The Offutt Family Foundation announced today the formation of the Connelly/Kreps Memorial Scholarship, a tribute to the memories of Mark Kreps and Steve Connelly, RDO Equipment Co. leaders who tragically passed away last year but left an indelible mark on the company and team members. The scholarship will honor their lasting impact by supporting young adults who plan to pursue careers in construction, agriculture, and related industries.
The scholarship will be available for children of RDO Equipment Co. team members who are graduating high school and planning to attend a higher education institution. The first year of scholarships is expected to be available for the 2021-2022 academic year.
In the meantime, the Offutt Family Foundation would like to invite others to commemorate the lives of Steve and Mark by contributing to this scholarship fund. Team members, friends, and members of the community are all asked to spread the word about the scholarship and, if they are able, make a donation.
Since late last year, the Offutt Family Foundation has worked to lay the groundwork for the scholarship and it has since become a true partnership across the industry. Many of RDO’s manufacturing partners, John Deere chief among them, have committed to supporting the scholarship fund, and the Offutt Family Foundation is providing matching contributions.
“When we lost Mark and Steve, we heard from many who wanted to do something to honor their memory,” said Tim Curoe, CEO of R.D. Offutt Company, parent company of RDO Equipment Co. “They inspired so many of us, and through this scholarship, our goal is to cement the legacies of leadership and loyalty they offered to us, while inspiring others who follow in their footsteps.”
Steve Connelly spent 17 years with RDO, beginning as a General Manager in the Red River Valley and eventually serving as Vice President of Midwest Agriculture, providing leadership to all agriculture stores in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Steve touched many lives at RDO and in his community as a mentor, friend, and coach. He knew the name of every team member and gladly shared credit with all of them.
Mark Kreps began his 25-year career with RDO in a sales capacity for the Red River Valley stores before moving into a Store Manager role and eventually leading the Core Accounts team, serving customers across the country. He was later named Vice President of Agricultural Sales, responsible for overall sales strategy and execution, along with international agriculture sales and wholesale marketing. Mark was enthusiastic, terrifically creative, and dedicated to the success of his customers all over the world.
To support the scholarship fund, checks may be made out to the Offutt Family Foundation with Connelly/Kreps Memorial Scholarship in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:
The Offutt Family Foundation c/o Brenda Moen,
P.O. Box 7160
Fargo ND, 58106-7160
Contributions must be made by May 30, 2021 to support the initial year of scholarships.
Questions about the scholarship or supporting the fund may be directed to Jean Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.