Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) and Firestone Ag announced that Tony Orlando, President, Bridgestone Integrated Agricultural Tire Business, U.S. & Canada, Latin America (BSAM) and Europe, Middle East, India, Africa (BSEMIA), and Matt Frank, Director, Business Strategy, Customer Success, were among national honorees selected by the National FFA Organization to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree, the highest degree bestowed upon an individual by the FFA.
Each year, the FFA award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agricultural education. Orlando and Frank will be recognized as part of the 96th National FFA Convention & Expo this November.
Firestone Ag has been a supporter of National FFA for nearly 80 years. Harvey Firestone’s son, Leonard Firestone, established and chaired the first corporate giving committee of FFA in 1944. Harvey Firestone provided the first funding for the National FFA Scholarship program, and Firestone Ag now funds six FFA scholarships.
“Matt and I are honored to have received this recognition from the FFA, a longtime partner of Firestone Ag,” said Orlando. “This degree is a testament not only to the important work of agriculture education and opportunities promoted by the FFA, but to the values of Harvey Firestone that still hold as foundational to Firestone Ag today.”
Orlando, who was named President, Bridgestone Integrated Agricultural Tire Business, U.S. & Canada, Latin America (BSAM) and Europe, Middle East, India, Africa (BSEMIA), in January 2023, leads an integrated team of regional Ag businesses in BSAM and BSEMIA and helps define the global strategy and mission of Firestone Ag. Orlando has continued to promote Firestone’s partnership with FFA as instrumental in ensuring the encouragement and preparation of future leaders to act as champions and changemakers for the agriculture industry.
Prior to his current role as Director, Business Strategy, Customer Success, Frank held several product marketing roles for Firestone Ag. During that time, Frank served on the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board and was responsible for the growth of Firestone’s partnership with FFA and support such as Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants and the agribusiness pathway. In 2022, Matt received an FFA Eagle Award for his participation with the organization.
These recognitions align with the “Empowerment” value of the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, which serves as an axis to drive management while earning the trust of future generations.