2015 Distinguished Service Award


Roger A. Isom
California Cotton Ginners & Growers Associations

Phone: (559)252-0684
Fax: (559)252-0551
email: roger@ccgga.org
The California Cotton Ginners Association is pleased to announce that Jesse Currlee of Supima has been named as the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

The award is given each year to honor and recognize an individual outside the Ginners Association that have made significant contributions to the Ginners Association and/or the cotton ginning industry.  This year’s recipient is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in marketing.  He began his business career in 1968 with Armstrong World Industries in their Lancaster, Pennsylvania corporate headquarters.  He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was responsible for the company’s industrial sales to the textile industry in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.  In 1973, he joined the U.S. textile industry as Executive Secretary of the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association and its affiliate organization, The Textile Education Foundation, in Atlanta.  In 1979, he was named General Manager of Supima in Phoenix, Arizona, and in 1981 he was named President of the organization. He is a former trustee and past Chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation. He also served as a director of the 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M and is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors. In 1993, he served as President of the Former Students Association of Texas A&M University, and is currently a member of the Phoenix Rotary Club; Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations; Advisory Director of the Arizona Cotton Growers Association; and an advisor to the Executive Committee of Cotton Council International headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Jesse fostered the introduction of Supima to the fashion industry in a major way with the start of its now recognized and respected annual runway fashion show during the September fashion week in New York City. That show has now been invited to Paris this year for a special showing at the US Ambassador’s residence later this year.  Under Curlee’ s leadership, Supima began a licensing program for customers wanting to use the Supima name.  That program has grown today to over three hundred licensees worldwide and the income from that program has helped Supima survive without increasing grower dues since its beginning.  Supima now licenses the name and trademark worldwide to textile/apparel manufacturers, brands and retailers with 370 licensees in 32 countries.  Under Curlee’s leadership, the Supima name has grown to worldwide recognition as the finest cotton fiber in the world.  No better proof of that fact can be made of this fact than is witnessed by the demand of many of the world’s top designers and brand name retailers in their growing use and loyalty to the Supima name! He has held a long and distinguished career, and there is absolutely no doubt the pima industry would not be what it is today without the leadership of Jesse Curlee.

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations are voluntary dues-based organizations representing cotton growers and cotton gins throughout California on regulatory and legislative issues ranging from energy and air quality to labor and water quality.