Darin Marti Retires After 40 Years

December 27, 2018
After an extraordinary and expanded career in the cooperative industry, Darin Marti, vice president of eastern operations for MKC, will retire in January.

Being involved in the cooperative industry for over 40 years, Marti has seen a lot. “Mergers have to be listed as a big change when you think about Kansas having 300-plus co-ops 40 years ago to around 75 today,” he said.

It makes sense that Marti would list mergers as a significant influence on his career. After all, a merger is what brought him to MKC. In 2014, MKC merged with Farmers Cooperative Association in Manhattan, where Marti served as the general manager.

“I’ve only worked at MKC for a little more than four years but have been familiar with MKC for 15 years. At smaller co-ops, you depend on people you know in the industry,” Marti said.

Marti’s experience is indeed unique. He began his career in 1978 at Brown County Cooperative in Hiawatha.
“Even though it was 40 years ago, I still remember my first days on the job at a cooperative location, which turned out to be the first location I managed. Those of us who have been in the industry awhile used to joke about new employees cleaning the boot pit on the first day of the job, I did that the second day,” he joked. “I had the opportunity to experience most facets of operating a co-op. Marti experienced numerous positions at the cooperative including elevator operator, rig driver, feed mill operator, location manager, grain merchandiser and accounting.”

Marti worked at Brown County Cooperative for 14 years before moving to Farmers Cooperative in Sabetha. While there, Marti and the member-owners worked together to prevent a forced merger, which he recognizes as one of his most significant accomplishments. He spent 11 years in Sabetha before moving to Manhattan.

“Marti has really shown and taught me a lot. I can’t narrow it down to a single thing, but everything that goes into working for a co-op he knows or will find out for you,” said Rob Ashburn, grain operations manager at Manhattan. “One thing he said from day one is that when we disagree and get upset with each other about an issue, it ends there. The next day, the air is clear, and we are ready to go about business as usual.”

When asked to reflect on time spent with Marti, his coworkers describe him as a knowledgeable, caring and frugal leader. They mentioned his reminders to save $10 a day, the importance he places on asking questions and his ability to manage employees as impacts Marti has made on their careers.

Following retirement, Marti is planning to tackle his “daddy do” list from his daughters and spend plenty of time with his grandson.

“I will miss the people I work with inside and outside of MKC. That has been the same no matter where I worked. But also, with MKC, the teamwork aspect will be missed and the exposure to new ideas and facilities will be difficult to keep up with after retiring,” he said.

MKC will be hosting a Retirement Celebration for Marti on January 4, 2019. The festivities will take place at the Celebration Center in Manhattan from 3-7 p.m. It is a come and go event.
Posted: 12/27/2018 11:15:23 AM by Nichole Gouldie | with 0 comments

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