MEMPHIS, Tenn. – John Maguire, former National Cotton Council senior vice president for Washington Operations, is the recipient of the 2017 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award. He was honored during the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) 2018 annual meeting held in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 9-11.
The award, named for the late California industry leader and past NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the U.S. cotton industry.
In presenting the award, outgoing NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee noted that Maguire had responsibility for coordinating the NCC’s Washington activities, including Congressional relations and working with Administration officials, with the overall goal of creating a legislative and regulatory environment that allowed each of the U.S. cotton industry’s seven segments to compete effectively and profitably in a global market. He also was actively involved in policy development and implementation activities.
“John was regarded as the premier agricultural lobbyist in Washington and shepherded the passage of cotton provisions in six farm bills,” Lee said. “He was our industry’s tireless advocate on countless issues.”
Maguire joined the NCC in 1979 and was based in Hong Kong where he served as Far East director for its export promotion arm, Cotton Council International (CCI). In 1982, he assumed additional responsibilities as the NCC’s assistant director of Foreign Operations.
In 1983, Maguire moved to Washington, DC, when he was named the NCC’s director of Foreign Operations and CCI executive director. He headed the NCC’s Washington Operations beginning in 1986 before eventually being named in 2003 a senior vice president, a position he held until he retired.
Prior to joining the NCC, Maguire worked for the Supima Association and the American Yarn Spinners Association, after earning his bachelor and master’s degrees in textiles from Georgia Tech. He and his wife, Joyce have a son, Brian, a daughter-in-law, Julie, and three grandchildren.
Previous Harry S. Baker award honorees include cotton producers -- Woody Anderson, Duke Barr, Bruce Brumfield, Lloyd Cline, Robert Coker, Jimmy Dodson, Bruce Heiden, Kenneth Hood, Bill Lovelady, Bob McLendon, Frank Mitchener, Jimmy Sanford, Jack Stone and Charlie Youngker; ginners -- Lon Mann and Charlie Owen; merchants -- William B. Dunavant, Jr., and Bill Lawson; cooperative official -- Woods Eastland; textile manufacturer -- Duke Kimbrell; association executives -- Gaylon Booker, Neal Gillen, Mark Lange, Albert Russell, Earl Sears, and B.F. Smith; Congressional members -- Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Representatives Larry Combest and Charles Stenholm; and USDA official -- Charlie Cunningham.