Irrigon resident and WEID water user, Debbie Radie, was honored by the American Frozen Food Institute at its annual Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Radie, Vice-President of Operations at Boardman Foods and member of the AFFI Board of Directors, was presented with the institute’s inaugural Woman of The Year award.  The award recognizes “an outstanding female AFFI member employee for her passion for the frozen food industry and her leadership.”  This new award was created and presented in partnership with Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer to celebrate the women in the frozen food industry.  According to Alison Bodor, CEO of AFFI, “Debbie has long been active within AFFI, where she shares her expertise and energy.”

Radie expressed surprise when her name was called to come up on stage and receive her award.  “It took me about 24 hours of just taking it all in,” she said.  “When I really thought about it, the best part of this award was that Boardman Foods is an innovative, creative, and insightful company that thinks and reacts as challenges arise, whether it’s COVID, childcare, or new food safety regulations.”

When I spoke with Debbie about the award, she said she was especially humbled, as she was up against women from much larger corporations.  She is pleased to bring the recognition to Morrow County, where community collaboration is one of her priorities.  From affordable childcare to employee safety and water quality, Boardman Foods has always been proactive in the community. 

“So, we as a company and me as a leader get to take on those challenges and react to them in a very nimble way.  Brian Maag, our president, likes to say, ‘Keep our knees bent,’ and I think that’s really true.  Being able to get this award, the first Woman of the Year award, is a big honor.”

Congratulation, Debbie!