Stoffel Celebrates 40 Years with Kondex!
Kondex Senior Project Engineer recently celebrated 40 years of service with the Company. With a tenure that’s second only to Kondex President Jim Wessing, Stoffel has witnessed and been a key contributor to much of the Company’s growth.
Stoffel began working for Kondex in 1975, as 1 of approximately 20 associates. At that time, the Company produced just one product family, and production volume was 2,000 sickle sections per shift, per week. Today, Kondex employs approximately 250 associates and production dwarfs these early figures in both volume and product lines.
While Stoffel initially worked second shift in the plant on Kondex’s double disc grinder, his mechanical inclination quickly drew him to design and build various production machines and tooling. This led to a dual role of working a few hours on design engineering before working his full second shift. It didn’t take long before he was pursuing his passion as a full-time engineer.
“The best thing about my job is seeing the vision of a new or improved product design become reality,” said Stoffel. “I love looking at a finished piece and realizing all our hard work and collaboration paid off in finding a solution for our customers.”
Early in his career, Stoffel realized that manufacturing was rapidly changing and wanted to be part of its advancement. He committed himself to education and soon earned an electrical journeyman license. At the same time, he started night school and gained a two-year technical degree. He then earned his Bachelor’s degree, and throughout his career has received numerous certifications in manufacturing engineering, project management, and metallurgy.
“Education has been a large factor in growing my career with Kondex, and I like to share what I’ve learned with co-workers.” said Stoffel. “It’s very satisfying to help and mentor new associates, and watch them grow both personally and professionally.”
Stoffel’s training and experience have allowed him to achieve his goal of advancing manufacturing. This has taken form in his contributions to numerous Kondex patents and applications, as well as his active role in many industry associations. His involvement in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for the last 23 years has been invaluable to both Kondex and its customers. Through various meetings and events, Stoffel has become a trusted advisor in consulting with other engineers to identify and review improvements for various equipment components.
“Neal has done so much for Kondex over the years,” commented Wessing. “For pretty much everything we’ve made, Neal has either run the machine, been involved in the design, or helped the customer design a solution. We’re very proud to have him on our team, and celebrate this milestone anniversary.”