFLO Institute can enhance their ability to become a future leader in the industry.

“The group of us on the committee knew Tony well so we had a grasp on exactly what he would have wanted,” said Lori Cogit, vice president of human resources at RLS Logistics. “It was important that the winners exemplified a passion for the industry, as well as the drive to do, be, and contribute more. It was clear as we identified MJ and Christian that these are picks that Tony would have approved of. Our hope is that if we can inspire one person to have the hunger and love for the cold chain that Tony did, we have done the industry a great service.” 

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