Learn about our stores, equipment, employees and service to the community.
RDO Equipment Co. Recognized by Lignite Energy Council
The Lignite Energy Council recently honored individuals and companies for their dedication to the lignite industry during the Council’s 41st Annual Meeting on October 1, 2014, in Bismarck, ND. RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck was awarded the Lignite Contractor/Supplier award in appreciation of the company’s dedicated service as a contractor/supplier to the lignite industry. Randy Hoovestol, Sales Professional, accepted the award.
“These individuals have given much of their time and energy to help sustain a strong lignite industry that benefits our region by providing reliable, low-cost and increasingly clean electricity,” said Jason Bohrer, president & CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.
Derek Shaffer, General Manager, commented, “Our mining sales and support have come a long ways in the past few years ago. This award recognizes those efforts. We are very proud and honored to be recognized by the Lignite Energy Council for our hard work.”
New Midwest Construction Region Store Managers
Two new Store Managers have been named in the Midwest Construction: Pete Barrie in Sauk Rapids and Doug Maus in Dickinson.
Pete was previously a Sales Professional at the Burnsville – CE store and he has nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Prior to joining RDO Equipment Co. three years ago, Pete served as a Product Support Representative for a Komatsu dealer in Utah and Nevada.
“I look forward to building a lasting relationship with the team in Sauk Rapids. We have a very dedicated and talented group who exemplify our Core Values. I look forward to growing the Sauk Rapids market and continuing to be a business leader that is very involved in the community as well as the preferred heavy equipment dealer,” Pete commented.
Doug joins RDO Equipment Co. after spending 25 years with CIH dealer West Plains Inc. At West Plains he served in various roles including Service Technician, Service Manager, Parts and Service Coordinator, and Store Manager.
“I’m excited to join RDO Equipment Co. and look forward to learning the construction industry and working with the team members,” Doug said.
Moorhead Partners with NDSCS for Safety Days
Each year North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) hosts Safety Days, an event for students that focuses on safety associated with safe operation of equipment.
The school requests equipment from businesses in the industry so students can get hands-on operator training.
For this year’s event, the Moorhead store brought a 210LC excavator and 544K loader.
“One of the benefits of being involved with this event is that we get quality one-on-one interaction with first year students. They are getting familiar with our equipment, and we’re able to build a relationship by promoting the opportunities at our company. It’s also a great opportunity to further connect with our current Access Your Future students,” said Mike Wollschlager, Store Manager.
In addition to Mike, Shawn Pascke, Customer Service Advisor; Erik Sahr, Sales Manager; and Rick Thibert, Sales Coordinator, attended.
Burnsville CE Participates in Day of the Dozer Charity Event
The Burnsville CE store participated in the second annual Day of the Dozer fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota on September 13th. Day of the Dozer was organized to give children of all ages the opportunity to get into the driver’s seat of all types of construction equipment. Through donations from equipment dealers and local contractors, there were more than 40 pieces of equipment at the event and included both an operational area as well static display. RDO Equipment Co. donated the use of a 210 Hitachi, a 772GP motor grader, and two simulators.
Burnsville CE Sales Manager Scott Weness served on the planning board for the event. “There were more than 1,500 people at the event. Our goal was to raise $10,000 for Children’s Hospitals. We blew past that goal and raised $15,000.”
Burnsville CE, along with the Burnsville VER and RDO Integrated Controls teams welcomed more than a dozen employees and their family members as volunteers for the event. “I was very proud of all my fellow team members who volunteered. Many participants and customers commented on the level of support RDO Equipment Co. gave to the event,” said Scott.
Matt Dull, General Manager, added, “Scott did a tremendous job arranging the details of this event. Not only does he support our employees and customers on a daily basis, but has a passion for giving back to our community. Thank to you our team members who gave their time to a cause that we truly believe in supporting.”
Minot’s Community Giving
Individuals from the Minot store recently spent time giving back in two unique ways – by volunteering at DaySun’s Day of Giving and at Luther’s Kitchen, one of Minot’s soup kitchens.
DaySun Day of Giving
This community event is supported by several businesses throughout Minot, ND, in memory of DaySun Gross, a Minot resident. This event is a celebration of life aimed to spread awareness to drinking and driving. At the event, 550 bikes and helmets were given to low income families, as well as 1,200 coats and 1,100 backpacks full of school supplies.
The store was asked to get involved by a customer who owns Magic City Harley Davidson. Mike Daeley, Service Administrator, helped assemble many of the bikes, and several employees came on Saturday morning to help set up the bikes outside for the event. The store also made a financial donation to help purchase bikes.
Looking for ways to volunteer in the community, Matthew Barron, Sales Intern, suggested Luther’s Kitchen. The Minot team felt it was a worthy cause to give of their time. Over the past several weeks, team members utilized their Community Time (Team members included Albert Ahanonu, Bob Amick, Woody Baker, Matthew Barron, Sharon Baxter, Lynn Burns, Jerome Dahlin, Jennifer Korgel, Jim Little, Keenan Lopez, Brad Murphy, Todd Nelson, Marchell Walker, Greg Wiest, Nathan Wohlk, and Katie Woller.)
While there, the team prepared food for the weekly meal for the homeless in the Minot area. They also help serve food and did anything else the soup kitchen needed.
Jon Markle, General Manager, commented, “These experiences taught us how much the community really appreciates the donation of time. In my opinion, the donation of time demonstrates to the community members that we care and we are truly vested in the community.”
RDO Equipment Co. in Ada Supports Local Ag Day
Ag Day is an annual event for local high school students put on by Paul Borgen Farms, a RDO Equipment Co. customer from Ada, MN. This annual event encourages young people to understand the important details necessary for today’s farmers to continue providing quality produce. Students attend ten separate, twenty-minute sessions presented by professionals from across the agriculture industry, including American Crystal Sugar Co., Amity Technologies, Agvise Laboratories, GK Technology, Inc., Ag Country Farm Credit Services, West Central Ag Services, John Deere Seeding Group, Pioneer Seed, Eide Bailly, LLP and RDO Equipment Co.
Team members from RDO Equipment Co. in Ada, MN presented the benefits of John Deere FarmSight Solutions, escorted John Deere Tractor rides guided by John Deere AMS equipment, documented the day’s events with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and served noon lunch to everyone.
“We are fortunate to be involved in this annual event to help present information on the important solutions that demonstrate the role farming plays in feeding, clothing, and powering a growing world,” said Todd Thompson, Regional General Manager.
RDO Integrated Controls Partners with North Dakota State University Geology Students
Field Geology is a capstone course for the Geology major program at North Dakota State University. In 2014, 22 students spent a week studying the geology of the Little Badlands area of western North Dakota. Their goal was to demonstrate their ability of integrating knowledge they have gained from all their undergraduate courses in interpreting the geology of a specific area. After making observations and measurements, the students are required to create an extensive report of the type required by companies and in graduate-level courses.
Before this time in the field, NDSU approached the RDO Integrated Controls team in Moorhead to get replacement batteries for an older Sokkia total station they were planning to use. After contacting manufacturing partners Topcon and Sokkia, Scott Schumacher, Account Manager, discovered that the batteries for that specific unit were no longer manufactured.
Only weeks before the students headed out to western North Dakota to collect data, the team recognized this as an opportunity to help them out. “We offered them a demo on a brand new Topcon ES-105 total station so the students could complete their project and be exposed to the latest and greatest technology,” said Scott.
He added, “This was a great way to show we are invested in our community and provide a solution to the university. The demo also provided us with an opportunity to do a presentation on the future of the survey and machine control technology to over a 100 students next month, something we’re really looking forward to.”
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Accepted!
Throughout the month of August and September, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dominated the social media scene. If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, here’s how it worked:
1. You are nominated (by a friend, colleague, family member, business)
2. You have two options – accept the challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and making a small donation to the ALS Association, OR forgoing the ice water and make a large donation to the ALS Association.
3. If you accept the challenge, you are then allowed to nominate 3-5 individuals/businesses of your choice.
What is ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" given that the baseball player was a victim of the disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $100 million. This money will be used across the country to assist in research.
Many of our employees personally took this challenge, but so did many of our stores!
Megan Pemberton, Salinas Service Advisor, lost her Mom to ALS four years ago. When the ALS Ice bucket challenge surfaced, she knew she wanted to take action. She mentioned doing a store-wide challenge to see if they could raise any funds. The Salinas team had 11 volunteers and in total donated $1,700. They also challenged a few other stores to see if we could keep the movement including Yuma, Pasco, and Imperial.
Yuma accepted the challenge next. Nine team members got water dumped on them by their coworkers. Employees donated personally to the Association and the Yuma store matched the donation, for a total of $310.
The Pasco store had 7 volunteers who braved the ice bucket and made a $500 contribution to the ALS Association.
Nine Imperial team members accepted the challenge and donated $400. In return, they challenged their local water and energy provider, Imperial Irrigation District. Joe Castillo, Regional General Manager, commented, “This was a great event for a good cause. Everyone, including those who were only spectators, had a good time with this event.”
Aberdeen was challenged by their local Case dealer, Titan Machinery. The store had 20 employees either participate through a donation or do the ice bucket challenge, or both. They raised $2,350 for their local ALS Association. They in turn challenged Artz Equipment (an AgCo dealer), HC Clark (the Titan Machinery – New Holland Dealer), Pierson Ford and Dakota Fluid Power (a competitor in the Hydraulic repair business).
Evan Fonder, Aberdeen Store Manager, commented, “When Titan challenged us, it was great to see a bunch of our employees want to respond, both for the cause and to have some fun with it. It was also great to see how businesses that compete against each other day to day could come together for a good cause. We received a lot of positive comments from around the community after participating.”
San Antonio Donates Box Fans for Seniors in Need
Project Cool is a city-wide initiative hosted by United Way and the City of San Antonio, in partnership with the San Antonio Fire Department, which aims to provide free box fans to seniors in need during the summer months.
While most families in Texas can usually cope with the extreme heat of the summer, seniors often struggle with high temperatures. Some seniors do not have air conditioning and those that do may not be able to run theirs for fear of the expense on their utility bills, especially those who live on fixed incomes. Last year, nearly 4,000 fans were distributed to San Antonio-area seniors who are 60 years of age and older.
This is one of the annual projects that the San Antonio store donates to because employees feel it’s such a worthy cause. The store donated twenty fans to Project Cool.
They were delivered to the distribution center where seniors can also go to get food, including fresh fruits and vegetables provided by the San Antonio Food Bank.
“The Texas heat is nothing to mess around with, and we’re proud to support an initiative that helps take care of members of our community,” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.
Portland Hosts Sherrill Tree Seminar
More than 40 people attended a Sherrill Tree aerial rescue training seminar, hosted by the Portland store. Some participants traveled from nearly 300 miles away to attend.
The training featured techniques and hands on scenarios related to aerial rescue situations that arborists and line workers may encounter. The participants learned a lot and stated that they hoped they never had to use the skills, but feel confident that they could if necessary.
“The instruction was great, the customers that attended were energetic and eager to learn and the Portland weather couldn’t have been more perfect,” commented Ollie Windle.
Escondido Partners with Local Elementary School
The Escondido store completed a community service project at Cajon Park Elementary School where they set up an irrigation system for the school’s garden.
They arrived bright and early to start gluing parts, digging trenches, and installing equipment to give the garden a stable watering system. In addition to the volunteer hours of the setup, the store also donated a large amount of the parts and product needed to complete the project.
El Cajon Park Elementary school uses its garden to further the education of the their students by creating a gateway for them to learn more about different cultures, insect types, gardening and vegetation practices, and how to maintain a stable environment for different plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
Massiel Perez, Store Manager, commented, “When speaking with the teachers involved, we found that the garden is very popular among the students and causes much excitement. We are proud to have the opportunity to supply them with the foundation needed to keep this garden running smoothly for years to come!”
Tucson Donates Backpacks to Military Families
For the third year in a row, the Tucson store has donated backpacks and school supplies to Tucson Troop Support, a local charity that helps local military families.
This year, the store donated enough supplies to provide 32 filled backpacks to children in military families that are in need of assistance during the back to school season.
“We are truly grateful to give something back to our military families that give so much to support our country,” commented Lisa Roberts, Office Manager.
“We have a great relationship with Clarissa Geborkoff / Tucson Troop Support and the entire store looks forward to working with her and her team to support military families in need. It’s a gesture that we can all be proud of,” added Bill Hitchcock, Tucson General Manager.
Farm Rescue to Help 300th Farm Family This Fall
By the end of the year, Farm Rescue will have assisted more than 300 farm families in crisis. Each of these families has experienced an illness, injury or natural disaster that prevented them from planting, haying or harvesting their crop in a timely manner. Farm Rescue stepped in and helped these families when they needed it most.
No, in this case, 300 is much more than a number – 300 families in the upper Midwest are able to continue supporting their communities and feeding America. These families are friends, neighbors, and customers. They are the rural community.
This year, Farm Rescue gears up for their eighth harvest season. The non-profit organization is supported primarily by business sponsors, personal donations and grants from foundations. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is currently matching new donations to Farm Rescue 2-for-1. RDO Equipment Company sponsors field equipment. Farm Rescue is on schedule to help more than 50 families this year.
Families. Not numbers.
Has someone you know been helped by Farm Rescue? Share your story of how Farm Rescue ‘came to the rescue’ or donate to support our mission at farmrescue.org
FSO Team Volunteers for United Way
The Payroll, Benefits, and Safety team supported the United Way of Cass Clay School Supply Drive by counting, sorting, and organizing supplies that will be distributed to local school-age children in need.
“We volunteered last year for the event and everyone had a great time, so we knew it was something we wanted to do again. It supports a need in our community and we were glad to again be involved,” said Brett Olson, Compensation and Benefits Director.
John Deere Day of Play events Held in Aberdeen, Casselton, and Moorhead
Aberdeen, Casselton and Moorhead stores held Day of Play/Drive Green events this summer.
This was the 2nd annual Day of Play for Aberdeen, and was a great event. Nick Kallhoff, Parts Manager, took the lead on organizing the event and the whole team did a great job making a fun day.
They had activities both inside and out, including play areas for toys, ride-on and pedal equipment, face painting, coloring station, pools filled with corn and soybeans for sand toys, Barrel Train rides, a duck pond, and every kid that attended received a free coloring book and small toy. They also had the Fire Department out with a truck for the kids to tour, and the Aberdeen Police Department conducted a bike safety class.
The team raised roughly $500 for the area Boys & Girls club through a free will offering during lunch. They estimate they had about 500 in attendance, which was up from 300 last year. In addition to traditional marketing, they brought flyers to the local YMCA Youth Center, the Boys & Girls Club, and mailed flyers to every daycare in Aberdeen, as well as partnered with a local grocery store to hand out flyers to their customers.
Evan Fonder, Store Manager, commented, “We saw a lot of people that had never been to the store before, but it also brought in a lot of customers and their families that we regularly do business with, which helps to connect with them on a different level and strengthen our overall partnership. This type of event is so different from anything else we do, and when you see 200 kids running around, it’s hard not to have a great time with it.
Moorhead’s event, held in late June, was a bit rainy, but still proved to be a great day.
The showroom was pristine and featured new interior signage, which encouraged attendees to take a look. Many were surprised and didn’t know that the Moorhead store had such a vast array of lawn and garden equipment, as well as a huge selection of John Deere merchandise, Honda, and STIHL products. They served lunch and had several pieces of equipment on display, along with gators for kids to play on.
Paul Morlock, CP Manager, commented, “Despite rainy conditions, it was a great event and good exposure.”
Casselton’s Day of Play event featured combine and tractor rides, barrel rides, a corn play area, yard games, face painting, coloring, and seed planting. Around 100 kids attended – some all the way from Williston, Iowa, and even Pennsylvania.
Store Manager Nic Miller said, "This is a great event that showcases to the community that we have something for everyone at the dealership. The team pulled together and put in a lot of extra work and that helped make the event a success."
Washburn Parade Makes for a Family Affair
The Washburn store participated in their community’s Lewis and Clark Riverboat Days Parade in June. This is always a popular event for employees to participate in, and they never seem to struggle finding willing participants to drive equipment.
This parade has become a fun event for employees and their families to spend together. This year, Josh Wooledge, Service Advisor; Neal Neukomm, Account Manager; Loren Henke, Parts Specialist; and Josh Bintz, Equipment Detailer, all brought their families along for the fun event.
Brent Slaubaugh, Account Manager; Vernon Cole, Service Technician; and Ian Zimmerman, Account Manager also joined in the fun.
The store had an S680 combine drop candy from its auger a few stops along the route, which was a huge hit with parade goers.
“This parade is a great way to show our community – and our family members – who we are,” said Chad Richter, Store Manager.
Regional Training Event in Hayward
Service Technicians from Portland, Sacramento, Fowler, and Fontana joined Hayward Service Technicians for a regional Vermeer training event, held in Hayward.
Lance Langle from Vermeer Freeman and Jeff Vander Molen from Vermeer Manufacturing facilitated the training which covered compost turners and electrical and hydraulic systems of trammel screens.
They brought a simulator for a trammel screen that they used to show how each component works together. A CT718 compost turner and two TR626 trommel screens were available to the class for troubleshooting and utilizing the diagnostic program.
“It was a great turnout even during an incredibly busy time for our stores. The attendance shows the value of training to everyone within the organization and our manufacturing partners. Vermeer’s participation in the event was very appreciated, and we hope to have many more opportunities like this in the future.
Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-Vermeer Employees Participate in Mended Hearts Golf Tournament
For the second year, Burnsville and Sauk Rapids team members participated in the Zipper Open Classic Golf Tournament for Mended Hearts (Chapter 10).
The event was held in Sartell, MN at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Fifteen teams participated including doctors and nurses from the Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital as well as heart procedure survivors.
Mended Hearts is a support system for individuals that have endured heart procedures.
The money raised this year again will go towards AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) that will be placed throughout central Minnesota. RDO Equipment Co. served as a Cart Sponsor. Each cart used at the tournament featured the RDO Equipment Co. logo and the company had representation in the program.
Employees from Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-VER participating in this year’s event included Dan Dostal, Sauk Rapids Sales Professional; Tom Pistulka, Sauk Rapids CSA; Jason Nigg, Burnsville-VER Parts Specialist; and Pat Arnold , Burnsville-VER Sales Professional.
For Pat, Mended Hearts is an organization that holds special meaning. “My father-in-law, who serves as the Mended Hearts Chapter 10 President, had open heart surgery 5 years ago, and both my uncle and father passed away from heart attacks. This organization holds some special interest to me, and RDO Equipment Co. sponsoring and allowing us to be part of this event is just awesome!”
Pasco Participates in Annual Parade
Pasco’s 26th annual Grand Old 4th of July Parade featured nearly 80 entries. RDO Equipment Co. in Pasco was awarded the sweepstakes award.
More than 20 Pasco employees and family members participated in the parade. RDO Equipment Co.’s entry featured 20 pieces of equipment including a customer’s restored John Deere 530 tractor that pulled a decorated trailer, service truck, S680 combine, gators, and tractors of all sizes.
The employees involved in the parade got together the evening prior to decorate the equipment grill burgers and hotdogs.
“Everyone that participates loves being a part of this community event and looks forward to it each year. It’s great to see the looks on the kids’ faces as they see a combine or 9RT coming down the street,” commented Dick Muhlbeier, Store Manager.
Phoenix Gives Back this Summer
Phoenix team members coordinated two community-giving projects this summer. First, they did a school supply drive for the Children’s First Academy in Phoenix. 100 percent of students and their families at this school are at or below the poverty line and a vast majority of the students are homeless. There are approximately 350 students, grades K-9, that are educated at the school. The school provides stability for these children amid an unstable environment; many of the children live in motels or shelters. Children First Academy work’s to provide the necessities, care, and attention that so many homeless and low socioeconomic children lack.
The Phoenix team donated 50 backpacks and the employees donated school supplies. Some of those donated supplies included 500 pencils, 65 notebooks, 40 safety scissors, 56 boxes of crayons, 41 pencil sharpeners, 130 file folders, and 86 glue sticks.
“This was a very worthy cause that we will consider doing every year,” said Michael Carr, Parts Specialist. Chris Devoe, General Manager, added “I asked our management team to come up with a charity that they would like to donate to, and Jill Gallagher (Fuel Manager) contacted Children’s First Academy. I’m excited and very pleased with our team’s effort and involvement to donate to such a great organization.”
The other community event this summer was the store’s annual water drive for the St. Mary’s Food Bank. They donated more than 140 cases of water (which equals 470 gallons of water) to be distributed to those in need in the Phoenix area. To match the water donated, RDO Equipment Co. also donated $200. This financial donation will allow the food bank to provide more than 1,400 meals.
Product Specialist Team Conducts Training for MWAg Sales Teams
The MWAg Product Specialist team conducted field training and sprayer certification for more than 150 Account Managers and Aftermarket employees from Aberdeen, Ada, Bismarck, Breckenridge, Casselton, Fergus Falls, Hawley, Hazen, Kindred, Lisbon, Moorhead, Moorhead FSO, Rapid City, Redfield, Washburn, and Webster.
The training featured a full day of courses, ranging in topics such as AutoTrac Hardware and Function, Planting and Seeding, Combine settings and operation, Rate Controllers – Dry/Liquid and Set up, MyJohnDeere.com and John Deere FarmSight, and more.
“We’re an industry leader in the way we conduct and provide training for our team members,” said Todd Thompson, Regional General Manager.
Joel Kaczynski, Product Specialist Manager, added, “A big thank you to the team for providing such quality training to our sales and aftermarket team members. This training furthers our commitment of providing superior service to our customers and strengthens our unified implementation of the FarmSight strategy.”
Dwight Bleth Celebrates 45 Years in the Industry
Dwight Bleth, Regional General Manager for Hazen and Washburn, recently reached a significant milestone – he has spent his entire career in the John Deere equipment industry (with no plans to stop now!). We asked Dwight to share a bit of his experiences, including how he got started, the changes he’s witnessed, and what he’s come to love about this business.
HOW IT BEGAN
I started in this business as a set up technican on June 4, 1969 at Richardton Farm Equipment (Richardton, ND) and my first job assignment was to set up a new John Deere C20 cultivator and as I remember it was 18ft wide. I remember this because it made quite an impression on me (literally) when during the set up process, I positioned one of the shanks on the frame and when I turned to reach for the attaching hardware, the shank shifted and the spring inadvertently hit me above the eye, hence the impression.
I worked in set up for about three months and then moved to reconditioning and tractor repairs. I spent the next six years as a Field Service Technician, making service calls and in-store repairs.
In 1975 I moved to Dickinson and started working at Letvin Equipment Co. as a Technician. After a few years, I became Service Manager, before transitioning to a career in sales. In 1985, I became the Sales Manager and stayed in that role until 2006, when Letvin Equipment was purchased by a dealer group and I was fortunate to join the RDO Equipment Co. family as an Account Manager in Hazen.
In 2008, I became a Regional Sales Manager, and currently, I serve a dual role as Regional Sales Manager and Regional General Manager of Hazen and Washburn.
Looking back, I first started as a set up Technician because I needed a job, and had no plans to remain in this business. But, as you can see, what started as a job became my lifelong career.
45 YEARS OF CHANGE
The change I’ve witnessed has been huge. Back in the early 70’s, equipment was small by today’s standards. Tillage and seeding equipment at the very largest was 24-30 feet. The largest tractor was 140 horsepower. Combines could only harvest about 300 bushels per hour and most chemical application was done from the air and we were limited to 2- 4D.
Dealerships for the most part were single stores, small and family owned. Believe it or not, Technicians were plentiful and they were paid $500 per month. Making field service calls was the exception rather than the rule.
As the years passed the equipment, farms, and dealerships became larger. Eventually, the dealership organization evolved into multiple locations under common owners. As technology has become more popular and in-demand the pace of change has increased rapidly and at times, training employees and customers can be challenging. The customers’ need and demand for support from service and parts are increasing as fast as the technology.
I very much enjoy the involvement with customers, team members, and the agriculture industry. The most enjoyment I feel from this career is taking care of the customers, and seeing an employee that I have had the fortune to work with become successful. It has been exciting watching the evolution of equipment and anticipating what the next generation of equipment would look like.
Adam Spade Named Store Manager for Prescott and Flagstaff
Adam Spade has joined RDO Equipment Co. as the Store Manager for both Prescott and Flagstaff.
Adam has several years’ management experience in the construction industry, most recently serving as the Branch Manager in Sierra Vista, AZ for United Rentals.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work for a company that values its employees the way RDO Equipment Co. does, and to work with such great people at the Flagstaff and Prescott stores. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and helpful during my first few weeks, and I am looking forward to leading the teams here as we grow our market share and continue our great service,” said Adam.
Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southern Construction, added, “I am excited about the leadership Adam brings to Northern Arizona. His energy and customer focus will definitely create new opportunities for RDO Equipment Co.”
Burnsville Vermeer Supports MMUA Training
Each year the Minnesota Municipalities Utilities Association (MMUA) holds a safety and training exercise in Marshall, MN for its linemen. The MMUA consists of Municipal Electric Divisions from mainly Minnesota, but other municipalities from bordering states with cities near the Minnesota borders are also members, including Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Vendors are asked to bring in equipment for the lineman's use to complete jobs at the training center. The MMUA does a nice job of having it set up and run like an actual jobsite in one of the municipalities’ city limits.
RDO Equipment Co. team members were there to showcase products and help train and show the linemen how to use the Vermeer equipment. The Burnsville store had a flatbed truck set up with two MX240 1000 gallon tank mixing systems, a Vermeer D20x22II Horizontal Directional Boring machine, and F5 DCI Locating System for the two bores they completed with the crews.
Other equipment the store brought for display included a Vermeer RTX750 quad track machine set up with a trencher and a backhoe, a Vermeer S800TX mini skidsteer, and a VacTron LP555SDT, which was a sold machine to one of the municipalities on hand for the training (Elk River Municipal Utilities).
The event consisted of four days of training and two days of hands on training with underground equipment.
"For RDO Vermeer to be involved in this event is a great way to show the capabilities, features, and benefits of Vermeer equipment to the customer. It is also a great way to show the knowledge and expertise of our Drill Specialist, Tim Williams, and sales force. This gives the customer confidence that not only are they buying a quality product in Vermeer, but with that purchase they are getting RDO Equipment Co. and the resources a solid dealer can provide,” said Pat Arnold, Sales Professional.
Aberdeen Hosts Operator Training for DOT
To prepare for the summer mowing season, the Aberdeen store held operator training for the South Dakota Department of Transportation. They are currently leasing 17 John Deere tractors for the summer.
More than 30 operators attended the training. Ryan Kraft, Service Technician; Taylor Gosch, Account Manager; and Andrew Balgaard, Account Manager, went through the daily maintenance and the operator controls with each attendee.
“Our partnership with the SDDOT has only continued to grow over the years,” commented Evan Fonder, Store Manager. “This is also a tremendous opportunity for exposure of John Deere small agriculture tractors that we provide and support.”
Prescott Supports PBR Event
The bulls were bucking, the dirt was flying and the riders were trying to hang on to complete their 8-second ride at the Mile High PBR (Professional Bull Riders).
The event was held May 16-17 and was sponsored by the RDO Equipment Co. location in Prescott. The store provided a John Deere 744K loader and 825i S4 Gator for use in the arena and had a TX Gator and an 850i RSX Gator on display on the concourse.
The “Shark Tank” was also sponsored by RDO Equipment Co. (see picture) which allowed customers and team members the opportunity to experience the excitement of being in the arena with a bird’s eye view of the action.
Several Prescott customers were in attendance at the event. Team members in attendance included Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction; Rick Levin, Sales Professional; and Sherry Smith, Transactional Account Manager.
Sherry commented, “This was a great way to support a favorite community event and spend some time with our customers.”
Grand Forks Team Members Volunteer at Relay for Life
On Friday, June 6, 2014, four members of the Grand Forks team spent the entire day volunteering at the Relay for Life at University Park in Grand Forks while utilizing their 8 hours of Community Time. Jeff Ness, Service Technician; Mark Salberg, Service Technician; Jared Harshman, Sales Professional; and Chris Shirek, Parts Support Specialist, helped with setup, registration, and serving meals to cancer survivors and their families. All four mentioned what a great time they had and Jared has already signed up to help again next year.
Carrie Salberg, wife of Mark Salberg, is a committee member for the 2014 Relay for Life. On Thursday, June 12th, Carrie came to RDO Equipment Co. and presented a special Thank You plaque to the team during morning huddle. Carrie praised the team members for their help and support in raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.
The Community Time benefit gives team members an opportunity to become more involved in our local communities. Roni Lillehaugen, General Manger, is proud of her coworkers. “I am proud of our team members for the role they played in the Relay for Life event. They are good-hearted people and great ambassadors for RDO Equipment Co.”
FSO Team Members Use Community Time at Special Olympics State Games
Each summer, the North Dakota Special Olympics State games are held in Fargo. It’s a huge 2-day event that features several athletic events and needs many volunteers to help it run smoothly.
FSO team members from both IT and Marketing Communications departments utilized their community time to volunteer at this year’s event.
Team members from the IT department helped early in the morning by setting up tents, bleachers, chairs, tables, carrying equipment, and set up Bocce ball courts. They also help set up the weight lifting area with tables and chairs. Towards the end of the day, the Marketing Communications team assisted during volleyball games, set up chairs for the Athlete’s Parade, and took down the Bocce ball courts.
Jeff York, Database Administrator, commented, “I have been a spectator for several years as my cousin, Ben, participates in the games. It was really great this time around to volunteer and help out a good cause.”
Lakeside Represented at Touch a Truck Fundraiser
Three employees represented the Lakeside store at the Touch a Truck event in San Diego on June 7. The Touch a Truck event is a fundraiser for childhood cancer. Every dollar raised directly supports innovative cancer research and therapies for children in San Diego and at 13 other facilities nationally.
The event features more than 100 vehicles that kids of all ages can climb in, climb on, and honk the horn. Military, construction, public safety, delivery, off road, hot rods, and more are on display.
The Lakeside store got involved in this event last year. The three employees that volunteered at the event included Dennis Foreman, Service Technician; Martin Sinnott, Parts Specialist; and Rick Murray, Truck Driver.
Mike Fenton, General Manager, commented, “This is a growing event and great way to help raise money for a worthy cause, while also showing off our equipment.”
RDO Equipment Co. Names Chris Harmon General Manager
RDO Equipment Co. has named Chris Harmon as General Manager of its Yuma and Wellton locations.
Harmon is a 20 year Yuma resident and has been with RDO Equipment Co. since 1997. During his time with the John Deere agriculture and construction dealership, Harmon has served as regional finance manager, director of rental operations, and was most recently a regional sales manager.
He received his undergraduate from University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1988 and his MBA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1992. Harmon is active in the Yuma community, currently serving on the board for the Yuma Community Food Bank and as Commissioner for Housing Authority of the City of Yuma.
RDO Equipment Co. Introduces Bug Vacuum for Berry Customers
As one of the largest berry producing areas in the world, the Watsonville area customers needed a very unique piece of equipment. RDO Equipment Co. recognized this need and developed a bug vacuum for strawberry row crops.
The “bug vac” creates 4700 cu. ft. per min. suction over the rows to rid the crop of insects. The unit is hydraulically powered from the rear PTO and powers the hood fans that draw the insects up and out.
The store can produce systems designed for 3 or 4 row crops from 48”-68” in width. The minimum horsepower requirement to run the bug vac is 60 hp.
The Watsonville store has partnered with a local manufacturer who supplies the components, and the Service Department performs assembly, setup, and modifications. The assembly phase takes roughly 30 hours to complete. The store has sold 3 units and has 3 more pre-sold within the last 6 months.
Matt Smith, Aftermarket Manager, said, “Feedback from customers has been great. They are very happy that we are now providing this equipment in our local market. This is a true example of being a total solutions provider.”
In the berry market, the most common tractor is the 5 series John Deere because of versatility and power. RDO Equipment Co. has shown tremendous growth in the area and continues to provide the solutions our customers need.
Williston Store Participates in Parade
The 82nd Williston Band Day Festival and Parade was held on May 10 2014. RDO Williston had a float with a new Trailer, Dozer and a Skidsteer pulled by a truck from Horob Transport from Williston. Several employees from the Williston store participated in the event, including Greg Hulihan, Sales Coordinator; Jennifer Palmer, Service Administrator; Kristal Huffman, Rental Coordinator; Tracy Huffman, Service Administrator; Marco Risquez, Sales Professional; and Scott Anderson, General Manager.
“It was a great way to get involved in a community event like this and showcase some equipment. A big thanks to Horob Transport for use of their truck and Mark, their driver,” commented Scott.
Hayward Plants Trees for Community Park
Looking for ways to get out in the sunshine and help out in their community, Frank Gouveia, Shop Foreman, contacted the Livermore Area Parks and Recreation District (LARPD) who informed him that they had been awarded a grant to purchase 35 trees to plant at Lake Del Valle in the Livermore hills, which is roughly 10 miles south of the Livermore store.
Volunteers from the Livermore store were broken up into two groups that worked on two different days. The first group included Frank, Ryan Scott, Regional Aftermarket Manager; JJ Reyes, Parts Specialist; Kris Peterson, Service Advisor; Erin List, Office Administrator; and Eric Rutledge, Account Manager.
The first group got an early start and worked for four hours digging holes and planting native Valley Oaks and Spruce trees. Digging was a bit tough at times since the area they wanted the trees was on land that covered the outer edges of a riverbed so there were lots of river rocks to deal with. They were able to get six trees planted in the time they were there.
The second crew consisted of Lucas Oxsen, Field Service Technician; Matt Bolt, Service Administrator; Tony Rego, Service Technician; and Jesus “Chewy” Alderete, Parts Specialist. They also worked for about four hours and managed to get six trees planted.
Both groups said they felt great about the volunteer work they did and gained some knowledge of how to properly plant a tree. Park Ranger Josh Sosine said in an email that both crews were very hard workers. He also appreciated all the help they gave him and they were welcome back anytime.
RDO Equipment Co. Partners with ECSA
For the second year in a row, Lakeside partnered with the El Capitan Stadium Association (ECSA), also known as the Lakeside Rodeo.
ECSA is a non-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers to benefit the youth of Lakeside. ECSA funds academic programs, athletic activities and site improvements for both the Lakeside Unified School Districts and El Capitan High School. ECSA also partners with the El Capitan Family Health Center providing a financial partnership that offers no cost medications to Lakeside children in need. The majority of their funding is raised by hosting the annual Lakeside Rodeo, which is fully sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and is held each year in April.
RDO Equipment Co.’s community involvement committee chose to partner with ECSA for the opportunity to promote the spirit and culture of RDO Equipment Co. For this year’s event in late April, RDO Equipment Co. was the sole sponsor of the bull fighters (rodeo clowns). Fighters wore RDO Equipment Co. merchandise throughout each performance. In addition, roughly 25 RDO Equipment Co. employees volunteered their time during the Sunday performance by working in one of the concession stands. The group raised $500 in tips, which was then given back to the ECSA.
“The rodeo was a great way for us to show our support of the local community and help raise money for the youth of Lakeside. We had a great turnout and had positive feedback with our booth on display as well. The team really enjoyed the experience,” said Mike Fenton, General Manager.
Billings Takes Part in Local Landfill Rodeo
The Billings Landfill arranged a Landfill Rodeo to give operators from across the state the opportunity to get hands on training.
The landfill worked with several equipment dealers, including RDO Equipment Co. The store brought a John Deere 850K dozer, equipped with a Carlson Landfill system, and a John Deere 744K Loader.
“The dozer equipped with the Carlson system gave operators the chance to see the benefits of the Carlson system,” commented James Fields, RDOIC Account Manager.
Justin Ridgeway, Sales Professional, added, “Our involvement with the rodeo was a success thanks to the teamwork of the Sales, Parts, Service, and RDOIC team members. We were able to have our machines at the landfill for a few days with no issues. The best part of the rodeo was that we were able to put our 850K right next to the CAT D6T and operators were able to see several advantages of the John Deere unit, such as visibility and serviceability.”
Burnsville Vermeer Hosts Drill Operator Event in Pella, IA
The Burnsville Vermeer team hosted a first-ever Drill Operator training event at the Vermeer Corporation in Pella, IA. Similar training events had been held in the past, but typically called “mud schools” and had been more classroom/instructor-led training.
The Burnsville Vermeer sales team met in December 2013 and brainstormed how to improve the “mud school” concept, increase engagement, and increase the level of machine knowledge with the customer base attending. The group decided that the event needed to be focused on more hands-on training versus classroom, and that the ideal location for this training was Pella, IA. “When I questioned attendance and getting our customers to travel upwards of 12 hours to a training event, the sales team responded with a Field of Dreams type comment – ‘Build it and they will come’ – and did they ever!” said Mark Rieckhoff, Sales Manager.
The school was 2.5 days per session, with two sessions held that week. Each session had 11 companies represented, with a total of 53 students throughout the week. RDO Equipment Co. was well represented with all Account Managers, Parts and Service Managers, Service Technicians, and office personnel supporting the event. Also supporting RDO Vermeer were Alliance Partners in DCI, McLaughlin, Vactron, and Wyoben.
There was a mix of hands on and classroom instruction throughout the 2.5 days, evenly split. Students left the school with a minimum of 7 hours of actual “seat time” and hands-on operation at a demo site in Pella. The last half day of the school was an equipment rodeo in which the students could put the skills they just learned to practice, competing amongst each other for prizes. The rodeo was focused on quality and accuracy of directional drilling, not speed.
This was the first of its kind of event for both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer Corporation. Neither company had ever facilitated a hands-on training event at this level/size. Both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer Corporation have done one off operator training or one-on-one training with a company. Logistically, Vermeer Corporation in Pella is not set-up to handle large groups, simply due to lack of available equipment. RDO Equipment Co. brought 6 directional drills, 5 vacuum excavators, 8 locations systems, and 2 mixing systems for attendees to train on.
“Overall, I feel the event was a huge success and the way my team pulled together during the week was phenomenal. Our sales team is spread out over two states and we do not regularly see each other as an entire group face-to-face. The planning for this event was pretty much handled over the phone until we were all together Saturday prior to the event in Pella. I couldn’t be prouder of our team what was accomplished in that week,” commented Mark.
Steve Rosenow, General Manager, added, “The sales, service, and parts teams spent a great amount of time planning this event and it was a great success by the feedback we received from the attendees. Great job to everyone involved in making this a success!”
South Dakota Planting Clinic Takes a New Approach
For several years, the South Dakota agriculture stores (Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster) have held a Spring Planting Clinic. They typically held three consecutive clinics at each of the stores. This year, the team decided to host one clinic at an offsite location. The day’s event featured a large class for planter optimization and maintenance in the morning, and then breakouts in the afternoon that focused on technology, application equipment, and display optimization.
The event focused on planting equipment, self-propelled sprayers, dry spreaders, 8R’s, 9R’s, the new MaxEmerge 5 planter, the new 7R, and the Farm Rescue air seeder and 1910 cart. They also had a large aftermarket presence with Parts OnSite displays, and Parker hose displays which generated exposure and excitement about the ability as a dealer to do more than just sell equipment.
JD Kessler, Regional Sales Manager, said, “Overall, it turned out to be a great event. We had roughly 300 customers attend and we received a lot of great feedback about the way we did the clinic this year. Many attendees enjoyed networking with producers they don’t typically see and they seemed to appreciate that we weren’t shutting our shops down for the event, which is typically what has been done.”
He added, “It was a lot of fun to see the Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster teams come together and host a great event. There were a lot of moving parts and the team really stepped up to get everything ready. Customer feedback was exceptional and they were very appreciative we would host an event like this.”
Rancho Dominguez Clean up Little League Park
California had a severe rain storm this spring that inundated and unleveled a local Little League field close to the Rancho Dominguez store. When the team in Rancho Dominguez heard about the lead time the City had to repair the park, the team offered man hours and equipment.
On March 22, Account Manager Jerry Barker; Lead Parts Specialist Ruben Valenzuela; and Part Specialist Joel Reyes, donated their time by leveling and raking the field. They used a S650TX Skid Steer and also showed up with Gatorade and water for all 10 little league teams.
“The team at Rancho Dominguez was very proud to help this local park get their field in playable conditions. The Little Leaguers were very excited to see us arrive with drinks and to watch the equipment work. It was a good day for everyone - not only did parents and City staff see what equipment we have to offer, but more importantly, what type of people we employ,” said Ruben.
Ehrenberg Team Helps out United Way
The Ehrenberg team participated in the 2014 Touch-A-Truck fundraiser, put on by River Cities United Way in Lake Havasu City, AZ.
During this event, kids of all ages were able to get in the driver’s seat of different types of machinery that’s used in and around the community such as tractors, semi-trucks, tow trucks, cranes, bucket trucks, etc. In addition to getting behind the wheel of a John Deere 6190R, the Ehrenberg store also provided kids with John Deere coloring pages and crayons to sweeten the deal!
Larry King, Service Technician, commented, “The question of the day seemed to be: ‘Are those monster truck tires?’ It was a great opportunity for our store to have presence and participation in doing some good in our community, and a chance to utilize our Community Time.”
Breckenridge Class Visit
The St. Mary's Catholic School’s 7th grade class visited the Breckenridge location. The students were studying 1/16 and 1/32 scale tractors and wanted to measure the accuracy of full size tractors. They were given a tour of the facility and then proceeded to the old combine shop so they could work on their project.
The store had a 9650RT, 9510R, 6210R and a 3720 cab tractor along with the scale toy tractors for the students to measure. They collected data for about an hour and then planned to analyze it back in the classroom and come to a conclusion of accuracy.
Mike Makovsky, Breckenridge Store Manager, commented, “It was awesome to see the excitement in their faces, not only when they arrived but when they departed. It was a great community involvement opportunity for the Breckenridge location.”
Sherrill Tree Climbing Seminar Held
The Eugene Oregon Vermeer location hosted a Sherrill Tree climbing seminar (advanced climbing techniques) in mid-March.
More than 50 customers attended the seminar which featured an indoor tree in the shop, thanks to some creative rigging from the Eugene team!
“Being new to the Eugene market, this class was not only critical to be able to provide training to our customers, but also to gain exposure in the area and highlight what we can provide. The class was extremely well received by our customers,” commented Ollie Windle, General Manager.
Yuma Customer Appreciation Dinner
On Friday March 28, 2014, Yuma held a Customer Appreciation Dinner. Clint Pikula, Yuma Account Manager; Craig Johnson, Wellton Account Manager; and Eddie Good, Yuma Account Manager, manned the grill and cooked Tri Tip. Raul Murrieta, Yuma Parts Manager, made two big pots of beans and Keith Knappen, Yuma Service Manager; Saul Amezquita, Precision Product Specialist; and Linda Huffman, Office Administrator, mixed up the coleslaw.
Roughly 150 customers were served and enjoyed a fun event and good food. Yuma Parts Specialists Jose Gonzalez, Javier Peralta, and Ricardo Camarillo helped with set up and clean up.
Dave Webb, Store Manager, spoke to customers about RDO Equipment Co.’s commitment to our customers and meeting their every need. The store had several displays of equipment, Stihl products, RDOIC units and parts.
“This customer event was a huge success. Our customers saw how hard our team members worked to make it a memorable and quality event. It’s something that we will continue every year,” said Dave Webb.
Lisbon Planter Clinic
The Lisbon team held a Planter Clinic for their customers. Josh Stroh, Precision Product Specialist; Tony Kramer, Precision Product Specialist; and Jim Huseth, Product Specialist Supervisor presented information at the clinic, along with Paul Peterson, Regional Sales Manager, and Missy Sjolin, Parts Manager.
Roughly 30 customers attended as well as the majority of Lisbon employees in shifts. The clinic lasted about two hours and was held at the Ransom County Expo Center.
“It has been a while since the Lisbon Location has held a customer planter clinic and the customers seemed very pleased to see us offer this again, especially with the introduction of new things to come from John Deere in planters for 2015,” said Missy.
Terry Malingen Named Regional Sales Manager
Terry Malingen has been named the new Regional Sales Manager for the Breckenridge and Fergus Falls locations. Terry began his career with Interstate Equipment in 1998 as a Customer Service Representative before transitioning into an AMS role.
After Interstate was purchased by RDO Equipment Co., Terry continued as a member of the Precision Products Team as a Specialist before transitioning into his current role as Shortline Product Specialist. Kevin Johnston, Regional General Manager, commented, “Because of his roles, Terry has developed strong relationships with many stakeholders and I look forward to that knowledge being shared with the teams in place.”
Terry said, “I look forward to continue building relationships with all of RDO Equipment Co. stakeholders and look forward to all the new challenges and opportunities of the position.”
Jim Carell Named McKinney Sales Manager
Jim Carell has been named Sales Manager for the new McKinney location. Jim started with RDO Equipment Co. in 2002 as a Sales Professional. In 2012, he took the role of Sales Manager in Irving.
“Jim is a great asset to RDO Equipment Co. and the Texas Region. He has been an instrumental team member in driving the focus, direction, and market impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with strong gains in focused segments such as heavy-highway. We look forward to his continued contributions to employee development, customer engagement, and the overall sales and support efforts in Texas,” said Daryl Shelton, Vice President of Texas.
RDO Equipment Co. Team Members Host Customer Reception
Vermeer team members from Oregon and California sponsored a customer reception at the US Compost Council. The annual convention was held in Oakland, CA this year.
RDO Equipment Co. sponsored the reception at Scott’s Seafood in Jack London Square for some of our top customers. Customer attendees included Sonoma Compost, Synagro, City of Plano, and Bunyan Brothers.
Brandon Kyse, Vermeer General Manager, commented, “Our customers appreciated the reception. It was a good opportunity for us to spend time with them and to thank them for their business."
Lakeside’s Success with Carl Moyer Funding
Glen Bullock, who recently bought Dick Miller Inc. (DMI) Construction Company, was aware of California’s Diesel Off-Road On-Line Reporting System (DOORS) but didn’t fully understand it. Alan Rakow, RDO Equipment Co.’s Power Plant and Emission Specialist, met with Glen and explained the regulations that his fleet would have to meet a Fleet Emission Average of 6.5 to be compliant in 2019 (his current Fleet Average is 10.2).
This was both good and bad news. Glen’s fleet of 10 pieces of tier 0 or tier 1 Komatsus was severely out of compliance. The good news is he now knows his compliance target date and has six years to meet it.
Glen understood that turning a fleet of 10 pieces is a huge financial undertaking and that six years may not be enough to meet the 2019 compliant date. It was during this conversation that Alan informed Glen of the Carl Moyer Program which awards companies government funding to replace old, high polluting units/engines with a newer unit/engine with the latest tier level. Upon learning about this program, Glen made the decision to replace his old units for newer units and line his company up to meet his compliance dates as soon as possible.
Glen contacted other local equipment dealers but they were unable to dedicate the required time or resources to the project that RDO Equipment Co. had already committed to.
RDO Equipment Co.’s proactive efforts made this project of converting Glen’s fleet with Carl Moyer funding much less of a headache for him. With the help of Alan Rakow and Lakeside Sales Professional Brent Ford, researching the needed data to prepare and complete all the applications, and walking them through the process, Glen was awarded $500,591 of grant funds through the Carl Moyer Program. With the funds, Glen ended up converting five of his 10 pieces from Komatsu to John Deere.
The new pieces of John Deere equipment include: two524K Loaders, one 644K Loader, one 550K Crawler, and one 310SK Backhoe which totals approximately $755,000 in new equipment sales. The other five pieces Glen says we will be converted when the next round of funding opens, which according to San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD) will be in the late spring or early summer.
Field Support Office Team Members Help Ring Bells for Salvation Army
The red kettles of the Salvation Army are a familiar site around the holidays. The bell ringers themselves are a necessity to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign each year.
During the 2013 holiday season, several departments at the Field Support Office used their Community Time to ring bells. Those departments included: Accounting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Credit, and Organizational Development.
These team members provided more than 140 hours of volunteer time at various locations throughout the Fargo/Moorhead community (some on frigidly cold Fargo days!).
The funds raised through the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign assists thousands of individuals in the Fargo/Moorhead community with hot meals, personal care items, rent and utility assistance, prescription care, support during disasters, and other needs.
Sue Kressin, Accounting Manager, commented, “Our team was thrilled with the positive responses from the public as we were out braving extremely cold temperatures. We all walked away with a feeling that we had done something very worthwhile for the community, were appreciated by the community, and had fun at the same time.”
She added, “It is a very rewarding and positive team building opportunity we are provided by our employer.”
Chad Fleckenstein Named Hazen Service Manager
Chad Fleckenstein has been named Service Manager in Hazen. Chad started with RDO Equipment Co. in 2007 as a Service Technician and soon transitioned to a Field Service Technician.
David Ripplinger, Hazen Store Manager, commented, “Chad’s skill and knowledge of John Deere equipment, as well as the relationships he’s established with our customers, make him well suited for this position.”
Vern Johnson Named Service Operations Manager for South Dakota and Western North Dakota
Vern Johnson has been named Service Operations Manager for South Dakota and Western ND. Vern joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2010 as part of the acquisition of the Webster, S.D. store. He started his career in 1993 as a Service Technician and has most recently served as Store Manager in Webster.
“Vern’s understanding of the region he will be working in along with his extensive experience in Service is a natural fit for this position,” commented Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Ag. “I am excited to welcome Vern in this new role and look forward in seeing the positive support that he will provide.”
Brian Lohse Named Regional Aftermarket Manager – Parts for Midwest Ag
Brian Lohse has been named the Regional Aftermarket Manager – Parts for the Midwest Ag region. Brian joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2005 in Lisbon with a strong background in the industry. He served as the Store/Parts Manager in Lisbon until 2009 when he became the Store/Parts Manager in Fergus Falls.
Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Ag, commented, “Brian is a great complement to our already strong Aftermarket team, working closely with each location, the CPO, and other RAM’s throughout our company to increase efficiencies, processes, and revenues.”
“I’m very excited for this opportunity and look forward to working with our region to continue to grow our Aftermarket business,” added Brian.
Evan Fonder Awarded Emerging Leader Award
Aberdeen Store Manager Evan Fonder has been awarded the Emerging Leader Award from the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce. Established by the Chamber in 2008 to foster young leadership and enhance youth retention in the community, this award is presented to an individual who is in the first years of their career and has demonstrated leadership qualities within their businesses and community.
Evan has worked at RDO Equipment Co. for 9 years. For the last three years, he has served as the Aberdeen Store Manager and he was a Regional Sales Manager prior to that. The Emerging Leader recognition is awarded during an annual Champions Luncheon in Aberdeen.
Recipients must maintain active participation in local associations, organizations, and volunteer boards; must have received recognition from managers and peers for demonstrating leadership skills and standards in the workplace; and be enthusiastic in their commitment to promoting and growing with the community, region and State. Individuals are nominated for the award by someone from within the Chamber membership and all applications are reviewed by the Chamber Board of Directors.
“It has been great to see how Evan has grown as a leader both in the company and in the community,” commented Brook Stephens, South Dakota General Manager. “I am excited for Evan to have received this award.”
Washburn Store Holds Annual Safety Day for Area First Graders
On February 6, 80 first graders from Washburn, Turtle Lake, Underwood and Center elementary schools attended Safety Days at the Washburn, ND store. In partnership with the ND Farm Bureau, the McLean County Extension Office, and the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, the annual event featured information covering a broad group of safety topics. These topics included safety practices around animals (complete with a live horse), how to deal with strangers, police procedures (including trying on handcuffs and exploring a police car), and how to be safe around heavy equipment and PTOs.
Patti Were, Josh Wooledge, Brandon Mehrer, Ian Zimmerman, Jeremy Birdsell and the rest of the team at the Washburn store helped with the preparation for the event and with the demonstrations.
Wanda Schneider, Office Administrator, Washburn noted, “The kids got a lot of good information and we kept them very busy all day with lots of fun, smiles and giggles. And most importantly, we hopefully showed them how to keep from getting hurt.”
Lisbon Store Holds Customer Appreciation Supper
On January 29, employees at the Lisbon store prepared and served a Customer Appreciation steak supper to 60 customers as a thank you for their ongoing business.
Wylie Geyer, Lisbon Store Manager, commented, “The local team planned and delivered the entire event and many of the customers commented about how nice it was to sit and visit with the employees.”
RDO Equipment Co. Recognized as FFA Star Partner
The RDO Equipment Co. agriculture locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota have been recognized as FFA Star Partners for 2014. This program allows businesses to contribute to the growth and development of FFA leadership activities and agriculture education curriculum.
Someone who benefited from the agriculture education curriculum is Kody Liebenow, Service Technician in Moorhead, who has been with RDO Equipment Co. for two years. He graduated from Enderlin, ND and was very active in his school’s FFA program. He participated in Ag Mechanics for four years. His senior year of high school, his Ag Mechanics team of three individuals won the state competition and participated in Nationals, taking third place. Ag Mechanics includes anything from setting up a GPS for combines, to picking the right sprayer nozzles for a self-propelled sprayer, to figuring out the area of a golf course and deciding how much fertilizer is needed, to repairs on small engines.
Kody said he always knew he wanted to go into mechanics, and his school’s FFA program was a great option. “I knew that the FFA was the organization in our school that I could compete on a large level with mechanics.”
After graduating at M|State in Detroit Lakes, MN and working at RDO Equipment Co., he sees the value of his employer supporting the FFA. “It’s a really big deal. To be able to sit at the state convention in front of 1,500 people, and see RDO Equipment Co.’s name on banners is awesome. It’s great to see our company so visible within the FFA.”
According to the FFA Foundation and Association, participation in the Star Program gives an organization the satisfaction of knowing that they are contributing to tomorrow’s leaders in the agriculture industry, while gaining valuable recruitment and exposure at major events.
Tamra Maddock, North Dakota FFA Foundation Assistant Director, commented, “We’ve loved partnering with RDO Equipment Co. and providing an avenue for our students to connect with your organization.”
Fontana Partners with Police Department’s K9 Unit for Toy Drive
Over the holiday season, the Fontana store held a toy drive and partnered with the Fontana Police Department K9 unit. As an incentive for customers to participate, the store offered a $15 coupon off their next purchase.
The store gets parts from the factory in large stock boxes, so their goal was to fill up one box. Team members alone filled up roughly 1.5 boxes, and then with the support of RDO Equipment Co. customers, another 1.5 boxes were filled.
Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, added, “I was extremely impressed with the efforts of the entire team and I know we made some very sick kids and families who will be spending Christmas in the hospital really happy.”
Duane Bonini, General Manager – Southern California, commented, “I believe this was one of our best events ever, as there was great participation from the employees and some customers really got into it! We were very surprised at the size of the donations from our customers and it was a great feeling to make a child's Christmas a little brighter.”
Aberdeen Gives to Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that many of our stores have become involved in, whether it has been volunteering their time to prepare a meal, donating a meal, or donating overall funds.
This past month, the Aberdeen store gave back to the Ronald McDonald House in Sioux Falls, SD (which is their nearest Ronald McDonald House). The store provided a meal, which included pulled pork sandwiches, taco soup, cookies, fruit cups, and veggie tray. In addition, Nick Kallhoff, Parts Manager, presented a check which represented funds that had been donated throughout the entire year.
The Ronald McDonald House was very appreciative of the support. Janet Krueger, who works at the house, commented that so many of their families aren’t local Sioux Falls residents, so to receive support from the communities of the families was so nice.
Nick said, “I met families from Aberdeen and surrounding communities who were staying at the house, and they were so appreciative of the food – one of the mothers staying there said it was the best meal they’d had in months.”
He added, “It was a nice feeling being able to do something for the families there. Listening to their stories of heartache and the stresses and miracles they have witnessed is truly moving.”
Southwest Construction and RDO Integrated Controls Host Two Successful Roadshows
In December, the SWCE and RDOIC teams hosted two very successful Total Solutions Roadshow events for customers. The goal of these events was to showcase the available services and solutions provided by RDO Equipment Co. and get hands-on with the equipment and technology to see the benefits first-hand.
Each Roadshow featured extensive work by team members to prepare the stores and demo sites. Each featured door prizes (and a grand prize of a John Deere gun safe) as well as a BBQ lunch.
“Both events were a phenomenal success. The hard work the teams put into making this happen was evident. Contractors that I spoke with at the events were very impressed in the total solutions we displayed. They see us as one company and it was nice to have an event that enforced that. Everyone who participated in putting this together should be very proud of what they accomplished,” commented Dennis Howard, Southern Construction Vice President.
Riverside Roadshow: December 5, 2013
The Southern California RDOIC team partnered with the Southwest Construction team to demonstrate the latest in Topcon technology and John Deere equipment at the Riverside store. More than 30 companies attended the event, with a constant flow of customers into the demo area to get hands-on with the equipment. In addition to the RDO Equipment Co. story, the RDOIC story, and Topcon technology featured, Alan Rakow, Power Plant Technology Specialist, did a special presentation on 2014 Carb Emissions update, which generated multiple questions from both presentation sessions.
Tim Houchens, RDOIC Regional Sales Manager, commented, “The Riverside Total Solutions Roadshow was a huge success and win for both RDO Equipment Co. and our customers. Customers were able to see our equipment and technology at work in a fun, relaxed environment. In addition, the show prep gave us an opportunity to develop a demo site in the Riverside yard, which we will continue to utilize for demonstrations."
The event featured a significant amount of equipment on display and available for demo, and included:
Dozer: JD750K: Twin Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD850K: Single Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD650K: I33 Topcon System
Grader: JD772GP: Twin antenna MC2 with mmGPS
Excavator: Hitachi 245G: X63 GPS Topcon System
Excavator: Hitachi 35G: X22 2D Topcon System
Haul truck: JD410E: HT30 Topcon System
Sakai SW800: Intelligent Compaction System
Mobile Mapper Truck
GR5 Base & Rover Station
Robotic Total Station and Laser Station
Sitelink Jobsite Management Software
Tucson Roadshow: December 10, 2013
The Arizona RDOIC and Construction teams held a joint product Roadshow at a site near the Tucson store. The event was attended by more than 75 individuals, representing 30+ companies throughout the Arizona territory.
Mike Oberbillig, RDOIC Regional Sales Manager, commented, “The teamwork between both divisions of the company was great to see and truly showed the customers the advantages of doing business with RDO Equipment Co. in Arizona.”
Equipment on display and available for demo included:
Dozer: JD764: Twin Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD850K: Single Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD750J: I33 Topcon System
Grader: JD772GP: Twin antenna MC2 with System 5 Sonic Tracker
Excavator: JD210G: X63 GPS Topcon System
Excavator: JD35D: X22 2D Topcon System
Haul truck: JD410E: HT30 Topcon System
Mobile Mapper Truck
Sitelink Jobsite Management Software
Williston Collects Food for Local Food Bank
The Williston store held its first Holiday Food Drive. The collected food was given to the local Food Bank serving Western North Dakota.
All store employees were encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, and the participation from employees – and customers – was great.
Cash Wish, a local grocery store, worked with the Williston store to get a spectacular deal on a few pallets of food as well.
Lizz Wentz, Office Administrator, and who was the driving force behind the food drive, commented, “We would like to thank everyone who participated in making it a very Merry Christmas for a lot of families in need in our community.”
Keith Kreps Elected NDIDA Chairman
Keith Kreps, RDO Equipment Co. Executive Vice President, was elected chairman of the North Dakota Implement Dealers Association (NDIDA) during the organization’s 114th annual convention held recently in Bismarck, ND. He has been a member of the NDIDA Board of Directors since 2005 and has served as First Vice Chairman during the past year. Keith has worked at RDO Equipment Co. since 1998 serving in many management and executive roles.
The North Dakota Implement Dealers Association (NDIDA), headquartered in Fargo, ND, is the statewide trade association for approximately 125 major line and shortline farm equipment dealers. The mission of NDIDA is to promote the general welfare of its dealer members by providing a timely source of industry information, representing dealer interests in government regulation and legislation, enhancing dealer and employee education, supporting equitable dealer/manufacturer relations and offering specific business-related services which enhance the profitability of dealer members.
ACT Customers Visit Large Phoenix Customer to Learn More about Construction Industry
ACT Customers Visit Large Phoenix Customer to Learn More about Construction Industry
Two key construction account customers from the Volgograd, Russia region traveled to America with ACT team members to learn more about the construction business in the United States. Agro-Construction Technology (ACT, the RDO Equipment Co. partnership in Russia) operates more than 10 agriculture and construction dealerships in the South Federal District of the country.
In addition to learning more about the construction business in the US, the Russian customers also wanted to spend time with a large contractor operating John Deere construction equipment and visit an RDO Equipment Co. construction store.
Alexander Potafeev is General Manager of YugSpetsStroy and Pavel Shabalokov is General Manager of Avega. Both large Russian construction companies, YugSpetsStroy operates 200 units of CE equipment and Avega has 5,000 employees with more than 50 CE units. Both customers are expecting to make large purchases before the end of 2013.
The RDO Equipment Co. – Phoenix team decided to have the Russian customers visit Mark’s Valley Grading, located just outside Phoenix. Mark’s Valley Grading, owned by Donald “Mark” Haight, specializes in excavation and demolition. The company was founded in 1993 with one dump truck and grade tractor. Twenty years later, they own over 100 pieces of excavation and demolition equipment and specialize in commercial and residential work.
During the visit, the Russian visitors were intrigued by the operation, including what products could be produced, where Valley Grading sources material, and what material existed in the landfill when he purchased it in 1993.
Alexander and Pavel asked Mark why he preferred RDO Equipment Co. and John Deere equipment over the competition, particularly CAT.
“Mark attributed a large part of his success to RDO Equipment Co.’s flexibility and creativity in providing quality equipment with financing programs that meet his needs,” said Jon Wilson, RDO Equipment Co. Sales Professional.
He added, “While no customer/dealer relationship is free from challenges, Mark stated that our willingness to work tirelessly to provide solutions when issues arise is what keeps him coming back.”
Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction, said, “It was fun to get to experience the Russian customers. They had a lot of interest in how we perform work, especially road work.”
Dennis also commented on a difference in perspective of the Russian customers. “Alexander and Pavel always asked our customers, ‘Why do you buy John Deere?’ and our customers would start by explaining their RDO Equipment Co. relationship.”
He added, “Overall, it was a great experience for the entire Phoenix team, and we’re excited we had the opportunity to help our partner in Russia.”
Billings Team Members Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
Billings Team Members Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
Ray Belmontez, Parts Warehouse Specialist, helped organize fellow team members to give their eight hours of Community Time to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Ray has a friend who is part of the organization in Billings and he thought it would be a great way for a construction dealer to give back at a build site.
Six Billings team members assisted for one day. There was paperwork and a morning orientation, but after that, they were put to work. They volunteered in November – so the morning began with a freezing cold temperature but warmed up to nearly 50 degrees.
Individuals who volunteered with Ray included Cindy Villas, RDOE Service Administrator; Josh Harris, RDOE Parts Manager; Eric Bechtold, RDOE General Manager; Brad Lindeman, RDOIC Parts Specialist; and Mike Tonn, RDOIC Modeling Product Specialist.
The RDO Equipment Co. team was responsible for hanging vinyl siding. According to Ray, the Habitat people were very helpful and instructed the proper way to put up siding.
“We learned a lot about this organization and what they do for those less fortunate in our community. When the day was done, our team had a sense of pride for what we had accomplished. I look forward to assisting this organization again,” said Ray.
He added, “The Habitat for Humanity organization has chapters across the country – I highly recommend fellow RDO Equipment Co. team members to get out and volunteer. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.”
Northern Ag Expo a Successful Agri-Business Event for RDO Equipment Co.
Northern Ag Expo a Successful Agri-Business Event for RDO Equipment Co.
In early December, RDO Equipment Co. had a booth at the Northern Ag Expo in Fargo, ND. The Northern Ag Expo is organized by the North Dakota Agricultural Association. Along with several booths, agri-business classes are held with topics ranging from crop production strategies to new technology.
The RDO Equipment Co. booth featured a Field Connect System, a screen set up with MyJohnDeere.com, and employees there to answer questions regarding Wireless Data Transfer, GPS, JDLink, and more.
“It is our intention to be leaders in technology amongst John Deere dealers and this was an excellent opportunity to showcase our expertise in this area with our Product Specialist team,” said Jeff Lemna, Director of Customer Support.
Livermore Clears Unwanted Bushes for Local Parks District
Livermore Clears Unwanted Bushes for Local Parks District
In their search for community service projects, Livermore Shop Foreman Frank Gouveia contacted the Livermore Area Recreation and Parks District (LARPD) and received a request for help in removing several non-native Oleander bushes lining the entrance to Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton, CA.
A total of 10 enormous bushes needed to be removed. Each bush was 15 to 20 feet in diameter and just as high. The task took two days to complete. The first crew consisted of Frank, Trevor Ferris, Parts Specialist, and Matt Bolt, Service Advisor, and they cleared six bushes. The remaining four bushes were cleared by Erin List, Office Administrator, JJ Reyes, Parts Specialist, Mark Meyer, Account Manager, and Tony Rego, Service Technician. This group also brought a Vermeer BC1000XL chipper for the park maintenance crew to chip up the mountain of brush that had been removed.
Frank said, “Both groups of employees were a little sore after the hard work, but enjoyed some friendly ribbing about which group did the most work.”
Brandon Kyse, General Manager, added, “This project was especially challenging due to union regulations which did not allow power tools to remove the bushes. While the thought of Frank with an axe is a bit daunting, he did an outstanding job spearheading this opportunity with LARPD. It proved to be a great volunteer and team building activity.”
Tucson Donates 75 Turkeys to Local Cause
Tucson Donates 75 Turkeys to Local Cause
For the second year in a row, RDO Equipment Co. – Tucson had the pleasure to donate to Kristi's Kids Season 4 Hope Drive, through KVOA News 4. The turkeys will be donated to the Tucson Community Food Bank.
Tucson team members loaded the bucket of a John Deere unit with the turkeys and then delivered them to the KVOA donation site.
“The Kristi’s Kids Season 4 Hope Drive generates a great deal of goodwill in the Tucson community, and it’s a pleasure to work with Kristi on various community programs,” commented Bill Hitchcock, Store Manager.
Sunnyside Hosts Customer Appreciation Dinner
Sunnyside Hosts Customer Appreciation Dinner
On Friday, November 15, the Sunnyside store held its annual after-harvest customer appreciation dinner. The event was a huge success, with more than 365 in attendance.
The event featured a catered BBQ dinner, face painting and a bounce house for the kids, and several drawings for door prizes for those in attendance.
“Our customers and employees look forward to this event each year, where we can celebrate the end of another harvest. Our team puts in a lot of hard work to make a successful event, and we were all very pleased with our turnout,” said Travis Hanger, Store Manager.
Southwest Ag Stores “Partner with Employees” at Friendly Softball Game
Southwest Ag Stores “Partner with Employees” at Friendly Softball Game
Two Southwest Ag locations demonstrated the “Partner with Employees” Core Value by a friendly competition of softball. Yuma and Imperial employees, along with their families, coordinated a softball game against each other.
Yuma’s “The SWAG” beat Imperial’s “The Green Machine” the first game, but Imperial came back with a victory on the second game.
The stores plan to play each other again soon and hope to make it a regular event.
“Both employees and family members had a great time, and it was a great opportunity to get to know each other better,” commented Shelbie Harris, Yuma Receptionist.
Matt Smith Takes New Role in Watsonville
Matt Smith Takes New Role in Watsonville
Matt Smith has been named Aftermarket Manager in Watsonville. Matt joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2012 as a Parts Specialist. He has had exposure to all departments in the store, including time spent as a Transactional Account Manager.
“I am excited about this role and the opportunity to continue to develop our relationships with customers. Watsonville is a great area with tremendous potential for growth,” commented Matt.
“Matt has exhibited great leadership and a strong work ethic. He will undoubtedly lead the Watsonville team and continue to grow the store’s business,” commented Craig Kleindl, Regional General Manager.
Shawn Paschke Named to Construction Equipment’s Under 40 List
Shawn Paschke Named to Construction Equipment’s Under 40 List
Construction Equipment magazine announced its inaugural class of the Under 40 in Construction Equipment Awards. Twenty-four winners comprise the Class of 2013, representing disciplines across the construction equipment industry. The list includes asset managers who run equipment fleets, operators, construction-company owners, operator trainers, distributors, and manufacturers.
"The Under 40 in Construction Equipment Awards showcase young talent in the construction equipment industry," said Rod Sutton, editorial director. "These young people, all under the age of 40 as of the end of the year, represent exciting potential for this industry.”
Shawn Paschke, Moorhead Customer Support Advisor, was named to the list. He has been with RDO Equipment Co. since October 2011. Shawn will attend an awards dinner at CONEXPO in March 2014 and will meet the other award winners along with the editor of Construction Equipment magazine.
“I enjoy working with our customers and strive to assist them with their needs. I have enjoyed my time with RDO Equipment Co. and am excited to see where this role and this award can take me,” said Shawn.
Imperial Builds Team Camaraderie during Parade and Cook-off
Imperial Builds Team Camaraderie during Parade and Cook-off
The Imperial team recently participated in the Brawley, CA 57th Annual Cattle Call Parade and Chili Cook-off. This event brings in roughly 20,000 people from all around Imperial County and concludes with a weekend of Rodeo fun for all to enjoy.
This was the store’s first year of participation and although they didn’t place in any of the awards, they had a great time and received very positive feedback on their chili and presentation during the Parade.
“Our store had a great weekend during the parade and Chili Cook-off,” commented Joe Castillo, Store Manager. “We can’t wait to participate again next year!”
Northern California Stores Donate Coats
Northern California Stores Donate Coats
Fowler, Livermore, and Sacramento team members donated 80 winter jackets for the third annual Lyon Coat Drive. Organized by a local real estate company, the stores’ employees collected new or gently used adult and children’s coats. The coats were distributed to local charities, including a homeless ministry.
Steve Carpenter, with Lyon Real Estate, commented, “It is people like those at your company who make it possible to help the less fortunate. You have truly made a difference in their lives. Your efforts to rally on such short notice and gather so many coats is a testament to your generosity, community support, and kind hearts!”
Brandon Kyse, General Manager, added, “This was a great opportunity for all the stores in the region to work together and give back to the community.”
Webster Participates in Holiday Food Drive
Webster Participates in Holiday Food Drive
The Webster store participated in their second annual food drive for their local food pantry. Everyone at the store was encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donate.
“It really feels good when we all can get together and donate such a large amount of food to those in need during this holiday season,” commented Vern Johnson, Store Manager.
When team members delivered the food they had donated, the food bank was extremely appreciative. This is a holiday tradition the store plans to continue.
Tucson Gets Involved in Pecan Festival
Tucson Gets Involved in Pecan Festival
The Green Valley Pecan Co.’s 5,000 acre pecan orchard is the world’s largest irrigated pecan orchard. They grow and process pecans that are world renowned for their farm to table freshness.
On Saturday, November 9 in Sahuarita, AZ Green Valley Pecan Co. held its 5th annual Pecan Festival. The Tucson store was asked to be a sponsor of this recognized event that included tractor pulls and harvest demonstrations along with a 10 mile foot race through the orchard and several other events.
Byron Roberts, Parts Manager, and Craig Summers, Sales Professional, displayed a John Deere 310SK back hoe, 329E skid steer, and 672G motor grader.
“Several RDO Equipment Co. customers and employees had a great time at this community event. More than 100 kids enjoyed getting their photos taken on the equipment. We handed out more than 350 RDO Equipment Co. hats and it was great to see everyone wearing our company name throughout the entire event,” commented Byron.
Salinas Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Salinas Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month
After a suggestion from Salinas team member Homer Diaz, Parts Specialist, the store decided to wear pink shirts every Friday for the month of October to show support for breast cancer awareness.
Fifteen team members wore their pink shirts every Friday and many customers noticed. IN fact, several customers asked if the store had extra shirts to sell!
The store already has plans for how to further support breast cancer awareness next October by looking into fundraiser ideas – and of course, more pink shirts.
“It was something very simple that we chose to do, yet very impactful,” said Kate Short, Store Manager.
Austin Donates to Project Care Case
Austin Donates to Project Care Case
In the Austin community, when a child arrives at his or her first foster placement, it’s often with their belongings (if any) in a garbage or plastic grocery bag. And, if they are in multiple foster family placements, they may not even have the same pillow and blanket to sleep on as they did the night before. They often have limited personal items, and almost nothing to call their very own.
On behalf of the entire store, the Austin Great Place to Work Committee purchased 32 suitcases for the children, as well as 20 outfits, 10 blankets, 10 pillows, and 15 teddy bears. The store spent $1,100 on these items and roughly two weeks gathering the items in order to provide an impactful, successful donation.
Cory Kosse, General Manager, stated, “Our team continues to find great ways to help those in need in our community and Project Care Case is another prime example. Donating the items to Project Care Case is a great way to help the children as they transition from home to home during very difficult times.”
“I was very pleased on how much our store was able to purchase for Project Care Case, and the founder of Project Care Case was very thankful for our donation. It’s a great feeling to know that the company I work for cares so much about our communities,” commented Charlotte Rios, Receptionist, and member of the Great Place to Work Committee.
RDO Caters Taters is another Record Breaking Event
RDO Caters Taters is another Record Breaking Event
On November 7th, Fargo/Moorhead area R.D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment Co. team members hosted the 14th annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity, benefiting Project Ignite Light. The event was a huge success, serving more than 2,680 guests during the two hour luncheon, and resulting in $49,606 raised for the benefitting charity.
Project Ignite Light is a non-profit organization that provides children across the region with a “Bag of Hope” when they are examined at local Children’s Advocacy Centers for sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. Each bag contains items that the child may keep including a blanket, clean pajamas, and a flashlight. The goal of the bags is to provide items to the young victims that will give them a sense of normalcy and control during difficult times.
At the event, guests were served a one Pound-tato (a gigantic, one pound baked potato), with a choice of toppings, beverage, and dessert, all for a ticket price of $6. The event also featured a popular Take Out area, a raffle, door prizes, sales of fresh bagged potatoes, and an appearance by the event’s mascot, Tommy Tater.
"Over the last five years, Project Ignite Light has helped more than 5,000 children of abuse. This simply would not be possible without support from our local communities,” commented Pebbles Thompson, Project Ignite Light Founder. “RDO has provided continuous support through blanket donations, pajama drives, and financial support. What a blessing it is for Project Ignite Light to be chosen for the RDO Caters Taters event. We are so thankful and excited for RDO's partnership and commitment to help children in need.”
Phoenix Assists Homes 4 Wounded Warriors Organization
Phoenix Assists Homes 4 Wounded Warriors Organization
The Phoenix store recently loaned a skid steer to Jared Allen’s Homes 4 Wounded Warriors. This group is a non-profit organization that was created to help raise money to build or modify the homes of American’s injured Military Veterans from across the country.
Adam Gilbertson, RDOIC Northern General Manager, read an article this summer about the challenges this organization was having lining up corporate sponsors. A military veteran himself, the charity resonated with Adam, and after doing some research, he reached out to Alex Karalexis with Homes 4 Wounded Warriors to see how RDO Equipment Co. could possibly help.
Homes 4 Wounded Warriors was in need of a skid steer to help with the landscaping for a home they purchased for Sgt. Kenneth Chaplin in Phoenix. Ken lost both of his legs below the knees and suffered traumatic brain injury from an IED attack during dismounted patrol in Al Anbar Province Iraq. Ken currently lives in a low income housing apartment on a second level without an elevator or wheelchair ramps. His apartment is small and cramped and impossible for Ken to use his wheelchair, leaving him with only the option of crawling on the floors when his legs are in pain from prosthetics. Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors purchased a home for Ken and are beginning the process of upgrades to include widening of doorways, wheelchair ramps, an open kitchen, a handicap-accessible bathroom, and safe walkways on the property.
Dennis Karre, Sales Professional, and Mike Carr, Parts Specialist, were able to visit the home to see the progress being done on the house. They used the skid steer to grade the backyard and remove a lot of dirt from the property.
Alex shared, “On behalf of Jared Allen and everyone here at the foundation, I would like to thank RDO Equipment Co. and their employees for your continued support of Jared Allen’s Homes 4 Wounded Warriors. We had a recent need for a skid steer, so I called Adam Gilbertson in Bloomington, MN. In a matter of hours, I received a phone call from the Phoenix store to let me know that a skid steer was ready to use at no cost to the foundation.”
He continued, “It is teamwork like this that allows us to build as many homes as possible for disabled veterans. Thank you, RDO Equipment Co., for your commitment to our foundation and we look forward to working with you on future projects.”
Mike commented, “A big thanks to Adam Gilbertson for getting us in contact with such a worthy organization. We look forward to working with Jared Allen’s Homes 4 Wounded Warriors again.”
Ehrenberg’s Open House Huge Success
Ehrenberg’s Open House Huge Success
Ehrenberg held an Open House on October 30 to celebrate a new store remodel, along with significant years of service anniversaries for Mike Hudson, Account Manager (35 years), and Jeff McConnell, Store Manager (30 years). In addition, the event celebrated the retirement of Peggy Wright, Office Manager, who has spent 42 years at RDO Equipment Co.
Roughly 100 people attended and filled the showroom. Customers had great things to say about the many improvements, and the RDO Equipment Co. team spirit was evident by the number of employees from other stores who came to show their support.
The team found the event to be extremely successful. Everyone had a great time and there were many positive things said about the remodel; valuable networking took place among employees and customers; and no one left hungry thanks to their catered BBQ meal.
The store gives special thanks to Shelbie Harris and Linda Huffman, Yuma, for all their assistance in planning and preparing for the Open House, including food, decorations, and candy bags for the kids.
“Our team members did a fantastic job preparing for this event, and our hard work truly was on display for our fellow team members and customers,” said Jeff McConnell. He added, “In addition, everyone was very appreciative of the support and attendance from our Senior Leadership, including Christi Offutt, CEO, and Davin Peterson, Vice President – Western Ag, and the support of Ian Carey, Regional General Manager, throughout the entire remodel.”
Aberdeen Employee Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Aberdeen Employee Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Bob Schmidt, Account Manager, celebrated 30 Years of Service on Thursday, November 7, with a customer Open House at the store. Bob has spent all 30 years in the Aberdeen store in a sales role, but prior to joining the Aberdeen store (previously Brown County Implement), he worked at Brost Implement in Ellendale, ND. He drove truck and worked in the service department before taking a role as Parts Manager and Sales roles.
“I have enjoyed working with our customers and developing strong relationships with them throughout the years. On some farms, I’m working with the third generation, and I enjoy that. Working at RDO Equipment Co. has been a good experience. I’ve witnessed a lot of changes over the years, but the Core Values have always stayed the same.”
JD Kessler Named Regional Sales Manager for Aberdeen and Webster
JD Kessler Named Regional Sales Manager for Aberdeen and Webster
JD Kessler has recently been named Regional Sales Manager for Aberdeen and Webster, SD locations. JD has spent five years with RDO Equipment Co. He started his career in Midwest Ag before moving to Northern California as a Vermeer Account Manager and Sales Manager. He most recently served as a Core Accounts Account Manager in Aberdeen.
“I am very excited to work with the Account Managers in South Dakota,” said JD. “I also look forward to furthering relationships with our customers in this area.”
Brook Stephens, Regional General Manager, added, “JD is very passionate about our business and our Stakeholders and I am excited to have him take on this new Regional role.”
Jerry Gonzalez Named Laredo Store Manager
Jerry Gonzalez Named Laredo Store Manager
Jerry Gonzalez has been named Laredo Store Manager. Jerry was most recently a Sales Professional, and has been with the company for nearly five years.
“I have learned about our customers, our employees, and our organization. RDO Equipment Co. is a great place to work and I am pleased to take this new role and lead our store to a more successful future,” commented Jerry.
He added, “We recently moved into our new facility and the entire Laredo team is thrilled with the new space. Our customers are also pleased as they enter our store and feel very welcome.”
Shane Brownlow, General Manager, said, “Jerry will do a great job leading the Laredo team. They have set many goals for the upcoming year, and I am confident that this team will succeed.”
Laredo Hosts Grand Opening Event
Laredo Hosts Grand Opening Event
On October 24, RDO Equipment Co. held a Grand Opening event to showcase their new facility. The event was very successful, with roughly 200 attendees, including the Mayor of Laredo and the district’s State Representative.
The store gave away several door prizes, including a 650K monthly rental, a John Deere gun safe, and a Yeti cooler. They also had a Topcon/750K dozer demonstration.
“The entire Laredo team worked very hard to put the event together,” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. Announces Acquisition of Water Tech Ag Supply
FARGO, N.D. – RDO Equipment Co. announces the acquisition of Water Tech Ag Supply, a California-based company that provides total agricultural irrigation solutions ranging from aluminum pipe, PVC pipe, booster pumps, and sand media filtration system rentals, to irrigation design services and pipe and pump repair. The company has locations in Brawley, Escondido, Indio, Oxnard, Salinas, and Santa Maria, California, and Yuma, Arizona. The acquisition was effective November 1, 2013.
“This acquisition is a significant strategic move for RDO Equipment Co.,” said Christi Offutt, CEO. “Our customer stakeholders will benefit from the newly expanded solutions we will offer.”
RDO Equipment Co. Announces New McKinney, Texas Location
RDO Equipment Co. announces the company will open a new store in McKinney, Texas next year. With six current locations in the state, the McKinney store will provide additional service and support to north Texas customers and complement RDO Equipment Co.’s Irving location.
The new 30,000 sq. ft. location will offer sales, parts, service, and rental of John Deere heavy construction equipment. The store will be designed to achieve LEED Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). RDO Equipment Co. plans to open the McKinney location by fall 2014.
Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Texas, stated, “The additional north Texas location furthers our commitment to our customers and allows us to expand our overall services and product support capabilities in an expanding market. We look forward to growing our close-knit team into an additional location and serving the McKinney community for many years to come.”
Burnsville VER and Burnsville CE Partner for Local Organization
The Burnsville VER and Burnsville CE stores donated equipment and time for the local organization, Pets Loyal 2 Vets. The Construction store donated a John Deere mini excavator and Kelly Wicks, Burnsville VER Regional Sales Coordinator, donated his time to dig a trench for drain tile.
Pets Loyal 2 Vets is a federally registered, Minnesota based non-profit organization whose mission is to connect homeless dogs free of charge with disabled Minnesota veterans treated for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), TBI (traumatic brain injury) and physical assault traumas.
Service Administrator Denise Kadrlik belongs to “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River Chapter” and they mentioned that “Pets Loyal 2 Vets” were looking for volunteers to help out with the construction of their new building.
The organization wrote the store’s a thank you, saying: I wanted to drop you a note to thank you so much for the equipment and operator assistance you helped arrange through RDO Equipment Co. We finished our project on Saturday morning just 30 minutes before the rain moved through. We really owe a lot of gratitude to RDO Equipment Co. for coming through and helping save us weeks of digging by hand and blisters to match. RDO Equipment Co. is a shining example of a company extending their services throughout their community to organizations that serve Minnesota veterans, and for that, we graciously thank you.”
Steve Rosenow, Burnsville (VER) General Manager commented, “I’m very grateful of our employees here who are willing to provide their time to support our Veterans and to RDO Equipment Co. for giving us the opportunities to give back to our communities.”
Webster Teams Up with Local 4-H Chapter for Pumpkin Fest Parade
On Saturday, October 12, Webster Area Chamber Of Commerce sponsored a “Pumpkin Fest,” which included games for kids, craft booths, a baking contest, lunch, a giant pumpkin contest, and to end the festivities of the day, a parade of lights which started at 7 p.m.
Parade entries were encouraged to decorate their floats with pumpkins and as many lights as possible. The Webster store teamed up with a local 4-H club which included 21 kids to help make and pull a float in the “Parade of Lights.” The kids threw candy from the float and had a great time.
“We had a fun time working with the 4-H kids and their families, and we were proud to be part of this community event,” said Vern Johnson, Webster Store Manager.
Burnsville (CE) Participates in Day of the Dozer
The Burnsville (CE) store participated in the Day of the Dozer event that was held as a fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. The Day of the Dozer was set up so kids of all ages could get a ride on construction equipment and actually see it work while riding in the cab. The event had operators from many local companies and dealers that donated their time and equipment. The event had everything from a skid steer to an ADT. Along with the ride along, there was also a static display of equipment that the kids could sit in and get their hands on.
RDO Equipment Co. supplied an 872GP motor grader and a 244J compact loader. Ryan Miller, Sales Coordinator volunteered his time and gave over 100 rides on the grader. “It was cool to see all the smiles on the kids’ faces and give them a chance to actually get in these machines and see how they operate.”
The weather was a little wet, but there were still over 400 attendees at the event. “Children’s Hospitals and Clinics is a great organization and we were glad to be able to donate machines and volunteers to help raise money for this organization,” said Scott Weness, Sales Manager.
FSO Community Responsibility Committee Raises Money for Worthy Charity
For the second year in a row, the Field Support Office’s Community Responsibility Committee (CRC), along with the Events/GPTW Committee, hosted a bake sale for a selected charity in the Fargo/Moorhead community.
The selected charity this year was the local chapter of Up with Downs, with a mission “to serve as a clearinghouse for information on Down Syndrome and other disabilities to be exchanged in an open and relaxed atmosphere for parents, friends, relatives, educations and caregivers of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities.”
The bake sale was held at both FSO locations (Fargo and Moorhead). With nearly 230 employees between the FSO – Fargo and FSO – Moorhead, the event was very successful. Members of the CRC donated baked goods, and a free will offering was collected. Clients of Up with Downs helped work at the event as well.
The bake sale was a huge success and raised $750 for the organization. Representatives from Up with Downs came to the FSO – Fargo to accept the check.
Marsha Snyder, a member of the CRC, stated, “The charity was so appreciative of our donation. Thanks to all who helped organize, bake, setup, worked a shift, cleaned up, and purchased goodies. We could not have done this without your support.”
Livermore Joins Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day
Livermore team members Frank Gouveia, Service Technician; Ryan Scott, Regional Aftermarket Manager; Erin List, Office Administrator; Mark Meyer, Account Manager, along with family and friends participated in the annual California Coastal Cleanup day held on September 21. This event started in 1985 with almost 2,500 volunteers. This year’s event, which featured cleanup efforts at 850 different sites in 55 of the state’s 58 counties, focused on picking up trash from the coastal beaches and waterways and collected more than 501,748 pounds (251 tons) of trash and recyclables with the help of over 51,000 volunteers. The number one item picked up was once again cigarette butts.
The Livermore group chose to help clean Waddell Creek beach near Santa Cruz. A total of 65 pounds of trash and 5 pounds of recyclables were collected at this beach. After the cleanup, the Livermore group headed to a nearby Visitor’s Center for a lunch.
Frank commented, “Everyone commented on how much fun they had and how good it made them feel to help. This was a great team building event working side by side with members from other departments you don’t get to see all the time.”
Prescott Gets Involved
Throughout the past month, the Prescott store participated in various activities and events in their community. Here are some of the highlights.
On September 21, Rick Levine, Sales Professional, his daughter Julie, and several customers from the City of Prescott and Asphalt Paving & Supply participated in the X Run. The X Run was a 5K obstacle course walk/run that consisted of a combination of trails, hills, mud, and obstacles. The Prescott store also donated the use of a John Deere 624J loader and a 290D excavator to assist the organizers in preparing the course for event.
Proceeds from the event benefitted the Prescott Firefighter’s Charities and the families of the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Yavapai County Fair
What better way to celebrate the Fair Centennial than to spend some time at the Yavapai County Fair, which is exactly what some of the Prescott store employees did. Carl Niblett, Store Manager; Rick Levine, Sales Professional; Johnny Nelson, Parts Specialist; and Sherry Smith, Transactional Account Manager spent some quality time with each other and many members of the community during the 4-day event answering questions about the Gators, mowers and tractors the store had on display. A drawing was held on the last day of the fair and two lucky winners took home John Deere bicycles.
Sherry commented, “This was a great time to join with our community in celebrating the Fair’s Centennial.”
Employees of the Prescott store participated in the annual Touch-A-Truck on October 5. The event was sponsored by the Prescott Valley Parks & Recreation Department. Kids of all ages were given the opportunity to climb on, sit in, operate lights and honk the horns of all types and sizes of trucks and equipment. Prescott employees were kept busy helping the kids explore the RSX Gator, 1023R, 210K, and the 60D on display. The event brought smiles to the faces of all the kids and employees alike.
“It’s great that our team invests so much of their personal time into our local community,” said Carl.
Aberdeen Receives Bridge Builder Award
The Aberdeen store received the Bridge Builder Award from the Aberdeen Chamber. They were nominated for the award along with companies such as Avera St. Lukes, Sanford Health, Wheat Growers, and many others.
The Bridge Builder Award is presented to a business or organization demonstrating exceptional performance in collaboration between students from area educational institutions and their business or workplace. The award recognizes student workforce development opportunities such as internships, mentoring programs, job shadowing, apprenticeships, or other such offerings.
According to the Chamber, “Without bridges, the best-built roads lead nowhere and the best laid plans fail. This award acknowledges the bridges that have been built and the lifelong connections made. By providing students with opportunities in the region, we ultimately enhance our entire workforce and culture.”
Evan Fonder, Store Manager, said, “This award really speaks to our company’s commitment to growing our people from the ground up, and investing the resources for these types of programs. In the past few years we have been working closely with Northern State University and Lake Area Technical College to promote our internship and AYF programs. The idea that this commitment is starting to be recognized within our community gives us all a tremendous amount of pride.”
Fort Worth Donates Wagons to Children’s Hospital
The Fort Worth store donated five wagons to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth in late September. The wagons will be used to take children who need surgery into the operating room. A lot of the employees helped to build the wagons for delivery.
Team Members that helped put the wagons together included: Mark Wandmacher, Service Technician; Kurt Graves, Parts Specialist; Jose Benavidez, Service Technician; Kyle Braswell, Sales Professional; Steven De La Fuente, Equipment Detailer; Ryan Sullivan, Shop Foreman; Kyle Lipka, Service Technician; Shawna Garza, Service Advisor; Cheyenne Chestnut, Receptionist; Jill Exum, Service Administrator; Matt Daniell, General Manager; and Troy Ferguson, Sales Coordinator.
The Children’s Hospital commented, “Thank you so much for your generous donation to the patients at Cook Children’s. The wagons will be loved and used by the patients. Wagons are in very high demand here, and are such a wonderful resource to help make the patients’ and families’ stay here more enjoyable. Your donation is meeting such a great need! I am always amazed by the generosity of our community, and I thank you for thinking of the patients. It is wonderful that you recognized a need and took steps to meet it.”
“Assembling the wagons was a great way to build camaraderie, while sharing our goal of supporting the community,” said Matt Daniell.
RDOIC Employee Utilizes Topcon Equipment and Community Time
Nikolas Smilovsky, RDOIC Mapping Division Supervisor, participated in a unique experience. While on vacation in Mexico, Nikolas was approached by a colleague who was working with the University of North Carolina on a cultural heritage project, mapping the indigenous peoples of the Yucatan, Mexico. Due to Nikolas’s line of work with RDO Integrated Controls, he had passion and interest in the project (in addition to his fiancée, who is also a GIS professional). Before they knew it, they were building a plan and collaborating to help accomplish the goals and vision of the project.
While UNC organized the efforts on their side, Nikolas started working with the RDOIC team to secure the technological devices necessary to properly complete the work at hand. Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) and Laser Technologies Incorporated (LTI) were onboard with the donation of the use of a GLS-1500 Geodetic LiDAR Scanner and a Tru Pulse 360 handheld Laser Rangefinder.
The project, called Pryecto Arquelogico Colaborativo del Oriente de Yucatan Project (PACOY), has a general goal “to document archaeologically the households of the colonialized peoples who build the mission churches that still stand in testament to the dramatic social and political upheaval that accompanied Spanish incursions into the Yucatan.” They focused the project around mapping as the first primary tool to support the document. Not only does mapping provide a visual of what stands today, it gives hints about what used to stand. Between the technology available, knowledge of the study areas, and skills at hand, they were able to accomplish this.
Nikolas was asked to typographically map the site locations using a GLS-1500, a base and rover GR-3, and the LTI range finder. Using standard surveying techniques my team created a strong set of control and three individual base station locations. Each control and base corresponded to each other and to the environment surrounding the positions.
Using the GLS-1500, they were able to collect 150-500 meter coverage zones that each contained roughly 7.5 million points. These points were later classified, attributed, and used to create digital terrain models or DTMs. Above the grade the photos and points were used for asset identification and 3D modeling of ancient Maya and Catholic structures. To back up and to quality-assure the scanning, traditional GPS points were taken at all structure corners and on all items of interest.
During the next phase of the project, the data collected by the scanner will be used to predict subsurface collection zones. By carefully reviewing slight topographical changes and deviations on the ground’s surface, archaeologists will be able to synthesize possible habitation areas.
Furthermore, the data is also being used to create real virtual 3D models of important features among each site. These models will help preserve these features well beyond their tangible half-life. Using a technological device such as a geodetic scanner also allowed the team to have a “one and done” methodological approach to collection. This is due to the fact that further analysis could be done later in the lab and was not required to be done in the field. Because the scanner does not discriminate, they collected all the data needed.
“The experience was amazing. It was truly a pleasure to be able to utilize these cutting-edge technologies to assist with the overall goals of the project. In our fast-pace, business-orientated culture, it was rewarding to be able to help with something larger than just the normal construction or civil design project. While the project is nowhere near being completed, the scans provided a great start,” said Nikolas.
Nikolas was able to utilize Community Time to donate 8 hours of time to this project. He commented, “When I had heard that RDO Equipment Co. offered a Community Time program for employees as a way to help others, I knew it was something I wanted to do! Never before had I worked at a company that offered such a program and actually stuck to what they promised.”
He added, “Since day one, RDO Equipment Co. has discussed the importance of the company’s Core Values and the importance of community. While my archaeological survey trip to Mexico was not in my local backyard of Phoenix, I appreciated the company’s understanding of the bigger picture of global cultural heritage. It felt great to give my time to assist the scientists performing the project. It felt even better to promote the product of Topcon, but more over I treasured the opportunity that RDO Equipment Co. assisted me with.”
Lakeside Hosts EGCC Dinner
The Lakeside store hosted the AGC Engineering & General Contractors Council Dinner Meeting in late September.
Jerry Sanders, who previously served as San Diego’s Mayor, addressed the group. Currently the CEO of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Jerry provided his perspective on November’s Special Mayoral Election. Jerry has been involved in leading the business community’s election effort and detailed opinions concerning the candidates’ ability to get San Diego back on track.
Mike Fenton, General Manager, gave a brief history of RDO Equipment Co., with emphasis on developing and maintaining business relationships. He also spoke about how the Lakeside location is unique. Mike said, “We had a great turnout, including prospective customers.” He added, “Because of this meeting, our store has had excellent exposure.”
Founded in 1952, the Engineering & General Contractors Association (EGCC) represents general engineering contractors in San Diego County -- those doing sewer, water, storm drain, utilities, grading, paving, asphalt, concrete and road building for public and private work throughout San Diego and beyond.
Access Your Future Now Offers Parts Program
Due to the growth the organization is experiencing, Access Your Future has expanded to offer a Parts program. The Access Your Future Program now includes Service, Sales, and Parts. The Employee Relations team along with management is recruiting students in agriculture, construction, sales and marketing, or other applicable programs.
• All applicants must be enrolled in a higher education program and complete at least a 9-week training curriculum
• After graduation, interns will transition into a Parts Apprentice position
• Reimbursement up to $5,000 upon graduation and full time employment
RDO Equipment Co. Names Brook Stephens Regional General Manager of South Dakota stores
Brook Stephens has been named Regional General Manager of South Dakota. He will oversee operations in Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster.
Stephens started his career with Spink County Equipment in 1990 as a Service Technician. In 2004, Spink County Equipment was acquired by RDO Equipment Co. Since working for RDO Equipment Co., Brook has served in several management roles including Service Manager, Store Manager, and most recently, Regional Sales Manager for both Redfield and Rapid City.
“I am excited for this new opportunity to continue to work with the strong team in South Dakota. I look forward to our group continuing to be the best at providing solutions to our customers,” commented Stephens.
“During his time at the Redfield store, Brook has not only built customers for life, but has built his career at RDO Equipment Co. He is the type of leader that leads by example, and will continue to inspire his team to do what’s best for the customer every day,” said Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Agriculture.
Portland Joins FundingFactory to Give Back to Local School
In May 2013, the Portland store joined FundingFactory. FundingFactory is an organization that recycles small electronics and ink cartridges; in return, FundingFactory gives money which you can donate to any non-profit such as schools, church, foundations, etc.
The store mailed out information and visited the businesses on their street to help with the accumulation of these items needed to gain money. The local deli allowed a collection box advertising the fundraiser. Some customers have even been dropping off items.
The non-profit organization selected to benefit from this community involvement is a nearby low-income school, Faubion Elementary. When Portlad team members presented the principal with the option to be a part of this donation, she was thrilled. Needless to say, any donation will help with the budgeting to take care of these kids’ education.
The store received $108 from their recycling efforts with FundingFactory. In addition, the store matched money earned for a total of $216 check donated. A few employees also purchased some school supplies to give along with the donation.
A handful of Portland employees delivered the items and check this week. “This is the beginning of a lasting relationship with this local school, and our team is proud to be able to assist in these kids’ education,” said Ollie Windle, General Manager.
The back-to-school rush has now come and gone. In preparation for the new school year, thirteen RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt team members that make up the Benefits, Payroll, and Safety teams volunteered their time to support the United Way School Supply Drive. This is an annual event in the Fargo-Moorhead communities sponsored by the United Way of Cass-Clay. During the School Supply Drive, supplies are collected, placed in backpacks and distributed to children who would not otherwise have the means to purchase all of the required supplies. The goal of the program is to equip 4,500 local students so they can return to school prepared, confident, and ready to learn. The event is not a success without the generous donations of supplies and of individuals’ time.
As the team arrived on site to volunteer, a few thousand backpacks lined the floor of a large conference room. There were rows and rows of already stuffed backpacks and many more waiting to be filled for students in grades K-12. Several tables were equipped with all the necessary supplies. The first task was to stuff about 200 backpacks for grades K-2. The group had fun matching up supplies with the gender-specific backpacks, knowing they were making a difference in the life of a child. Once that was completed, the group stuffed backpacks for grades 6-8.
“The team walked away with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that just a few hours of their time made a huge difference in the life of a fellow community member,” said Brett Olson, Compensation and Benefits Director.
Burnsville – VER Sponsor of Mended Hearts Golf Tournament
Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization that offers the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families, and caregivers. The proceeds of this year’s golf tournament went towards automated external defibrillator (AED) purchases throughout central Minnesota, as well as education and training.
Mended Hearts has been around for over 60 years and the local St. Cloud chapter has been together for 25 years. The primary focus of each individual chapter is to visit with patients before and after heart their heart procedures to show support and give them confidence that there is life after surgery. It gives family members and individuals that are about to have open bypass surgery hope that they will still lead normal lives after their procedure. The time before and after any heart procedure can be very trying for the patient and family members. Mended Hearts is a great way for people that have endured heart procedures to share stories of their recovery to patients and give them hope that there are better days ahead post procedure.
The Burnsville – VER store was a Cart Sponsor. Each cart used at the tournament featured both the Vermeer and RDO Equipment Co. logo, and the company had representation in the program.
Four employees also participated in the tournament: Mark Rieckhoff, Burnsville – VER Sales Manager; Tom Pistulka, Sauk Rapids CSA; Dan Dostal, Mankato CSA; and Pat Arnold, Burnsville – VER Sales Professional.
For Pat, Mended Hearts is an organization that holds special meaning. “My father-in-law, who serves as the St. Cloud Mended Hearts Chapter President, had open heart surgery four years ago, and both my uncle and father passed away from heart attacks. This organization holds special interest to me, and RDO Equipment Co. sponsoring and allowing us to be part of this event is just awesome!”
While the RDO Equipment Co. team didn’t win any prizes, they had a great time at the event, as did all participants.
Phoenix Furthers Partnership with Local Food Bank
In early September, the Phoenix store participated in events with St. Mary’s Food Bank, which furthers the relationship they have with the charity. On September 7, team members sponsored and participated in the Food Bank’s annual golf tournament. The store sponsored a hole and one team participated. The event included many of the store’s underground customers. RDO Equipment Co. was the only equipment dealer who participated, and they not only had a booth set up where they handed out prizes, but also had a backhoe, mini-excavator, and skid steer on display. In addition, Nathan Harman, RDOIC Account Manager, set up a rover to measure the longest drive on the sponsored hole.
On September 10, team members volunteered at a Rock and Box event which featured a “We Remember 9/11” theme. The event featured the honor guard from Luke Air Force Base who presented the American flag. With the assistance of several RDO Equipment Co. volunteers, in addition to other community members, 1,500 boxes of food were packaged for those in need in the Phoenix community.
“The Phoenix store has done a great job of partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank. This charity does a lot of good throughout our community, and team members should feel good about their continued involvement,” commented Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction.