The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and RLS Logistics are honored to announce MJ Faison of Interstate Warehousing and Christian Avila of Valley Cold Storage as the first recipients of the Anthony M. Leo WFLO Scholarship. The scholarship will provide the opportunity for these individuals to participate in all three years of the WFLO Institute training program in memory of Tony Leo’s contributions to GCCA and the cold chain industry.

“MJ and Christian both embody the spirit, leadership, and work ethic that we’re looking for to honor Tony’s love of the industry,” said Matthew Ott, President & CEO of WFLO. “Tony was a passionate advocate for training and educating the next generation of future cold chain leaders, and with this scholarship we will be able to honor that passion for years to come.”  

“The group of us on the committee knew Tony well so we had a grasp on exactly what he would have wanted. It was important that the winners exemplified a passion for the industry as well as the drive to do, be, and contribute more. It was clear as we identified MJ and Christian that these are picks that Tony would have approved of. Our hope is that if we can inspire one person to have the hunger and love for the cold chain that Tony did, we have done the industry a great service” Lori Cogit on behalf of RLS Logistics.

MJ Faison works as a Supervisor at Interstate Warehousing in Colorado. According to his supervisor, MJ has an ability to connect with fellow employees, build relationships, all while keeping up his positive attitude. Christian Avila works as the General Warehouse manager at Valley Cold Storage in New Mexico. According to his supervisor, he started with the company six years ago learning how to drive a forklift and has worked his way up to be the manager of VCS’s largest facility. Both MJ and Christian have gone above and beyond and become integral parts of their companies and are outstanding examples of leaders in the cold chain.

Through the Anthony M. Leo WFLO Scholarship, one individual will be selected annually to begin as a year one student. In addition, RLS Logistics will also contribute funds to allow for a second scholarship to be awarded. Each scholarship will cover registration fee and travel expenses. Nominees were evaluated on their status as a high-performing professional member of their organization, attitude, leadership skills, and overall dedication to the industry, as well as how the WFLO Institute can enhance their ability to become a future leader in the industry.

GCCA and RLS Logistics would like to thank those individuals and companies who have pledged/donated funds to the Anthony M. Leo WFLO Scholarship:

  • Atlantic Utility Trailer Sales
  • ColdBox Builders
  • The Fisk Family
  • Food Properties Group
  • Bryan Hedge 
  • Charles & Liliana Iannuzzi
  • Interchange Cold Storage
  • Interstate Warehousing
  • Tarun Lalwani
  • Lone Star Cold Storage, Inc.
  • Jeremy Lurey
  • Mattingly Cold Storage
  • Michael and Trish McClendon Foundation
  • Midwest Refrigerated
  • Minnesota Freezer Warehouse Company
  • MW Cold
  • Matthew and Jillian Ott
  • Premier Refrigerated Warehouse
  • RLS Logistics
  • San Diego Refrigerated Services
  • SnoTemp

About Tony Leo

The Global Cold Chain community lost a valued and respected leader – Anthony (Tony) Michael Leo, CEO of RLS Logistics, on March 11, 2021. He was active in the business community and local charities and was serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) at the time of his passing. As CEO of RLS Logistics, Warehouse Group, Tony was instrumental in helping RLS Logistics become one of the largest family-owned cold chain logistics providers in the Northeast. Devoted husband and father, Tony enjoyed bringing his family to various business events all around the world. His sense of humor and wit was enjoyed by family and friends alike. Tony was well respected by his industry peers and colleagues. He truly loved nothing more than spending time with his family and working on the growth of the family business.

About WFLO Institute

The WFLO Institute is a four-day industry-specific program for professionals engaged in temperature-controlled logistics, offering more than 40 classes taught by leading experts in the industry. The curriculum takes students through cold chain management, customer service, employee safety, food safety, warehouse operations, transportation operations, and professional development.