First Golden Mic Awards Presented at NAMA

Cindy Zimmerman

AEM’s Curt Blades and John Rozem

In honor of ZimmComm’s 20th anniversary, we decided to recognize some of the people who have spent the most time talking into the Golden Microphone. Since we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 interviews from over the years, we narrowed it down to just NAMA members and we still had lots of candidates. Our judging criteria was based on both number of interviews and being among our earliest interviews.

We will be giving out more Golden Mic awards later this year because there are lots of people we have interviewed even more than the individuals on this first list – such as Bob Dinneen, former President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, who we interviewed over 300 times between 2005 and 2019!

Chuck interviews Tom Slunecka at the 2007 NAMA conference

Ag Management Solutions and Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka was the very first person to be interviewed with the ZimmComm Golden Microphone at the NAMA conference in 2007 and deserves some of the credit for making that our trademark since he encouraged Chuck to use the gold windscreen on the new Heil mic we had just gotten. Slunecka and Curt Blades with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) received the highest of this first batch of Golden Mic Awards – the coveted gold mic trophy. An additional ten NAMA members received the Golden Mic gold medal. Next we need to come up with some kind of award for the people we have the most photos of in our photo albums! Pretty sure Tom Vilsack would win that one.

Beth Burgy, Kenna Rathai, and Amy Bradford proudly display their Golden Mic medals

Here is the complete list of all the 2024 ZimmComm Golden Mic Awards presented at NAMA:

Tom Slunecka – 26+ interviews since 2005
Curt Blades – 19 since 2009
Amy Bradford – 20 since 2011
Beth Burgy – 12 since 2008
Sara Steever – 11 since 2010
Matt Coniglio – 10 since 2007
John Rozum – 10 since 2008
Don Tourte – 10 since 2008
Lynn Henderson – 9 since 2007
Kenna Rathai – 8 since 2007
Stephanie Gable – 7 since 2007
Gardner Hatch – 4 since 2006

Media, NAMA, ZimmComm Announcement