Rick Russell Receives 2018 Outstanding Member Award
Rick Russell began his tenure in the trailer industry at Peterson Manufacturing in 1986. There he spent 21 years, and it was during that time that he was introduced to the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers and began attending conventions. Of the 30 conventions NATM has hosted, Rick has attended more than 20.
In 2007, Rick went from being an NATM Associate Member as an employee at a company that supplies products to the trailer industry to a Regular Member when he joined Carry-On Trailers as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development.
Elected to the NATM Board of Directors in 2012 and again in 2015, Rick’s tenure as a board member ended in 2017, but he carried on in his capacity as the government affairs committee chair. He has served on the government affairs committee since 2012, chairing the committee since 2014. He served on the marketing committee from 2013-2016 and has supported the NATM Political Action Committee and served on the PAC Board since 2015.
Rick has attended every Regulatory Roundup in Washington, D.C. since 2012 and has hosted legislative plant tours at several of Carry-On’s manufacturing facilities. For one such visit, he travelled from Georgia to Washington state to host Rep. Peter DeFazio the ranking minority member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
The NATM staff and association would like to thank Rick Russell for his dedication, support and contributions to many of NATM's programs over the years.
For more information about his company, Carry-On Trailer, Inc., visit www.carry-ontrailer.com.
Ron Yarnell Receives 2018 Outstanding
Associate Member Award
The Outstanding Associate Member award is presented to an individual from an Associate member company who has made outstanding contributions to NATM and Ron Yarnell is a highly deserving recipient of this year’s award.
Ron began his career with PPG in its auto refinishing division in 1984. It was not until the year 2000 when Ron entered the commercial coatings side of the business and attended his first NATM Convention. Ron founded the NATM Green Award in 2010, the same year he was first elected to the NATM Board of Directors. After going off the Board, he was elected again in 2014 and re-elected in 2017. By the end of his current term Ron will have been an NATM Board member for nine years in total.
In 2012, Ron was selected to serve as the Associate Representative on the NATM Executive Committee. He has also served on the NATM Nominations and Membership committees as well as chairman of the Convention Committee. He has played an integral role in the convention process, providing support and input regularly, even going so far as to attend site-surveys. His insights have helped shape the high-caliber conventions NATM members have all come to expect.
Ron’s passion for NATM and its mission and his commitment to the Association’s growth and success is evident in the many years he has dedicated. Not only serving on the board and committees but also attending trade shows with NATM staff to spread awareness and recruit new members. Ron’s unwavering support, industry knowledge and thoughtful approach to the issues facing NATM have been an important piece of our success. NATM is a better organization thanks to Ron Yarnell’s involvement and commitment.
For more information about his company, PPG, visit www.ppg.com.
Felling Trailers, Inc. Receives 2018
Green Manufacturing Award
NATM’s Green Manufacturing Award was established to recognize the best innovation or novel solutions by a trailer manufacturer in the light- and medium-duty trailer industry to positively impact the environment. This award celebrates environmental awareness and protection, as well as the business opportunities created.
Felling Trailers is a family owned and operated full-line trailer manufacturer located in central Minnesota. What started as a small shop in 1974 by Mr. Merle J. Felling and his wife Kathy, now boasts two factories and an office complex with over 260,000 square feet of space. In the spring of 2017 Felling Trailers received ISO 9001:2015 certification. Their hard work in certifying their quality management system was only the beginning. Over the course of several years, Felling has held fast to initiatives to maximize energy efficiency, minimize waste and reduce their environmental impact. Each Felling facility upgraded their lighting systems to T8 fixtures that use a quarter of the electricity of the previous metal halide fixtures, has 30 percent less light loss and 40 times longer life expectancy. This not only created a positive environmental impact, but also saved the company significantly in operational costs.
Felling Trailers implemented a partnership with Stericycle, a company whose services handle pick-up and proper disposal of liquid paint waste, florescent light bulbs and oil absorbent rags to ensure environmental safeguarding, protection of people and organizational compliance. In one year, nearly 8,000 gallons of paint waste was reused as fuel in cement kilns, 165 gallons of paint waste were reused as waste-to-energy and 500 light bulbs were recycled.
Felling also took a critical look at the air in their facilities. The company invested in systems that not only pull welding fumes and gases away from breathing zones but filtered that air through a high-efficiency canister with a 99.9 efficiency rate. Felling’s blast booth is also equipped with its own air filtration system that not only filters the air, but returns it to the welding shop floor, allowing the facility to maintain the heat of the manufacturing area and better control the temperature. This isn’t the only way that Felling reclaims heat during the long, cold Minnesota winters. Felling also implemented a new system that utilizes the heat from the compressor room that houses four large compressors. The system is configured for two modes – summer and winter. In the winter mode, the warm air is pulled, filtered and pushed into the drying room. In summer mode, the air is pulled, cleaned and pushed outside. The company also took steps to reduce the amount of hazardous air pollutants by using a new paint vendor that offers paint with only four percent of the pollutants found in their previous paint.
The NATM Green Manufacturing Award includes a cash gift that is directed to a charitable organization of the winner’s choice. Felling Trailers selected the mikeroweWorks Foundation as the recipient for the Green Award.
The mikeroweWorks Foundation provides financial assistance to qualified individuals with a desire to learn a skill that is in demand, bringing much needed support to the widening skills gap in manufacturing.
“The skills gap is real, and we believe much of that widening gap has to do with the perception that a four-year degree is the "best" option for most students. Meanwhile, student debt from four-year degrees is rising, and many of our kids are missing out on, or worse, being discouraged from pursuing in-demand careers in the trades. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is the best path for most people speaks about our country's dysfunctional relationship with work and highlights the widening skills gap. The foundation's scholarship programs provide financial assistance to individuals who have an interest in learning an in-demand skill and has provided over $3 Million in education at trade schools in our country. As an industry and company who relies heavily on the skills that result from trade schools, Felling Trailers, Inc. proudly selected mikeroweWORKS Foundation to receive our Green Award donation. We are grateful to the other vendors who contributed to this cause as well,” said Brenda Felling Jennissen, President/CEO of Felling Trailers, Inc.
This year PPG, Optronics International, LaVanture Products Company, The Carlstar Group, Dexter Axle, Marsh & McLennan Agency and Kenda/Americana Tire & Wheel sponsored this award bringing the total donation to $8,000.
For more information about Felling Trailers, visit www.Felling.com.
Marco Garcia Receives 2018 Young Professional Award
The NATM Regular Member Young Professional Award is presented to an individual under the age of 40 who has been involved and successful in the trailer manufacturing industry. The recipient of this year’s award, Marco Garcia, holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a 16-year veteran of the automotive industry having begun his career at Ford Motor Company where he spent 13 years in vehicle engineering. In 2015, Marco made the switch to trailers in joining U-Haul where he does testing of U-Hail trailers, tow dollies and trucks as well as policy development, accident investigations and supporting the U-Haul Safe Trailering Program.
Marco Garcia is perhaps best known for the Marco Garcia Trailering Demonstrator which illustrates the 60/40 rule for loading trailers. By utilizing a scale model car and trailer on a treadmill-like belt that moves beneath, the demonstrator simulates road travel and demonstrates the benefits of loading heavier in the front in order to reduce sway. Marco is an NATM Board Member, chairs the Technology Committee and sits on the NATM Technical Committee and previously the Technical Safety committee. He has also been an invaluable contributor to NATM’s first ever Trailer Safety Week which will debut in June.
For more information about his company, U-Haul International, visit their website at www.uhaul.com
Dearing, Gurley Receive 2018 Associate Member Young Professional Award
The recipients of this year’s award, Josh and Andrew, have been in the insurance industry for ten years, and three years ago founded Trailer Makers Insurance. The company now boasts a team of 11 employees and a vast network of organizational partners. Both graduates of the University of Georgia with degrees in risk management and insurance, they are Certified Insurance Counselors and Master of Workers Comp Advisors.
Josh and Andrew joined NATM in 2016 and since that time have shown a true commitment to the Association and the industry with 2018 marking their third convention as an exhibitor. As firm believers in NATM’s educational programming, in 2017 they not only presented at both the Oklahoma City, Okla. and Douglas, Ga. regional workshops, but they also sponsored the Douglas workshop. They are regular contributors to Tracks magazine and have offered on countless occasions to support NATM and its mission in any way they can. When asked why they joined NATM, their answer was to give trailer manufacturers an advocate in the insurance industry.
For more information about their company, Trailer Makers Insurance, visit their website at www.trailermakersins.com.
Joe Ostrowski Receives 2018 Ed Freel
The NATM Membership Award is presented to an individual who has done an outstanding job on behalf of the Association recruiting new members. From 2000 to 2007, the Membership Award was given to Ed Freel of KampCo Steel Products three times. In recognition of Ed Freel's commitment to NATM and his consistent efforts in recruiting the most new members, the NATM Board of Directors voted to rename the award as the "Ed Freel Membership Award".
The 2018 recipient of the award, Joe Ostrowski, was a member of the 2017Membership Committee. Ostrowski’s efforts to recruit new members extended far beyond his committee work. He regularly communicates with NATM staff about prospective members, often making phone calls or meeting with these companies ahead of time to lay the groundwork for NATM’s membership pitch.
Joe Ostrowski has been in some segment of the tire industry for over 25 years and with Kenda for over 10 years. He says that he has enjoyed his time in the trailer industry more than any other. Joe’s commitment to the mission of NATM and his belief in membership as a value added proposition has been an integral part of our recruiting efforts.
For more information about his company, Kenda/Americana Tire & Wheel Corporation, visit www.americanatire.com.