After being in the John Deere dealership in Caledonia for more than four decades, Chuck Schulte announced last week that he has sold his business, Green Power Equipment, to SEMA Equipment Inc.
SEMA, which stands for Southeast Minnesota Ag, also owns John Deere dealerships in Spring Valley, Plainview, St. Charles, Wanamingo, LeRoy, Austin and Northfield, Minn. The corporation is owned by Wayne Isenberg (Spring Valley), Terry Mikulecky (Northfield), Steve Persigner (Austin) and Tom Wozney (Plainview)
“We will be keeping all of our current staff and will be adding at least three more employees right away,” said new location manager Dan Kruse. Kruse is no stranger to Caledonia or the local John Deere dealership. He served as service manager in Caledonia from December of 2005 through May of 2009.
“During negotiations, Chuck wanted to make sure all of the existing employees were retained and that there would be a John Deere dealership here in Caledonia to serve the many loyal customers Chuck had come to know and deal with over the years,” Kruse continued. “Chuck had developed a very good dealership here and a great customer base. Our hope is to try to make it even better.”
Kruse explained that with eight dealerships in Southeast Minnesota, SEMA is able to keep millions of dollars in parts on hand. They have a parts run in place, where parts needed at one location will be transported to another five days a week during most of the year and six days a week during planting and harvest seasons.
“The parts run is something that is very beneficial for our customers,” Kruse stated. “If a customer needs a part we don’t have in Caledonia, we can have it here by noon. We also plan to increase our parts department in Caledonia by $100,000, which will provide our customers with more parts on hand.”
Kruse grew up in the Dorchester area, graduated from Waukon High School and Iowa State Univ. in 2001. He worked for Waukon Implement (another John Deere dealership) from 2002 to 2004 and then went to work at Green Power for five years. He then was employed as the AMS manager at Tractor Center, which is a nine-location John Deere dealership in Wisconsin.
“Our goal is to build life long relationships by earning your confidence and trust, to focus relentlessly on how we can create value and solutions for you our customer and to build life long relationships with our Caledonia employees, as they are key to everything we achieve,” the four owners stated in a letter sent out to Green Power customers.
“We will strive to expand and improve the availability of new and used equipment and parts. We will also offer more service specialization and an expended offering of technical resources as products continue to be more and more complex,” the letter continued.
“We assure you that SEMA will make every effort to make this transition as seamless as possible,” the letter concluded.
Kruse said once everything is in place, they plan to hold an open house to introduce the public to the SEMA owners and to the staff at the Caledonia location.
You can contact Charlie Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org