100 Years and Growing: 100 Years and Innovating | 100 Years and Giving | 100 Years and Evolving

June Submissions

Wilbur-Ellis employees and friends … do you have a message for employees 25 years from now?

Cheah Ching Yee, Malaysia

Congratulation to Wilbur-Ellis’ 100th anniversary! Yeah! You (WE) have made it happen.

It is not an easy task for a family-owned business to stay over a long period of time and see the transformation of few eras of history.

It reminds me of a saving, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulder of giants.”

As the next generation in a company, we need to carry on our earlier predecessor vision, creativity, courage, hard work, combined with technology and great talent to grow and expedite transformation to diversity of business model in the 4th industrial revolution, 5G impact as well the current COVID -19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught me to learn a lot by myself, about our colleagues and how to manage and navigate through the many obstacles.

I always believe that “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”, instead of fretting how difficult things are, we should really be looking out for these life lessons.

Adrielle Yeow, Malaysia

Covid-19 virus has become a pandemic beginning last year: 2020. I never thought I will face a pandemic in my lifetime. It is scary and is affecting every society of life and sadly it is ending many lives prematurely. Vaccines have started to be administered, but not fast enough in some countries. Covid-19 pandemic is also indirectly affecting people’s livelihood when non-essential businesses are not allowed to operate, and many people have been laid off from work due to business wind down or reduction of headcount.

I have been WFH (acronym for ‘working from home’) since March 2020. Reason is to keep people from moving about and to reduce the chance and possibility of infection by Covid-19 virus. It is no laughing joke as we must care for ourselves especially when we have dependents (children or elderly). It has been really draining emotionally because we can’t meet our loved ones or friends in person. Also, I wonder how others who cannot work or lose jobs face each day with no income, less income and their savings is dwindling.

Then one fine day this month, I discovered opportunity to help the needy who need food in my residency. This lifted my spirit. I have been distributing cooked food to my neighbors who are facing difficulty to meet their basic needs.

To Wilbur-Ellis, blessed 100th anniversary to you! I am so honored to be part of this global organization that is thriving, caring and very generous in giving. Even though we cannot celebrate this auspicious day grandly in person, but you did it by organizing questions that gives donation to Red Cross. That is the reason that my daughter and I answered the questions every month. 4 USD donation per submission may not be a lot but to the needy, it is and I have nothing to lose but gain. Of course, I am blessed that Charis has won thrice so far. Thank you, Wilbur-Ellis, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making a difference in my life and the lives of others. May you grow leaps and bounds. God bless Wilbur-Ellis! I am so going to miss answering questions (smile).

Tara Cox, United States (Agribusiness)

I am very fortunate to be working at a 2nd family-owned, 100-year-old company. An amazing achievement! And is nothing better than a family-owned company! In my career, I have never met more resilient, creative, and caring people than the employees of Wilbur-Ellis. What we do everyday matters…our efforts towards serving our customers, creating the best products, and our innovation. The next 100 years are going to be the best yet. The company has weathered many tough years and the employees themselves toughed through the 2020 pandemic. We still gave back, championed, and celebrated life. We just had to be creative, flexible, with a positive mindset. And that my friends, will take us into the future with success. Cheers!

Raj Aryan, India

Be happy and experience your bliss, be the reason someone smiles, feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.

People are the most important asset and everyone matters here in our Wilbur-Ellis family.

Jeanne Forbis, United States (Corporate)

As we’ve learned about the company’s 100-year history during the year-long celebration, I’ve been very impressed by how Wilbur-Ellis rose to so many challenges presented on the world stage. In the 1920s, the stock market crashed, leading to a Depression in the 1930s. In the 1940s, World War II created hardship and loss for so many. In the 1950s and beyond, the company was on a growth trajectory that continues to the present day. The history of Wilbur-Ellis illustrates that no company is sheltered from global events. But how we respond to them – and how we find opportunities in troubled times – may be the biggest difference between organizations that go by the wayside, and those, like Wilbur-Ellis, that persevere and prevail.

Mallory Lucas, United States (Agribusiness)

While the world halted during the pandemic, farms kept going just as they always have. It has been a joy to maintain interaction with our customers, even if we had masks and met outside long after the weather was comfortable. The consistency of work throughout the last year has been a huge stabilizing force. Between the steady flow of work and the constant presence of the barn, this year hasn’t had the impact it could have. I do miss my colleagues, but my current office mates are enjoyable, too!

Gerrie Rodewald, United States (Nutrition)

2020-2021 has been a challenging year for all, but it has shown the resilience and capability of a people coming together to work through a pandemic. One day we were in the office, and the next day found us working from home. I do both, as I am in the office 3 days a week and 2 at home. In all instances, we have found a way to keep the same quality and consistent level of performance as we had done before. In some cases, we got better!

I am grateful to have worked for Wilbur-Ellis 16 1/2 years. While other industries have struggled to survive, we are stronger than ever and WE’s commitment to the employees is greatly appreciated. I congratulate Wilbur-Ellis on this amazing milestone of 100 years and look forward to seeing what the next generation will add to helping the world thrive.

John Thacher, United States (Corporate)

As we approach the company’s 100th anniversary, what I am reflecting on is resiliency. The resilience of Wilbur-Ellis to reach one hundred years. The resilience of our nation and the world to persevere in spite of such a challenging year. As we celebrate this milestone in the company’s history, we can be proud of not only weathering the last twelve months, but making fundamental progress in so many areas during these trying times. We share a spirit of generosity, of effort, and of values. We are personally invested, and together we will make our mark over the next ten decades.

Tze Ying Goh, Singapore (Connell)

The COVID pandemic has changed a lot of things that we take for granted. Mask is a must whenever we go outside of our house. Working from home becomes a norm. My coffee is my comfort drink and a perk me up. Team meetings become a way of working life. Kids are having zoom meetings with home based learning. It is a challenge to manage both work and the kids’ schedules at the same time, sometimes with us fighting for space to do video meetings at the same time. However it also allows us to spend more time together as a family. As a family, we play together and learn together. Kids come out with creative ways to keep themselves busy. Online shopping and deliveries are the little joys I looked forward to as international travel comes to a halt. Therefore during this trying times, it is important to stay positive and be kind to ourselves and others. There are silver linings in the dark clouds. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this tougher and stronger!

Marju Hermogenu, Philippines (Connell)

In this world where every minute second has its own story, where we have control of what we do and can do by ourselves and where we can influence people through encouragement and motivation, where technology teaches people to understand more the world, and where contribution has its own reward, let us remain in contact and continue to do what we’ve always dreamed of pursuing through faith, resilience and love.

Wei Kuen Cheang, Malaysia (Connell)

Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
Colored this on 19 June 2021.
From Johanna Basford Worlds of Wonder A Coloring Book for the Curious.

Debbie Brannan, United States (Corporate)

I have worked for Wilbur-Ellis for over 8 years now, and I love my IT family. It is such a joy to work for a company that cares about their employees and puts family first. This last year has shown me that it is important to do the things you love and be with those you love. The image I have chosen is a collage of those things; my loving husband and our 4 children, our 4 grandchildren that we have been blessed with (and #5 due later this year), and our 5th wheel that allows us flexibility and traveling options. This is what life is about. God has blessed us greatly and I am thankful every day for what we have been given.

Maricar Lopez, Philippines (Connell)

2021 continues to be a challenging year in all areas of life. For a mom who recently gave birth during a pandemic period, I cannot help but to get worried not only for myself but most especially for my family. But thinking of the discipline and commitment to safety that I have acquired from my company which I religiously practice and shared with my family and friends, this helps me to have a positive mindset that everything can be okay. The reason why I am so thankful is because me and my family were and are all safe.

And why do I have this vision that my son will be working with Connell after 25 years? Maybe because, for 9 months in my tummy and up to this day, he’s part of me working for a great company.

John Buckley, United States (Corporate)

For over 15 months, my office has been my home. Working remotely was one step Wilbur-Ellis took to lower the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. By reducing the number of people in the workplace, this helped protect both remote employees and those who continued to work at our locations.

Today, as we prepare to celebrate Wilbur-Ellis’ 100th anniversary on June 29th, I took a new photo that shows me in a different office – my real office at the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

It’s great to be back! But I also know that the pandemic is continuing for many around the world. So, as we celebrate a milestone for the company – and the progress we’ve made in fighting the pandemic – there’s still work to do, and I’m grateful for the strength and resilience of Wilbur-Ellis people around the world!

Bertha Crevolin, United States (Agribusiness)

2020-2021 brought forth many adversities that most had to face. In addition to the global pandemic and world shut down, many faced fear for their health and safety, mental health issues, and for our youth & students having education moved to a virtual classroom setting. Our youngest daughter Tori was to have walked for her college graduation from California State University of Fresno in May of 2020, but with Covid-19 that was not possible. Despite not having that opportunity and a key staple in life set-back, she moved forward in a positive light with the knowledge of successfully obtaining her degree. Well, I am happy to say that our daughter did eventually have her moment in May of 2021, with a combined graduation of the class of 2020 & 2021. Although a much different setting and many restrictions, she none the less walked proudly in her ceremony and all celebrated in her great achievement. We look forward to seeing her shine in her new career as an elementary school teacher. I would like to say that I commend and am proud of all students who faced the adversities that the pandemic laid in front of them, with faith & hope leading their way.

Win Ching Chong, Malaysia (Connell)

Life is short, we never know what will happen to us tomorrow, so we live in the present moment. A lady which who is a cancer patient said, “We can’t wait for all things to be ok to feel happy.” This is so true. Cheers!!

Kyrie Esarey, United States (Agribusiness)

Every storm brings beauty.

Kyrie Esarey, United States (Agribusiness)

Stop and watch the sunset because no matter the chaos it will always be a beautiful sight.

Gina Colfer, United States (Agribusiness)

I spend my free time at the beach on the Central Coast of CA enjoying the sand, the water and wildlife with my husband. We are dedicated to the preservation of our amazing ocean and work every day with water on our minds. I appreciate the focus that Wilbur-Ellis has on Organics and Sustainability and the push forward for alternative answers to reduce pollutants in our environment. We need to preserve our resources now for our next generations to thrive.

Andrew Loder, United States (Nutrition)

My son is Sebastian and he is 17 years old. His club soccer team is called Keliix-Intra Premier, based in Minneapolis. Sebastian and his team are in the distant background of the photo under the tent. It was 95 degrees that night. This is my wife, Marci, and me at a game.

Eric Klindt, United States (Agribusiness)

I usually take everything to the next level (little overboard) because it’s 100 years of Agricultural Aviation. August 3, 1921 was the first application over trees. And being Wilbur-Ellis’ 100th anniversary gave me the drive to finish “Dusty” the airplane. I did the fuel truck about 5 years ago for when the movie, Planes, came out.

At the first parade, it was so fun to watch kids reaction a block away jumping up and down when they saw the plane coming down the street. I want everyone to remember Wilbur-Ellis when ever they see an airplane! And more importantly “that’s Eric!”

Gary Dempsay, United States

As we have gone through the last year of dealing with the Covid-19 virus, we need to remember that we need to stop and smell the roses. Spend time with

Julie Magnuson, United States (Nutrition)

A day in the life of our family! This picture was taken by my son, Zack, while we (husband, Dave, daughter, Haley and Buddy our Lhasa Apso) took a day trip to the Oregon Coast (Arch Cape pictured here with Castle Rock in the background). Wilbur-Ellis has provided many opportunities over the years which our family has grown to appreciate. From the wonderful people who I’ve worked alongside to the vendors and customers I have come to call friends; all have made a tremendous impact on our lives. The appreciation the company shows to us as employees as well as the benefits, flexibility and opportunities to grow as individuals is unlike any other company I have worked for previously. While work is not the only focus in my life, the career path I have experienced here has been the vehicle to help my family and I live a great life. Thank you, Wilbur-Ellis! Cheers to another 100 years!

Heather Messer, United States (Agribusiness)

We are celebrating our own milestones in the Messer family this month, with the high school graduation of our youngest son, Colton. As with almost every event this year, outdoor accommodations were made to comply with Covid guidelines – but we were happy that we could celebrate and honor our graduates – which was not guaranteed this year. Having your most important people around you, as you gather to celebrate milestones of any kind (family, school, work, sports) is one of my favorite highlights of any year!

Jim Glatzhofer, United States (Agribusiness)

Despite many challenges and raw material issues caused by the pandemic, the Branded Products Formulation Team in the Fresno, CA, Product Development Laboratory continued to produce significant new products and a record number of samples for R&D testing in 2021. This work will result in pipeline contributions to Wilbur-Ellis Branded Products well into the future. The effort this year will also provide a foundation of technologies for use in long term growth of Wilbur-Ellis’ products and for our customers to continue to produce food and crops more efficiently and effectively.


As part of our 100th anniversary celebration, we launched the Giving Program to help people in need worldwide. In total, the Giving Program raised $52,000 USD for the Red Cross, building on the company’s $100,000 donation in 2020.

Giving Program Recap