Bill Hurley (right), AGCO Vice President of Operations & Sales for North America congratulates Jack Stankievech and Rich Meding of Trochu Motors.
Established in 1947 by brothers John and Aaron Stankievech, Trochu Motors has reached its 70 year milestone by serving the agricultural community like no other, and that community came out in large numbers to support Jack Stankievech, Rich Meding and the Trochu Motors team at their anniversary celebration on Wednesday evening, April 12 at the Trochu Arena. It was a four-hour celebration with a social hour, dinner and scheduled program, making history once again with the people who made it all possible, the customers. "We owe a lot of heartfelt thanks to all of you, the customers and our AGCO team in getting to where we are today," said Jack. "Customers are number one!"
Throughout the program Jack couldn't resist the Groucho Marx jokes and props, but he apologized in advance. "I couldn't find a better partner than Rich," said Jack, adding with perfect comedic timing, "as a business partner." Jack also thanked the financial institutes for their support and compassion, jokingly adding that the new building and equipment didn't just fall from the sky or from Rich's financial pockets. Jokes aside, Jack also thanked supplier representatives and the AGCO team representatives, a couple of them flying in from Atlanta, Georgia, including Bill Hurley, Vice President of Operations & Sales for North America.
Anticipating between 1200 to 1400 guests, Bauer Meats catered the beef-on-a-bun, while Knievel Agencies sponsored the cake and Prairie Brewing Company provided locally made refreshments - from barley grown locally, to the malting by Red Shed Malting, the brewing, and of course, "The consumers," joked Jack, "including our customers and staff. It makes this (holding up his cup) 100% Alberta beer." The program included a video on John Hamill's Red Shed Malting operation. Actually signing the guest book were about 875 but the unconfirmed number of guests leaned more toward 1200. There were numerous door prizes, drawn all through the meal by Jack's daughter, Camille Stankievech and announced by Jack. Camille left her teaching career and has been working for Trochu Motors for two years. Tables were decorated with red, black and yellow balloons held down by machinery nuts, of course. A comedian was the hired entertainment for the evening using his status as the newest employee to hone his routine around first Rich and then Jack as verbal props. "We will become friends and we can do picture puzzles together," he told Rich. "The last one took me six months but that was great because on the box it said 4-6 years." As to his experience in sales, "My first day on the job I got two orders; get out and stay out."
Wayne Stankievech paid tribute to his 'Uncle' Aaron who so recently passed away on April 4, 2017 at the age of 94 and was greatly missed at the company's 70th anniversary celebration. "He was always so proud of what Jack and Rich accomplished, keeping the dream alive," said Wayne. "He'd always said, if you provide service and parts, you will always have a store. " In Aaron's honor, a bagpipe was played by Clara Aellen, 11 yrs old.
A banner was displayed that briefly outlined the major historical events within the Trochu Motors history from its beginnings in 1947 as a Cockshutt and Ford dealership to 2017's 70th anniversary. Jack took over management in 1977 and dropped the Ford franchise, exiting the automotive business to focus exclusively on agriculture in favor of White Farm Equipment. Rich started in 1979 and became a partner in 1991. In 1985 they acquired the Massey Ferguson franchise and In 1991-1993 both Massey Ferguson and White were purchased by AGCO and Trochu Motors. In 1996 they won a place in AGCO's Circle of Excellence for the first time. In 2014 they opened a new facility at 102 Eckenfelder Street and were named The Western Producer's 2014 Outstanding Dealer of the Year. "In the 1950's Trochu Motors had 6 full time employees and two product lines and today the staff is almost 40 with around 15 product lines."
"You have my sincere commitment to continue to serve you," said Jack. "The family looks forward to future growth while continuing to offer superior customer service with its extended hours during peak season, large on-site parts inventory and its friendly staff of experts. Our reason for being - to serve the customers - to support the people who are feeding the world."