Accurately navigating solid rock conditions is possible with this multi-step approach.
Eric Kozak was named the August 2023 Employee of the Month. Eric came to Akkerman on February 6, 2006 as a welder. In 2008, after the facilities expansion, he transitioned to the GBM assembly area as a mechanic. Eric takes pride in the quality of his work and the equipment he produces. And if you want to know anything about bourbon, he’s the man to see.
“Always looks for improvement to the products.”
“Eric is very dedicated and has heightened attention to detail.”
“He is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure his and other builds have a high standard of quality.”
“Eric wants the customer to receive the latest documentation.”
“Is willing to help out as a technician when needed.”
Maynard Akkerman is the one person whose career is synonymous with our company’s founding. On August 1, Maynard celebrated his 50th Akkiversary. He spent many years performing pipe jacking services while molding the manufacturing business before taking it to new heights. Today, his greatest wish has been realized as the legacy continues and the third generation has successfully taken the company reins.
Maynard’s career path was made apparent to him at the age of eight, with a desire to emulate his father’s success. When in his teens, he worked on D.H. Construction Co. projects during the summers and after school. After high school, he came on full-time with the pipe jacking crew. In 1973, the same year Maynard became a formalized employee, the manufacturing arm of the business was also established. Maynard and D.H. managed the construction and manufacturing businesses until 1987, when his father sold him the manufacturing side. That same year, he renamed it Akkerman, Inc.
“My father’s leadership was an inspiration to me, and his principles are still at the core of Akkerman Inc. In addition to being highly innovative, he had a high level of admiration for the skills and integrity of his staff,” says Maynard. “My past work has provided me with a lot of insight. I built on the knowledge I gained from working on hundreds of pipe jacking projects.”
Maynard asserts that the success the company celebrates today is a result of the employees who make up the business and strong relationships with repeat customers. “Our success is largely due to caring, dedicated employees who are always willing to go the extra mile,” says Maynard. “We’re also fortunate to work with successful customers who have returned their loyalty. We don’t just sell the machine and never talk to the customer again — it’s a constant reciprocal flow of communication.”
In 1977, Maynard’s father told him, “You’re in an industry that very few people are involved in. You have an opportunity to become an expert in the industry and make an impact,” and he has done just that. Maynard has earned many prestigious industry awards, including Trenchless Technology Person of the Year (2008), a Microtunneling Achievement Award for Microtunneling Excellence(2016), and was adopted into the NASTT Hall of Fame (2019).
Maynard’s story, the epitome of the American dream and a lifetime of accomplishments in his chosen vocation is a significant reason to celebrate. Congratulations Maynard!
On August 15, 2018, we’ll celebrate Matt Streiff’s 5-year Akkiversary. Matt began as a saw operator in Initial Processing and recently transitioned to the machining department to run the Mazak 450.
Matt’s an Austin native and worked for 20 years in Hormel’s ham boning department, performing various functions. Before that, he worked at Quality Pork Processing and Hansen Tire.
In 2017, he desired a career change and was referred to the saw operator opening at Akkerman by Jason Augustin, whom he knew from the Cedar River Archery Club. Matt interviewed and was offered the position, but before he could start, he was thrown a loop with an immediate need for back surgery. A year later, the position became available again, and Matt was sought out and accepted the offer.
Working at Akkerman vastly differs from his previous career, but his strong work ethic serves him well. What helped is that he found he already knew over half of our employees from local affiliations.
A high production volume is required from the initial processing department. Many work orders move through it, and the demand is performed primarily by just two employees. Matt found it satisfying to facilitate work orders and contribute to production efficiency. He enjoys his work and is impressed and proud of what we produce here.
When the opportunity to move into machining and take over the pilot tube machining center became available, Matt felt up to the challenge. Being relatively new to this role, he says it is very different, but he enjoys it and asks many questions. He credits Mike Hansen and Kyle Mergen for their patience and assistance as he becomes more competent in this role.
Matt helps out friends at the Angry Hog Brewery in his free time and can be found working there on the weekends. Matt’s been a 25-year member and served in various roles at the Cedar River Archery Club in Lansing. He and his wife Sarah are new camper owners. He also spends time riding motorcycle.
Matt’s been a great asset and embodies the innate values of so many of our employees. Please congratulate him on his 5-year Akkiversary.
Taken shortly after we manufactured our largest ever excavator shield, this photo documents a rare occasion where we had such a range of equipment on site. If taken today, the lineup would look significantly different.
2023 marks 50 years in business for Akkerman! Enjoy a highlight of our work over the years!