Lift and Access Recognizes Hard-Working Industry Professionals

Within any organization, there is a person, department, or team whose work not only benefits the employer but also contributes positively to the industry. Through the People of Distinction recognition program, Lift and Access acknowledges those in the lifting equipment industry who have made a difference through research, innovation, creativity, and hard work.

To qualify for People of Distinction, an individual, department, or team had to be nominated by an employer, customer, client, or other industry professional for his achievement in product development or engineering, safety, service, maintenance, sales or marketing development, or other similar activity. Those making nominations were required to explain in a brief essay why the individual had a positive effect on the lifting equipment industry.

Based on the submissions received, the Lift and Access editorial staff selected the top nominations to be acknowledged for their achievements. The following are profiles of the individuals and teams who were chosen for the 2009 People of Distinction recognition. (Check out complete People of Distinction coverage in the July-August digital issue of Lift and Access.)


Nominee: Mike Kenna

Title: Senior Erector, Team Heede Erection Crew

Company: Heede Southeast Inc., Pineville, N.C.

Nominated by: Mike Hundley, Safety Director/Operator Coordinator, Heede Southeast

Tower crane erection has caught the public’s eye in the last year, requiring the industry to focus on the erector’s safety and skill level. Mike Kenna, senior erector for Heede Southeast, Pineville, N.C., is recognized for the techniques he applies when erecting and dismantling tower cranes for the company. “It’s not the cranes that are unsafe; it’s the people who [are] putting them up or taking them down,” says Mike Hundley, safety director/operator coordinator for Heede Southeast. “When Michael goes out and puts one up, I don’t worry about it.”

Hundley attributes Kenna’s ability to safely direct Team Heede’s erection crew to his demeanor and organizational skills. “Before he goes out, he’ll take two days prior to the erection to get each tool in place,” he says. Kenna brings his team together the evening before the erection, providing details of the project before it starts and delegating the team’s job duties. “Putting a tower crane together, there is a lot to it,” Hundley says. “His organization skills are just extraordinary.”

This orderliness pays off when several truckloads of materials roll onto the job. While other erectors may take days to put a tower crane up, Hundley says Kenna is in and out quickly with the crane erected in a day. “He’s like a ghost,” he says. “It’s amazing how he schedules it to a T.”


Nominee: Green Committee

Company: CI/BilJax, Archbold, Ohio

Nominated by: The Haulotte Group/BilJax Marketing Team

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of its Archbold, Ohio, manufacturing facility and office’s day-to-day operations, Haulotte Group/BilJax created the Green Committee in 2008. The committee, which is made up of nine members recruited from all departments and shifts in the Archbold office and factory, is recognized for its work toward making the workplace and community a little greener.

The impetus behind the committee’s creation was relatively simple. “The cost of energy and raw materials in this country has never been greater,” the Green Committee reported to Lift and Access in 2008. “At the same time, the switch to more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes has never been easier. It’s now possible for green manufacturing practices to be cost neutral, or even profitable.”

Aside from financial considerations, the negative impact traditional manufacturing has on the environment is proven and documented. “Simply stated, this is the right thing to do, and it’s the right time to do it,” the committee reported.

The Green Committee has successfully implemented a recycling program for waste material produced on-site. Through the program, Haulotte Group/BilJax reduced solid waste by about 40 tons in 2008, compared to waste produced in 2007. Additionally, the factory has been relit with florescent bulbs, which has lowered energy costs and the environmental impact of doing business.


Nominee: The Governing Committee and Advisory Board (For a complete list of committe members, see the July-August digital issue.)

Company: Crane Institute of America Certification, Sanford, Fla.

Nominated by: Debbie Dickinson, Executive Director, Crane Institute of America Certification Inc.

Members of the Sanford, Fla.-based Crane Institute of America Certification Inc.’s Governing Committee and Advisory Board are being recognized for the countless hours they have volunteered in order to improve safety and oversee certification of the knowledge, skills, and abilities of personnel in the lifting equipment industry. According to Debbie Dickinson, executive director of Crane Institute of America Certification, every decision the Governing Committee and Advisory Board makes is tested by the question, “How will this benefit, improve, or better serve the crane industry?”

The committee’s tasks are numerous; frequent responsibilities include reading and analyzing in-depth research and studying worksites, equipment, and industry changes and expectations, so the lifting industry can be safe. In short, they put themselves in the shoes of lifting personnel to evaluate the work from personal insights.

Additionally, members work on policies, procedures, and subcommittees, such as ethics, discipline, and item writing. “We’re now in the process of accreditation for our rigger and signal person program, so they are working diligently on those items as well,” Dickinson says. In summer 2008, Crane Institute of America Certification received accreditation for its national crane operation testing and certification program from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The Governing Committee was heavily involved in the certification.

Each member of the CIC Governing Committee and Advisory Board is a recognized industry field expert and has first-hand knowledge of best practices to keep the people in the industry safe. When the CIC was formally initiated in 2007, Dickinson said the Crane Institute contacted a number of industry professionals, including those involved in crane manufacturing, rental, utilities, and other aspects of the crane industry, to join the board. Members serve for at least three years. Today, members are nominated by others on the committee. “It’s a very amicable group, working with the best interest of the industry at heart,” she says.


Nominee: Craig Paylor

Title: President

Company: JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa.

Nominated by: Bill Hindman, President, Industrial Marketing Services

Craig Paylor, president of JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa., has been instrumental in growing the access industry throughout his 31-year-career—from developing new markets and applications for access equipment to introducing new products and creating and refining sales channels. He is recognized for People of Distinction for his leadership and commitment to the industry.

Hired by John L. Grove in 1978 as an assistant district manager for the northeast United States, Paylor was first tasked with selling a new product concept that was more expensive than the ladders and scaffolds it was intended to replace. In the early 1980s, he also was involved in product management at JLG when it launched the H Series, which included a number of industry firsts like water-cooled gas engines, extendable jibs, oscillating axles, and piston pumps. JLG also introduced the first 60- and 80-foot boom lifts without outriggers during this time.
After serving as product manager and in several sales capacities, Paylor was named general manager of JLG Equipment Services and was instrumental in developing and growing the company’s lifecycle business model. The model focused on extending the useful life of equipment to provide greater long-term return on rental company investments. Paylor’s brainchild was to rebuild and remanufacture used equipment—a concept that would provide an exit strategy for rental companies, a secondary market, and a lower equipment price point that helped expand the use of aerial work platforms in new markets and applications. The idea would grow, and this commitment to longer product lifecycles culminated in 2008 with the introduction of JLG Ground Support, the company’s comprehensive aftermarket support program that includes online parts ordering, a factory-trained technical support team that can troubleshoot machines remotely, regional service centers, extended product warranties, trainer and operator training, and pre-owned equipment sales.

“Craig has exceptionally strong leadership skills, broad business acumen, international business management capabilities, and an acutely perceptive understanding of JLG’s customers and markets,” says Robert Bohn, chairman, president and CEO of Oshkosh Corporation. “He has led many of the developments in the access equipment industry during his career.”

Check out complete People of Distinction coverage in the July-August digital issue of Lift and Access.



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