In a year defined by challenges, the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. is acknowledging and celebrating the contributions made by Stotz Equipment to the equipment dealer industry for their advocacy efforts that rose to meet the challenges and helped overcome them. The association presents the award to Jason Behrend for his dedicated work on behalf of Stotz Equipment.
Stotz Equipment is a family-owned equipment dealer that traces its roots back to 1947. With 25 locations in 8 western states, the Stotz Equipment brand is synonymous with the values of quality, integrity, loyalty, caring and community. Under the leadership of Tom Rosztoczy, the company continues to live up to its mission of making life easier for the customer through long-term relationships, flexible solutions and uptime availability. They truly aim to create a better life for their families, communities, and those connected to the land.
During the 2020 legislative session in Idaho, it was their commitment to that mission and reputation for delivering on that promise that made the difference in the legislative arena. Prior to the Idaho legislature convening in 2020, it was apparent there would be a Right to Repair bill introduced by proponents that intended to fast track the bill. With 4 locations in Idaho, Stotz Equipment stepped up to host a dealer demonstration at its American Falls location to educate stakeholders about the issue and what Stotz Equipment was doing to support their customers right to repair and increase uptime.
Attendees including members of the Idaho Farm Bureau could visibly see that commitment on display at the event which was held in the shop of Stotz Equipment that was then undergoing a massive expansion aimed at improving their ability to serve the customer. From sharing their innovative solutions for preemptively diagnosing repairs to their support for workforce development in the state of Idaho, the mission of Stotz Equipment was evident to all.
Following the dealer demonstration, a constructive dialogue started between stakeholders, not one but two bills were introduced by right to repair proponents in Idaho’s 2020 legislative session. The task of repudiating the message of right to repair proponents and sharing the dealer’s story of cultivating long-term relationships with their customers by providing flexible solutions and uptime availability was brought to the Capitol by Jason Behrend of Stotz Equipment.
In meetings with the Speaker of the House, leadership of both parties and the bill sponsors, Behrend persuasively presented the dealer’s perspective. Those advocacy efforts culminated in a contentious hearing before the House Environment, Energy & Technology Committee where Behrend’s and other dealers’ testimony proved decisive in defeating the bill.
For their efforts in contributing to public policy outcomes benefiting the equipment dealer industry, WEDA presents to Jason Behrend of Stotz Equipment the 2020 Dealer Advocacy Award.