Gordon Thomsen was named the 11th recipient of SC&RA’s Gold Achievement Award during closing night ceremonies at the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) Annual Conference , at the Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, Calif. This coveted award, which is not presented every year, goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the specialized carrier and rigging industry over a consistent and significant period of time.
In 1973, Thomsen started Western Ag Sales, a small home-based trailer company in Mitchell, S.D. that evolved into Trail King Industries, an industry leader with more than 500 employees, three manufacturing facilities, and 300 dealer locations across the U.S. and Canada. Today, Trail King offers trailers ranging in load capacities from 6,000 pounds to 1 million pounds, serving a wide variety of applications for markets as diverse as specialized hauling, construction, agriculture, transportation, waste and recycling.
Trail King has been responsible for numerous innovations. Among the most notable of these was the development of what many at the time considered the best hydraulic detachable gooseneck in the industry – a system that made hooking up and unhooking a simple, one-person “60-second connection.”
When presenting the award, SC&RA Chairman Bill Stramer characterized Gordon Thomsen as an innovative pioneer and a consumate salesman, known for saying, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.
“Our winner, while growing his business over the years, served SC&RA and the SC&R Foundation through active participation,” said Stramer. “He has contributed time, sponsorships, energy, passion, humor and, perhaps most importantly, he has influenced and inspired many of us in this room in many positive ways.”
Thomsen and his family remained active in the company after selling it to Carlisle Companies, Inc., in 1995. The company was purchased by CC Industries, Inc., the holding and management firm of Henry Crown and Company, in 2010. Many long-time Trail King employees continue to work within the company, operating with the same sense of pride and quality commitment that Gordon Thomsen instilled in them years back.
Among the other honors Thomsen has earned over the years are Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Administration’s Exporter of the Year and South Dakotan of the Year. His son, Jerry, served as SC&RA President in 2005-2006.
Also During the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) Annual Conference, David Lowry, Bennett International Group, McDonough, Ga. was elected as President. Joining Lowry as officers for the 2011-2012 term are:
- Chairman: William Stramer, Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky.
- Vice President: Michael Battaini, Sheedy Drayage, San Francisco, Calif.
- Treasurer: Bill Keen, Keen Transport, New Kingstown, Pa.
- Assistant Treasurer: Ron Montgomery, Intermountain Rigging & Heavy Haul, Salt Lake City, Utah
Also joining the Board are four newly elected Group Chairs:
- Allied Industries Group: Justin Cravens, Ridewell Suspensions,
- Crane & Rigging Group: Steve Freckmann, Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Transportation Group: John McTyre, McTyre Trucking,Orlando, Fla.
- Ladies Group: Margie Springer, Southern Industrial Constructors,
With the exception of the Board members and the Treasurer, all newly-elected officers will serve one-year terms that will expire at the Association’s 2012 Annual Conference, to be held April 17-21 at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Austin, Texas.
Additionally, SC&RA elected the following six new Board members to serve three-year terms:
- Frank Bardonaro, Terex Cranes, Wilmington, N.C.
- Michael Battaini, Sheedy Drayage, San Francisco, Calif.
- Mike Vlaming, Vlaming & Associates, Vallejo, Calif.
- Geary Buchanan, Buchanan Hauling & Rigging, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- John McTyre, McTyre Trucking, Orlando, Fla.
- Toni Sabia, Transport Systems & Products, Inc., Stamford, Conn.
The Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) is an international trade association of more than 1,300 members from 46 nations. Members are involved in specialized transportation, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting and crane and rigging operations, manufacturing and rental. SC&RA helps members run more efficient and safer businesses by monitoring and affecting pending legislation and regulatory policies at the state and national levels; researching and reporting on safety concerns and best business practices; and providing five yearly forums where these and other relevant member issues can be advanced.