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AEMP Technician of the Year Nominee Highlights

Wednesday, September 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Turek
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Each year the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and John Deere Construction & Forestry come together to honor the Technician of the Year, an individual who exemplifies the heavy equipment profession’s top technician. This year’s Technician of the Year will be announced at the upcoming October AEMP EquipmentShift Conference in Kansas City, MO. This year, fifteen nominees were assessed on their experience, dedication to education and safety, their professional presence and their innovation.

Nominated by their supervisors for their excellence, these nominees are a collection of the kind of technicians we all aspire to have work with and for us. We here at AEMP and John Deere Construction & Forestry are excited to introduce you to the 2019 Nominees for the Technician of the Year award and share with you what their supervisors had to say about them.

Nathan Baker’s methodical repair methods have made him the technician his peers strive to emulate. He consistently used innovative methods to repair vehicles in the field while stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. His rapid repair team was first on site to repair inoperable vehicles and his ability to fabricate components with limited tools and equipment resulted in 90% of assigned equipment mission ready at all times. Furthermore, upon arrival to Spangdahlem, Air Base Germany he established a ground breaking technique for rebuilding run-flat tires that reduced the procedure from one hour to 20 minutes per tire.

Ryun Carver is deserving of being honored as the AEMP Technician of the Year because he has improved tremendously since he first started with Turner Mining Group. He is a great guy and would do anything for anyone. When adversity hits, he keeps his head held high and continues to do amazing work for us. He is such a positive influence to anyone who crosses his path and I am lucky just to have known a person as great as Ryun. He is more than deserving of this award.

Tony Drummond’s dedication to the trade is second to none. His thirst for knowledge and willingness to assist other staff is invaluable. Tony was instrumental in the development of the 90-day maintenance rotation of all apparatus and EMS units. This allows for high quality maintenance, scheduling, reductions in operational impacts to the FD and significant reductions in operational maintenance costs. Tony also developed an in-service reporting tool that keeps all three platoons up to speed in real time as to the status of their equipment. We have since expanded this to the Police Department and Public Works.

Patrick Durney took over the St Louis County District 5 Garage, and since then he has converted a dysfunctional shop into a professional operation. During this time, he justified and received funding to upgrade his shop with LED lighting, new lifts, upgraded scan tools, and new shop equipment. Additionally, he streamlined repair processes, received credit for $20K in obsolete parts, implemented a Just-In-Time inventory, and converted to an enterprise Fleet Management System. As a result, he received County-wide recognition for significantly improving efficiency, lowering repair costs, and reducing operating expenses. His efforts saved over $100K in the first year alone.

Lee Fearnyough started his employment with us as an apprentice. He has developed himself, his role and his department from a basic electrical shop to now encompass the management of our electrical installations as well as specializing and developing the telematic installations on our equipment. Lee has become a go to person in our industry for help and support with instrumentation and support to those who use it. Working with our supply chain he has helped to develop automated solutions to some of our processes improving the working environment and reducing risks for some of our teams.

Scott Funk has taken on several challenges as a heavy equipment technician (at a marine terminal) from learning PLC and DC drives for cranes, to flying to other terminals to repair and train other technicians. The greatest accomplishment by far is his ability to mentor and positively impact the other technicians. Scott shows his peers that being a technician is about the little things, and that good enough is not good enough. His actions speak volumes by continuous learning, motivating the team and having virtually no rework. There is rarely a direct reward for those whose foresight prevents a problem from occurring.

Alton Hanes is the shop mentor at the Dillwyn Equipment Shop / Virginia Department of Transportation. With 41 years of experience, he diagnoses and repairs construction, agricultural, and highway vehicles. Alton is the primary influence for the shop having a reputation of “looking out for each other”. Alton is not only a team player, but is a “player/coach”. Alton has fabricated numerous tools and has also recommended diagnostic equipment resulting in more efficient production. Alton is actively involved in his church and his community. Alton often contributes to neighbors and friends by repairing vehicles, tractors, lawn mowers and garden equipment.

Joseph Gouwens is a 2nd generation Equipment Superintendent, following in the footsteps of his father. Joe is responsible for all repairs and maintenance for the equipment and trucks in the Midwest, our shop and yard activities, and has 6 technicians that he manages. The best part is that Joe leads his team by example as opposed to from behind a desk. He is the first one to crawl under a muddy excavator to troubleshoot, and the last one to leave a crane move in a snow storm. Joe is the first one to volunteer for all classes and training on the machines. Joe is currently enrolled in AEMP's EMS certification. He isn't even finished yet, but already wants to start studying for his CEM! We at Superior are blown away at Joe's constant strive for improvement, his relentless hard work, and his dedication to his craft. We couldn't be happier to have him as part of the Superior Family.

Rory Maul is a highly skilled technician with many years of experience in various fields of heavy equipment and automotive repair. Rory commonly fills our needs on a daily basis with common sense, an excellent work ethic, and a great attitude. He has years of experience with safety standards, OSHA/MSHA compliance and implementation of 5S practices. Rory has been a great addition to our team here at Hamm Companies.

Paul Spencer is an asset to our team. He has a high level of knowledge in all areas of equipment repair, exhibits superb attention to detail and provides an impeccable and professional working relationship with vendors and fellow employees. Paul assisted his supervisor and fleet manager to provide data/information to build our dozer under carriage management plan that has increased asset availability and customer service. He always has high employee performance evaluations noting performance that is constantly exceeding expectations. Along with this high level of customer service, initiative, and professional ability Paul maintains 95% productivity and 95%+ customer service satisfaction.

Derek Kershaw has been nominated for this accredited certification due to the work he has put into his field. Derek is part of an elite group of ASE technicians that has obtained his World Class certification. Less than 1% of ASE technicians are World Class. Derek has taken advantage of our organizations internship/summer hire program and has been assisting our youth to become technicians in this technician shortage. Derek is a very positive influence and routinely acts as a supervisor and serves our internal and external customers with a polished demeanor. Derek is highly respected in his field.

Russell Pero has worked as a mechanic for 40 years. The last 12 years have been here at the Water District. Russell is ASE master certified in Heavy Trucks and Automotive repair. Russell is certified by the state of Nevada to perform emission testing and repairs on automotive and diesel vehicles. Russell is among the best in the shop at troubleshooting a wide range of concerns and he is very driven towards an accurate timely repair. Russell works on a wide variety of vehicles and equipment. The equipment ranges from class 1 through class 8 vehicles, heavy equipment such as backhoes, loaders, excavators, fork-lifts, man-lifts, well rigs etc. It should also be noted that Russell is often called upon to complete complex jobs such as overhauls, engine / transmission replacements etc.

John Kelchner has been our welder / fabricator for 21 years and is an exceptional mechanic. With his experience and knowledge, he has worked with OEM engineers on product improvement and implemented proactive repair/rebuild programs. John has expanded our “Maintenance Welder” position with fabrication, line boring, undercarriage specialist, rebuild vs. replace, all systems diagnostics and even employee mentoring. Just a few innovative examples John initiated quick Coupler safety inspection program, operator platform and grab handles on dozer blades to install GPS components, fabricating certified lifting devices for excavators, and proactive repair, rebuild and inspections based on historical issues or failures.

Robert Portier has been a Sarasota County employee for over 10 years. He was recently promoted to a Heavy Equipment Technician who is the right hand to our shop supervisor. He assists our technicians on daily jobs and encourages growth through hands-on training. He holds 3 Master ASE's, 1 EVT in Fire and attends training on almost every new asset that is received in to our Fleet for inbound processing. Robert also spends a considerable amount of time with the operators of our equipment to ensure that they are properly utilizing the equipment and perform their job function requirements.

Jesse Scholle is directly responsible for the maintenance of 33 Airfield Crash/Structural Fire Trucks, and Refueling Trucks, in support of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, the USAF’s largest Air Refueling Wing. His leadership and technical prowess in maintaining these vehicles led to the dispersal of 12M gallons of fuel, propelling the generation of 4K sorties across 54 KC-135 Air Refueling Aircraft, valued at $2.1B. He also deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation’s INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM SENTINAL, where he dispatched 660 repairs across 12 Fire Trucks, enabling 638 emergency responses and the sustainment of 26K flying hours.

Who do you think will win? Join us to honor these outstanding technicians in Kansas City, MO at the AEMP EquipmentShift Conference where the winner will receive not only recognition but great John Deere prizes. To learn more about how AEMP honors exceptional members of the industry check out our awards programs. Want to help your technicians be extraordinary enroll them in one of our educational programs today!


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