Jeff Rakity of Natural Flavors/Elan received OTA’s 2015 Member of the Year Award at OTA’s Annual Meeting in September. This special recognition, driven by OTA staff and endorsed by OTA’s Board, was created to honor a truly engaged member—a dedicated volunteer, fearless leader and apt cheerleader for OTA while serving overall as an ambassador for OTA and the industry.
An OTA member since 1999, Rakity stepped up to the plate in 2005 to become part of OTA’s Annual Fund Host Committee. He became co-chair of the campaign in 2009, leading the volunteer committee through thousands of “asks” to achieve a campaign that now brings in over $1 million per year.
Under his leadership, OTA’s Annual Fund has remained a meaningful source of revenue for the Association. In fact, Rakity is responsible for raising over $755,000 from 156 donations during his tenure on the committee. 2015 marks the last year that Rakity will be Host Committee Chair. However, he has agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity to provide guidance to a new set of volunteers. //