AEMP recently recognized two industry professionals with the annual National Technician of the Year award. The honor has been awarded by AEMP since 1989, and recognizes technicians in both the private and public sectors. This year’s private sector winner was Tom Hellmers from Murphy Tractors and Equipment, Omaha, NE, while Ron Bradly of Sarasota County Fleet Services Department, Sarasota, FL took home the public sector award.
Presented through the AEMP Foundation, the National Technician of the Year award is given in recognition of clearly demonstrated professionalism, technical skills, innovative trouble-shooting and diagnostic capabilities, as well as exceptional contributions made to the equipment technician profession. While the award is intended to positively impact the career of its recipients, the ultimate goal is to advance and bring awareness to the technician vocation.
Private sector winner Tom Hellmers is a 48-year veteran of the industry, boasting several professional certifications and achievements. His skill and intuitive nature with technology from several makes, models and lines of equipment has earned him certificates through many different OEMs. In total, he holds more than 60 certificates, ranging in achievement from Electrical Diagnostics to Hydraulic Systems. He has also proven himself as a highly innovative technician, having designed and built tools to improve repair processes on several occasions.
Over the past few decades, Hellmers has developed excellent customer relations with State, County, City and private fleet managers. Through these relationships, he has created strong customer loyalty to Murphy Tractor, and widespread recognition of his reputation as an excellent technician and individual.
“As a service manager, I feel Tom is the example of what an ideal technician should be,” Murphy Tractor Service Manager Robert Swangel said. “Beyond skill, his reputation with customers proves his value. In fact, customers will call and request him specifically, and wait until he’s available to do the repairs. That really says a lot about his quality of work and rapport.”
The 2011 public sector Technician of the Year Award recipient, Ron Bradly, has been with Sarasota Fleet Services for more than 30 years. His position, Heavy Truck/Equipment Technician II is among the most desired positions in the industry and representative of only the most elite technicians. Additionally, Bradly currently holds two EVT certificates and six Master Mechanic ASE certificates, an impressive honor that very few technicians in the world can claim.
Bradly is dedicated to continuing education and higher learning, and sharing his passion with co-workers and next-generation technicians through his time spent training and guiding others. Further demonstrating his commitment to education, he recently developed and presented an introductory learning course as a joint venture with the Sarasota Vocational Institute. The course, titled “Introduction to Automotive Systems”, was made available for Venice, FL High School students.
Sarasota County Fleet Services Department Fleet Manager and CEM, Greg Morris, says Bradly sets the example for other technicians to follow and is always raising the bar in an effort to advance the profession.
“In my 30 years of experience, Ron’s technical abilities are the best I’ve ever seen,” he said. “He’s incredibly dedicated to the profession. More than just excelling in his own career, he really makes it his mission to help others achieve that same level of success. To me, skill and passion both encompass what the Technician of the Year award is all about, and there is no one more deserving than Ron.”
The winners were recognized at an awards ceremony March 25, 2011 at AEMP’s 29th annual Spring Management Conference in Las Vegas. In addition to the prestige and recognition, Technician of the Year winners receive an award plaque, personalized jacket, $500 continuing education scholarship and a custom, full-sized John Deere tool cabinet.