The Equipment Dealers Association announces the appointment of the 2016-17 Equipment Dealers Foundation officers and board members. Each of these individuals previously served as national chair of the EDA board of directors and own and operate equipment dealerships throughout North America.
Joining the Equipment Dealers Foundation board are Tom Nobbe (chair), Blaine Bingham (vice chair), Roger Gjellstad, Lester Killebrew, Bob Frazee, Jim Meinhardt, John Fleet and Brian Carpenter.
Tom Nobbe is a third generation owner of Wm. Nobbe & Co., founded in 1907. Since becoming majority stockholders in 1989, he and his cousin Brian have led the company to tremendous growth and expansion. Today, they offer John Deere farm machinery in seven locations in two states, Illinois and Missouri. He and his wife, Jane, reside in Waterloo, Illinois, and their two sons, Brad and Jared, represent the fourth generation to work in the family business. Nobbe was national chair of EDA in 2014.
Blaine Bingham is president and CEO of Bingham Equipment, founded by his parents, Norm and Audrey Bingham, in 1955. Bingham Equipment has 10 locations throughout Arizona serving construction, agriculture and compact equipment customers. The company’s primary lines include Bobcat, Case Construction, Kubota and New Holland. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Mesa, Arizona, and their son, Brant, represents the third generation to work in the family business. Bingham was national chair of EDA in 2015-16. His father, Norm, was national chair in 1986.
Roger Gjellstad began working at Stanley Equipment in 1974 and purchased the company from its original owner, Stanley Wright, two years later in 1976. Gjellstad is the president of Plains Ag, with 10 Case IH stores in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. He and his wife, Renae, have three children, and seven grandchildren. Gjellstad was national chair of EDA in 2011.
Lester Killebrew is the chairman of SunSouth, LLC, the product of the 2006 merger of Columbus Tractor and Machinery Co., Deep South Tractor Co., Early Tractor Co., Henry Farm Center, Inc. and WENCO Group. Killebrew grew up in the equipment industry learning from his father, a Massey Ferguson dealer. In 1969, he started his first company, a John Deere dealership. In the 1980’s, battling a struggling economy, Killebrew started ValCom, a computer and telecommunications company he ran out of his dealership. SunSouth, LLC, a John Deere dealer, now operates 21 locations in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. He and his wife, Catherine have two sons and a daughter. Killebrew was national chair for EDA in 2010.
Bob Frazee has been a partner in Cazenovia Equipment Company since 1975 when he joined his father-in-law, Larry Love, who founded the company in 1961. Two of his sons joined the company in 2003, carrying on a 50-year-plus family tradition. CEC is a John Deere dealer with nine stores in central and northern New York. Frazee also runs CEC Energy, founded in 2010 to install wind turbines across New York. The company was created after a tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas, and the town decided to rebuild with LEED-certified buildings and other green initiatives. He was national chair for EDA in 2006.
Jim Meinhardt owns KanEquip, Inc., a dealership focused on agriculture and light industrial equipment. After owning his own dealership for almost 30 years, Meinhardt merged with another business owner in the 1990s to create KanEquip. KanEquip has 10 locations, nine in Kansas and one in Nebraska. He was national chair for EDA in 2005.
John Fleet is the president of Fleet Brothers, Inc., a family run business founded in 1954. The company specializes in a full line of Agco products including Massey Ferguson and Gleaner. He and his son, John Ira, also sell and service Gehl, Kinze, Ferris, Bush Hog and more. Fleet Brothers is a two store operation in Hartfield and Tappahannock, Virginia. He and his son Matthew are also equity partners in James River Equipment, LLC, a 19 store John Deere Ag operation in Virginia and North Carolina that is headquartered in Ashland, Virginia. He and his wife, Cookie, have two sons and one daughter. He was national chair for EDA in 2004.
Brian Carpenter is the president and general manager of Champlain Valley Equipment, a New Holland, Case IH and Kubota dealership in Vermont. Champlain Valley Equipment was founded in 1970 by Russell Carpenter and Brian took over in 2001, growing the business to five locations. He and his wife, Nanette, have two children, one boy and one girl. He is EDA’s current national chair.
The Equipment Dealers Foundation was established in 1988 and provides funding for scholarships to meet the industry’s need for training resources and temporary assistance for dealership and their employees who have been affected by natural disasters.
Source: Equipment Dealers Association