Digging Deeper - September 2021 - Akkerman

Digging Deeper – September 2021

Akkerman Inc.

Digging Deeper – September 2021

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Akkerman Eco is our initiative to deliver the most efficient trenchless equipment to improve the quality of our nation’s infrastructure, while reducing carbon emissions, and minimizing social and environmental impacts of construction through advanced American manufacturing and design.

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25th Akkiversary

Chad Pederson began employment with Akkerman on September 30, 1996, and now 25-years later, Chad’s the prime operator of the Mazak 450 lathe processing pilot tubes by the thousands. Chad is known for his positive attitude and generous smiles. Many don’t know the ins and outs of all the ways he has contributed to the company for the past two and a half decades.

If you had asked Chad what he would be doing when he entered in work force, he would have told you a Rainer horse trainer or an electrician.

After high school he began studying to become an electrician at Riverland Community College while training under Dick Pedersen (his uncle). After two years he took some time off and began employment with Blount Inc. in Owatonna in the fabrication department by day then did horse training at night.

When Blount fell on troubled times, Chad switched gears and started to look to Akkerman, with Jay Howton’s encouragement.

Shortly thereafter, Chad was hired by Doug Luinstra as utility personnel. In this role he did a little of everything – from helping Al Belden with painting, saw cutting, working with Tony Belden on the plasma table, yard work, pressure washing and even a stint in the parts department with Daryl Anderson.

Dick Gunderson noticed his ambition and promoted him to the machining department to work with the drill press and lathes. He became trained on the Victor CNC machining center, by Kerry Harvey and Mike Hansen.

About four years ago he attended training classes for the Mazak machining center. He’s currently assigned to the Mazak 450 Lathe.

When asked what he likes best about his job, he responds, “I like that I’ve been able to work with and get to know a lot of great people.” He furthers that, “I appreciate that Akkerman has entrusted me with the opportunity to learn new skills.”

Chad has been very eager to explain the machining process to others, especially during customer visits and tours. A funny memory he recalls is when he was relatively new, helping with pressure washing returned microtuneling equipment and on multiple occasions fish and other critters would emerge from the machine.

These days Chad has traded horse training for Austin Hockey and All Star baseball coaching with two of his children.

Chad is also know for his involvement with his family’s business, Fayes Concessions, purveyors of the yummy funnel cakes, potatoes spirals and smoothies that we all look forward to every fair season. This side gig keep them hopping from May through October (Rochester Fest to the Big Island Rendezvous).

When you see Chad, congratulate him on his 25-years with the company.

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Staff Highlight

Jay Howton began employment with Akkerman on April 23, 1991 as a welder. Jay’s experience in electrical mechanics in the military made him a valuable asset for the microtunneling equipment line since its inception in 1993. In his 30-years at Akkerman he’s served as mechanic, field technician, Assistant Production Manager and his current position Product Manager of TBM and MTBM equipment.

Nominated Because:

“Jay has been spending a lot of time on MTBM job sites even though it is physically hard for him. He’s always at the ready to get the job done right.”

“Jay has been integral on recent MTBM projects. Jay has a great attitude, works well with the crews and has fun doing so.”


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