Pella Chronicle

Local News

March 21, 2013

Vermeer names sixth Bob Vermeer Spirit of Caring Award recipient

Pella — Dave Landon, Vermeer Corporation manager of welding engineering, was recently honored with the Bob Vermeer Spirit of Caring Award. Landon is the sixth recipient of this award since its introduction in 2007, established to recognize team members who show exceptional caring for those around them. “I was blown away and truly humbled by this honor,” said Landon.

Accompanying the award is a $2,500 financial contribution to be donated to the charitable organization of Landon’s choice.  Landon has chosen to divide his donation into two endowments.  One portion of the funds will be donated to a scholarship sponsored by the Iowa 066 section of the American Welding Society. “Dave is very involved in what he does. We are very thankful for his generous donation,” said section chairman Michael Byerly. Beginning in 2013, the local section will award an annual scholarship to a high school graduate or college student who is attending an accredited institution and pursuing a career in welding. “We are really excited about this opportunity,” said section secretary Joseph Bailey, “we want to encourage young people in our area to consider professional careers in welding.”  The American Welding Society has agreed to match dollar-for-dollar the amount the local section can raise, doubling the funding. “There is a need for welders and welding engineers in the manufacturing industry. We are ready to do what we can to encourage young people to study welding,” said Landon.

The remaining portion will go toward a professorship endowment fund with LeTourneau University, Landon’s alma mater.  Landon graduated from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, in 1981 with a degree in Materials Joining and Welding Engineering. During his five years at LeTourneau, Landon studied and learned diligently under Professor Bill Kielhorn. “Professor Kielhorn was the most humble man and looked for the good in anything and anyone.” said Landon, “  In Kielhorn’s 45 years with LeTourneau, he taught and mentored many of the nation’s leading welding professionals.

Kielhorn passed away on January 6, 2012, after fighting with cancer for many months. The LeTourneau University Materials Joining Advisory Committee, of which Landon is chairman, recently decided to establish the Kielhorn Chair of Welding and Materials Joining Engineering Fund to provide an income to support a qualified professorship in the LeTourneau University Materials Joining Program. Starting the welding engineering program at LeTourneau almost 50 years ago, Bill Kielhorn remained the heart and soul of the program until the day he retired. “We would love to honor him by being able to endow this professorship in his memory – to honor an incredible man and his work,” said Landon.

In 2009, this Vermeer recognition was renamed the Bob Vermeer Spirit of Caring Award in honor of Bob Vermeer's history at Vermeer and his exciting launch into responsibilities as Chairman of the Board of Directors.  In the years before and since, through a peer-nomination process, Vermeer has recognized fellow team members who truly care for those around them, both during and outside of their hours spent at Vermeer.  "It's a privilege to highlight the exceptional characteristics these recipients possess," said Mr. Vermeer.  "I find tremendous value in the caring attributes those on our team possess, but are seldom recognized for in the midst of our day-to-day deadlines and responsibilities.  There are many on the Vermeer team who illustrate the high moral and ethical principles which are core to the Vermeer 4P Philosophy.  It is my desire to find and recognize the most deserving of this award."

Whether Vermeer is caring for customers, community or coworkers, caring for each other has always been foundational to the success of Vermeer Corporation.  Vermeer team members are proud to honor their peers for their spirit of caring at Vermeer and beyond.

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