Association Recognizes Past Chairman Tom Gaffney

At the 2024 Annual Meeting of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, Association President/CEO Roger A. Isom posthumously recognized former CCGGA Chairman Tom Gaffney, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year in February.  Tom was born in 1966 in Seoul, South Korea. Tom grew up primarily in Linden, New Jersey. He graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy in Pines Beach, New Jersey in 1984.  Tom attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1988 with a degree in electrical engineering. Tom was a Navy veteran who served from 1984 to 1995.  After his discharge from the Navy, he worked for PepsiCo in Salt Lake City, Utah for 2 years. He moved to the Central Valley and worked for the J.G. Boswell Company and lived in Hanford from September 1997 till his passing.  According to those who worked with him at the J.G. Boswell Company, Tom will be remembered for his strong work ethic, indomitable spirit, and his hidden warmness.  He was known to take care of his employees and his hidden kindness was displayed in his treatment of stray cats throughout the J. G. Boswell Company gins. He loved to read, travel, and watch baseball.  His office is filled with the many books he read, mementos and pictures from his travels, and his collection of baseball memorabilia.  Late in his life he developed an interest in whiskey and began to drink and collect various whiskeys from around the world.  Most of us did not know all of that because Tom was pretty quiet.  That is until he had something to say.  President/CEO Isom commented “I remember being in Colorado Springs at a USDA ARS Research Meeting when he was in his element and he spoke like I never heard him speak again.  And it was the same thing for the board until he became Chair.  He would call me and ask questions, express his frustrations, give me advice.  He was a different guy.  But most importantly, he stepped up every single time I asked him to.  Whether it was the research meeting in Colorado, lobby days in Sacramento or helping out with Ginners School, Tom was there each and every day.  With Tom, it was never a Boswell thing.  It was always about the cotton industry.  And for that I am forever grateful.  No matter the call, Tom answered…and that my friends is the reason behind the Distinguished Service Award.  And while he may not be here today in person to receive this industry’s highest honor, we all know he is here in spirit.“  The Association then recognized Thomas Gaffney with a very special Distinguished Service Award to be given to his family.