This week, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is saying a fond farewell to two very dedicated colleagues. Ms. Sadako Ishida is retiring from her Program Assistant/Accountant position at USW/Tokyo after 40 years and, with the closing of the USW/Moscow office, Ms. Valentina Shustova is leaving her position as Office Director and Marketing Specialist after 25 years.
“Ishida-san has remained a good-hearted employee throughout her career with U.S. Wheat Associates,” said Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya, Country Director, USW/Tokyo. “There have been challenges, such as when former Country Director Takeo Suzuki was ill with cancer and passed away, but she overcame any hardship with a most positive outlook. I believe her loyalty and friendly attitude to her work and life benefitted our customers, the farmers we represent and all her colleagues. We thank her very much for her service and hope she will have a long and healthy retirement.”
Ms. Sadako Ishida (right) at the USW/Tokyo office with Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya. New Program Assistant Ms. Makiko Ochi is not pictured.
Sadako shared some information about her career with us that we want to pass along.
“I was introduced to U.S. Wheat Associates by an aunt of a friend who was working for one of the U.S. agricultural cooperator organizations. At the time (1978), Mr. Ron Maas was the Country Director who hired me,” she recalled. “At first, I was a clerk typist doing daily office work such as accompanying U.S. travelers to observe local mills, which was an experience I enjoyed very much. Then after our accountant left, my responsibility included bookkeeping. As the number of staff was reduced, I stayed mostly at the office ready for calls or visitors, assisting Mr. Suzuki and then Mr. Utsunomiya.
“I want to say thank you so much to all of USW colleagues for all the wonderful years. As I am a daughter of farmer myself, I have been very happy to be able to share common topics with U.S. farmers and have been very proud to provide a little help for them and our Japanese customers — including me.”
“Because of Valentina’s dedicated service to U.S. Wheat Associates and the farmers we represent, it was a difficult choice to close our Moscow office” Peterson said. “She remained an active participant in the Russian grain industry and provided very relevant information and perspective on the amazing changes that have taken place there. We sincerely thank her for her commitment and we wish her the best of luck in the future.”
Ms. Valentina Shustova, with a recognition of her 25 years of service given by her USW colleagues.
Valentina also shared some thoughts on this transition.
“The time has come to say good bye to all of you with whom I worked closely over the past 25 years,” she said. “I am proud and happy that I was privileged to work for and on behalf of the U.S. wheat producers in such a great organization and with such wonderful and talented professionals. Many of you have become my good friends. I will keep good memories of these years. Thank you all for that! I wish all the USW staff the best and success in the dedicated work for the benefit and prosperity of U.S. wheat producers.”
We wish both of our colleagues all the best.