“I joined GEAPS after starting a new job in southeast Washington with encouragement from my new boss and other members I met in the area. The year after I joined, I was involved in founding the Inland Empire chapter.
“I have been involved as director and through the officer positions at the local chapter. On the international level, I have served on the Rail Car Task Force, Membership Committee, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors. I was international president for two consecutive terms: 1996-97 and 1997-98.
“The relationships developed and the ability to give back to the industry that has supported me all these years are the best things about being a GEAPS member. Almost any problem I encounter, I know someone who will be happy to take my phone call and lend good advice because of our mutual involvement in GEAPS. I’ve been fortunate to interact with a multitude of great people.
“I have recommended GEAPS to many of my colleagues. Also, I would say to anyone considering GEAPS membership to join and get involved, because the greater your involvement the greater benefits you receive.”
“In my first salaried position in the mid-1990s, I started with The Anderson’s, and my boss, Mike Kiel, told me if I was going to be in management, I needed to join GEAPS. So, I joined in 1994.
“In 1995, I became secretary of the Seaway chapter. I have been on either the board of directors or have been an officer since then.
“What I like best about GEAPS is the networking. My current position here at Agrex I got by networking through GEAPS, and it was the best decision I ever made. The next benefit of GEAPS membership is the safety portion. If we can all share ideas and talk amongst ourselves about what we see every day, as far as local issues, I think that safety part is really a big deal. So, for me, GEAPS is about networking and safety.
“I recommend GEAPS to anybody who is in the grain operations world. It’s such a valuable asset to have in your back pocket for when you have problems or issues and are looking for ideas. It’s an invaluable resource.”
“I attended my first GEAPS Exchange in 1982 and joined the association in 1988. Ever since, I have been involved at the chapter and international levels.
When I joined GEAPS, I was a junior engineer looking to learn about what equipment was available in the grain industry. I quickly learned that the true value of GEAPS membership is in the contacts that are established over the years, both with other industry professionals and vendors. My first Exchange was in Cincinnati, OH, and I was totally blown away by the number of companies exhibiting and the expertise that was present – and it was a small Exchange compared to the ones today.
“The relationships that were established in my early days are still current, and I look forward to renewing these friendships annually at the Exchanges.
“I had the great honor of participating on the International Board of Directors and eventually becoming the international president in 2007. Serving in GEAPS leadership has been very fulfilling and beneficial to me personally, as it improved my ability to work with groups and people.
“GEAPS has been a cornerstone in my career. I have been fortunate to work in the grain industry for my entire career, and having the resources available from GEAPS has been fundamental to my success. I recommend GEAPS to any grain professional – whether they are in operations, maintenance, safety, or engineering.”
“I’ve only been involved with the grain industry for about nine years, but I’ve been involved with GEAPS for about six of those years. I went to a meeting with some fellow co-workers and enjoyed it. I then was asked to be involved with the local chapter leadership and actually moved up through the ranks the past few years. So it’s been a great opportunity for me to be part of the organization.
“I am currently the vice president of the International Board of Directors. I will be president next year. These are exciting times. I actually am on the GEAPS Foundation Board of Directors, the Chapter Resource Committee, the GLEAN committee, and I serve on the Executive Committee as well.
“With almost 2,500 members, we’re fortunate to have both associates, made up of a lot of vendors, and regular members who are other grain industry professionals like myself. It’s a great opportunity to network with those individuals and maybe learn about new and exciting technology or something they’re doing differently at their elevator that I can apply to our business. The second thing, which is the most important, is education. As the knowledge resource for the grain industry, GEAPS has provided many opportunities to educate myself on numerous topics throughout the grain industry.
“I absolutely recommend GEAPS. No matter where you are in your career, GEAPS can offer you something, whether that be the networking, meeting with vendors, or education. It’s been a huge benefit for my career. I would recommend it 100% to anybody.”
“I initially joined GEAPS to learn more about the grain industry and advance my career. Since then, I have been a member of the International Board of Directors, officer of the Great Plains chapter, and a member of the Safety Committee.
“What I like best about membership in GEAPS is the networking. I recommend joining the association for both the educational and the networking aspects of the organization, which have been invaluable to me in my career in the grain industry.”
“I can’t remember the exact year I became a member of GEAPS, but it’s been a long time. I joined because I just wanted to be more knowledgeable of the grain industry. I came from farming, which is where I really started in agriculture, and moved into the grain business. Wayne Bauer, an old friend of mine, got me interested in GEAPS.
“Today, we encourage our employees to be involved in GEAPS. And I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of really great people, and had a lot of fun over the years. For me, the biggest benefit of being a member is that you gain so many contacts and get to know people in the industry. I’ve always said, ‘I’m not that smart, but I know a lot of smart people’. Many of those smart people I have met through GEAPS.
“And then with being on the Educational Programming Committee, I’ve been exposed firsthand to new ideas coming into the industry. I know everything that’s going on before anybody else does in our company. And because of that, when the things are coming out and you think this could really work with your organization, you’re able to get in contact with those companies before they get barraged by everybody else. A lot of the innovations we’ve applied at our own facility have come from GEAPS.
“I highly recommend GEAPS to anyone because of all the reasons I’ve said: the contacts you make, the education, and the innovations you’re exposed to.”
Editor’s Note: At the 2019 GEAPS Exchange in New Orleans, LA, Kunisch gave a “Small Changes ... Big Impact” presentation on a new setup for aerating a temporary storage pile.
Reprinted from Grain Journal March/April 2020 Issue
View this case study and more in the Grain Journal March April 2020 magazine.