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Friday, November 6, 2020

Employee Spotlight Fred, Warburg Branch Manager

Forty-seven years ago, Fred started his first job at a John Deere dealership working for $1.50/hour. It was better pay than the gas station where he had previously worked and ended up turning into a lifelong career.

Fred's first role was as a laborer putting together John Deere snowmobiles and lawn equipment for CJD Implements in St. Albert. He found a love for taking things apart and putting them back together, so after graduating from high school he decided to continue working at CJD and apprentice to be a Service Technician.

Shortly after, CJD Implements amalgamated with Martin Farm Equipment, which was Fred's first experience working for the Martin family. Between 1975 and 1978 Fred gained experience working with other John Deere dealerships with short stints at HH Roberts Implements in Ponoka and Deermart Equipment in Red Deer.

In November of 1978, Fred stopped in to check out the new Martin Farm Equipment dealership in Warburg and was hired on by Ken Rempel. 42 years later he has earned his retirement.

Fred started in Warburg as a Service Technician but him and Ken worked as a two man show, so it didn't take long before Fred was learning how to be a Parts Technician, Service Advisor and Salesman so the store could stay running when Ken was gone. In 1999, Fred's knowledge to be able to do a bit of everything was recognized and he was promoted to Branch Manager.

Under Fred's management the dealership in the small village of Warburg has achieved big things! He grew it from a team of 3 employees to 10, a size of 5,400 to 14,000 square feet and has been able to quadruple the sales. Throughout his years with Martin Deerline, Fred has seen many people come and go, which leads to his advice for the younger generation: �Don't just think about what you are getting from the job today, think about your career. Martin Deerline can be a long-term place of employment. It is not going anywhere as we support farmers, who will always be needed to feed the world.�

November 30th will be Fred's last official day as the Branch Manager for Martin Deerline, but he and his wife Nicole love Warburg so he will continue to stop by the store for coffee and volunteer within the community. Some of his favorite memories have been made playing Santa for the villages Christmas Bazaar event. As for other retirement plans, he wants to work on restoring his 1967 Mustang, do some travelling when it's safe to do so and tackle some long-awaited projects in his yard.

Fred claims he is the longest serving employee at Martin Deerline and we are not going to argue that! Thank you is probably not sufficient for your 42 years of service and leadership. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

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