Don Kester's 20 Years at GEAPS Exchange
Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 in
Conventions & Shows
Pictured above: Jeff Schumacher, Steve DeVries, and Don Kester at GEAPS Exchange 2015
Schumacher launched their manlift (special purpose personnel elevator) division in 1986, and in 1993, Don Kester, residential, LULA, and manlift sales manager, took over manlift sales. During Schumacher's first 10 years in the manlift business, they manufactured manlifts mainly for small grain elevators. Striving to gain greater exposure in the industry, Schumacher began exhibiting at GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Exchange in 1996. The past 20 years of exhibiting have helped Schumacher Elevator become one of the leading manlift manufacturers in the nation.
Don is impressed by GEAPS's growth over the years and states, “This year, GEAPS Exchange was at America’s Center in St. Louis. We exhibited in the same location in 2009, except at that time, GEAPS exhibitors only took up half of the exhibition hall. In the past six years, GEAPS has essentially doubled in size.” There were 354 exhibitors and 3,215 attendees at the February 2015 show.
When considering show location, Don says, “GEAPS does a great job of picking interesting places for the Exchange.” Don has attended shows in New Orleans, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Tampa, Phoenix, Louisville, and Albuquerque, just to name a few. He recalls Nashville, TN; Grapevine, TX; and Vancouver, BC, as being especially memorable shows. At the 2006 Nashville show, he was honored to lead an educational seminar with a manlift safety and maintenance speech.
Don comments, “This show is extremely valuable; it’s all about the relationships. At GEAPS, we connect with attendees, as well as other exhibitors. We are competitors in a friendly way; some of our best customers are also GEAPS exhibitors.”