With Heavy Hearts

Rob KatzenmeyerIt is with incredibly heavy hearts that ShoreMaster mourns the loss of our own Rob Katzenmeyer, Vice-President of Operations, who passed away this past weekend after a hard fought battle with cancer.

Rob was a shining example of what ShoreMaster stands for and of the GREAT PEOPLE that we have as a part of our community. Rob started at ShoreMaster on the front line of operations while in high school. He worked during the Summers at ShoreMaster while in college and returned full-time upon graduation. He worked his way through the management ranks and eventually to the executive position of Vice-President of Operations and board member.  He was always about the people, our GREAT PEOPLE, and no one bled more ShoreMaster blue than he.

Beyond ShoreMaster, Rob was a pillar of the community. With two young children he was actively involved in many youth activities, especially the hockey association, and community programs. His passion for the community, for his children and for giving back was respected and admired by all who crossed his path.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Rob’s wife, children, and family.

Funeral Services will be held at Bethlehem Church in Fergus Falls, MN on Friday, July 22nd (11:00am). Visitation and Prayer Service (5:00-7:0pm) will be held on Thursday, July 21st at Olson’s Funeral Home in Fergus Falls, MN.


5 Tips for Safe Water Fun This Summer

It’s National Water Safety Month!

Water SafetyWith the start of Summer right around the corner its time to start thinking again about FUN IN THE SUN! Along with that though we want all of our owners, families, dealers and friends to be sure they are practicing smart water safety so that everyone can enjoy the entire Summer on the water! Here are 5 helpful tips to keep you in the sun all Summer long!

1. Always wear a life jacket!
Whether you’re on a boat or a personal water craft you should always have – and wear – a personal flotation device. Young children should wear life jackets anytime they are in or around water. This is the first line of defense against drownings and is of the utmost important. Make sure your life jacket fits snugly but comfortably and cannot slip above the chin or ears when tugged on at the shoulders.

2. Pay Attention to the Weather
Summer weather can change quickly. Severe weather can come on quickly and escalated rapidly. Pay attention to the weather forecasts and the skies. You don’t want to get caught on the lake or out in the open when Summer weather goes from sunny to stormy. And always wear sunscreen! The reflection off the water amplifies the sun’s intensity so protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

3. Drinking and Boating Don’t Mix
An cool beverage can be quite refreshing during a hot Summer day but don’t drink and drive or boat. Drinking can impair your judgement and slow your reflexes making it harder for you to steer, swim and assist those around you. If you want to have a cool beverage do it from the safety of the shoreline.

4. Keep Your Speed Down and Pay Attention
The lakes and waterways can get very busy in the Summer months. Keep a look out of other boats, swimmers, tubers, skiers, and more. Keep you speed reasonable and always practice defensive driving – if you aren’t sure what the other guy is doing stay clear. Keep an eye out for fellow boats in distress and need of help as well.

5. Use the Buddy System
Bring a buddy with – its more fun and more safe! Even experience water-users and swimmers can get put in a dangerous situation.

 


Teach Kids to Fish and Love Life on the Water

Cute little boy fishing with his grandfather

ShoreMaster is proud to once again be a sponsor of Midwest Fishing’s School of Fish.

This unique program provides kids – and parents – an amazing opportunity to learn all about fishing, water safety, and lake preservation. In each 3-hour class participants learn about lakes, the fish that live in them, how to tie knots, rig their own fishing line, and much more. Kid’s also learn how to be responsible and safe anglers and sportsmen as well as ways to get involved in fishing and waterfront clubs. In addition to the great fishing tips and tricks that kids will learn, all kids get their own fishing rod and reel, tackle, t-shirt, workbook, and more. Plus, parents are welcome to join to make it a fun activity for the whole family.

Midwest Fishing hosts open-water and ice-fishing classes throughout the year all across the Midwest. For locations and a class schedule visit their website.


SHOREMASTER THANKS EMPLOYEES FOR GREAT YEAR WITH HOLIDAY TURKEYS

Turkey 3
FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA – November 19, 2015. ShoreMaster, LLC, a leading manufacturer of docks and boat lifts based out of Fergus Falls, celebrated another successful year by thanking employees and handing out Thanksgiving turkeys for the holiday season.

“It is always an honor to be able to do this for our employees, this is our third year handing out turkeys. Our people put a lot of effort into everything they do, it’s exciting to be able to celebrate our success again this year with them.” says Don Hurley, President and CEO of ShoreMaster, LLC.

ShoreMaster celebrated with an all employee catered lunch as employees were thanked and recognized. At the end of the lunch frozen turkeys were handed out to all ShoreMaster, LLC employees.

“Our employees show up and work hard every day, they are the reason for our success. We continue to have an impeccable safety record. It’s important to our management team that we recognize them and reward them for that dedication and effort. We truly have great people here and it’s an honor to be able to say thank you like this, especially during the holidays.” says Rob Katzenmeyer, Vice President of Operations.

Receiving a Thanksgiving turkey and catered lunch was just one way ShoreMaster, LLC celebrated their success. Employees were also given two additional floating holidays for the upcoming year. They also have received a profit sharing bonus for the last three years. This year’s bonus was given out in September.

ShoreMaster, LLC is a premier manufacturer of waterfront equipment, specifically docks and boat lift systems. The company was founded in 1972 in Carlos, MN by Dennis Tuel, Sr and operates today out of Fergus Falls, MN. With over 110 full time employees ShoreMaster serves over 150 dealers and distributers in the United States and Canada. The ShoreMaster, LLC team includes welders, fabricators, engineers, mechanics, developers, designers, problems solvers, and more – working together to provide their customers with the very best waterfront experience available. Visit www.shoremaster.com for more information.


Engineering Department Adds New Team Member

Kelly - croppedShoreMaster, LLC recently hired Kelly Korinek as a Product Engineer/Innovator to join the Engineering Team.

Kelly will be responsible for the process of designing and developing product. This will entail being involved in dealing with issues of manufacturability, quality, performance, reliability, serviceability, and user features. It includes design, development, testing, and transitioning to manufacturing the product in volumes.

Kelly graduated from North Dakota State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. Kelly and family resides in Fergus Falls, MN. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and fishing for walleye. “I get to design and develop waterfront products everyday with great people. It doesn’t get much better than that.” says Kelly Korinek. Kelly brings 13 years of engineering experience to the team. Kelly will report to the Director of Operations and Engineering, Chris Winter.

ShoreMaster continues to enjoy strong growth across all segments of its business, in part due to the Competitive Unification Strategy it implemented two years ago as a way to drive sustainable growth with an increased focus on competitiveness in distribution, product quality, customer service, and industry leading operational facilities.


Next Generation

Jordan and ChadManufacturing: to make (something) on a large scale using machinery.

As hungry students eager to learn fill the gymnasium, we were there to teach them about manufacturing as a career. Earlier in the month of October a team of employees from ShoreMaster, including Chad Hulter, Jordan Heikes, and Haley Stich, attended the local Fergus Falls High School Career Fair. The gymnasium was filled with many booths about healthcare, hospitality, construction, agriculture, etc. We were there to teach them about career possibilities at ShoreMaster, but more importantly, about manufacturing as a career.

Peppered by the question from students, “What is ShoreMaster?” For us employees working the booth, this was one of our favorite questions to answer. Yes, we manufacture premium docks and lifts, but we do it safely and efficiently with GREAT people. At the career fair it was the GREAT people that we focused on. ShoreMaster is driven by two assets – great employees and great customers. This has been the key to our success from the beginning. As a part of the ShoreMaster, team our employees get to be a part of a fun, focused, friendly, safety-oriented company with a proven record of success.

Many of the students have grown up in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, have a cabin, or live on a lake where they have seen a ShoreMaster dock and lift or their family owns one. For some of these students given the tools they need to succeed, and as long as they apply themselves, ShoreMaster has opportunities to open many doors for these students after graduation.

“Manufacturing at ShoreMaster to me is more than just a job. It is being able to build amazing products people use for a lifetime, for people to create memories with family and friends at the lake and being able to be a part of that. It’s a really cool feeling.” says Chad Hulter, Safety Coordinator at ShoreMaster.

ShoreMaster, LLC is a team of fabricators, engineers, mechanics, developers, designers, problem solvers, and more, working to provide our customers with the very best waterfront experience available.  “I have been welding ShoreMaster products for 17 years and I still love building our products” says Tracy Jefferies, Steel Supervisor. For many of the employees here they have the opportunity to see their work on a daily basis driving through lakes country.

The future is bright for the next generation of individuals who decide on a career in manufacturing. To learn how to join the ShoreMaster Team visit www.shoremaster.com.

Pictured above: Chad Hulter and Jordan Heikes


TAKING FLIGHT

Written by: Haley Stich, Marketing Coordinator

As summer starts working its way out and cooler weather starts setting in, two of my favorite seasons start rolling in. Fall and hunting season. While working at ShoreMaster it is common to hear conversations among employees starting with, “Well, how did you do this weekend, or how many did you shoot.” It is when the amount of birds or size of the deer’s rack start getting bigger that everyone gets a good laugh.

During the hot Minnesota summer months I took part in the ShoreMaster Sporting Clay shooting team. We would get together once a month and shoot the challenging Sporting Clay course on the rolling and wooded hills of the Viking Valley Hunt Club. Being the only girl in the group there is always the pressure to try and beat the guys! For some reason my score always seems to be the most popular for everyone to know at the end of the night.

pheasany hunt2

Recently, we all got together one last time at the Viking Valley Hunt Club before next season, or in reality before the snow flies. Greeted by the brisk, morning air along with waging tails and excited dogs, this time we got to shoot pheasants, not clays. We split into groups and got to our selected fields where the birds were waiting. After the hunt, or for me a morning workout of walking fields and chasing birds, we meet back the lodge to tell stories about the morning and enjoy a lunch while we wait for our birds to be cleaned. As the fun day comes to an end, I leave with a smile on my face.

While getting to enjoy an awesome Fall day, and the opportunity to take part in one of my favorite hobbies it is much more than that to me. It is a day filled with team building, and a reflection of the company’s appreciation for all their employees. It was a time to hang out with co-workers in a different atmosphere, reflected in the ShoreMaster culture, based on an activity that creates memories for the employees to be able to look back on.

Pictured above: Haley Stich, Mike Casey, Don Hurley, Mark Wick.


A WELD ABOVE THE REST

Welding (verb): to join pieces of metal together by heating the edges until they begin to melt and then pressing them together (merriam-webster.com).

Such a simple definition, yet a concept that is utterly important in our organization. Take two pieces of aluminum and bring them together to create a masterpiece of strength and durability that let’s our customers enjoy the waterfront to the fullest. At ShoreMaster, welding isn’t just a process with heat and metal it’s an art form and diligent practice. Our welders – all 19 of them – take great care to ensure that the docks and boat lifts that leave our facility are built to last, built to enjoy and built beautifully. They have a passion for the waterfront and a pride in their craft that is unmatched.

 

Danny Kugler, our welding supervisor, has been with ShoreMaster since 1986 and a welder since 1987. “I got into welding because it was opportunity to get to work with my hands but also to get to create something that I knew people would love to use. I got to be a part of this unique process of creation and manufacturing.” 

 

Kugler has seen many changes and advancements in welding technology and systems; like the introduction of ShoreMaster’s robotic welder in 2001. Danny actually programed the current robot we currently use on the ShoreMaster, LLC production floor. “It was a big change for us. It was exciting, but a big change. I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that it had the potential to be really great for us.”

 

The robotic welder – which welds a variety of parts including Infinity RS4 frames, foot pads, leg posts are more – automates the welding process and allows for consistent, efficient, repetitive welding. Kugler says, “It’s great for a lot of our team, it brings a lot of efficiency to some of the smaller parts and frames so that our guys can focus on the larger frames and materials. On a truss frame there is not replacement for two sets of hands and welders special touch, but for a lot of our stuff Hal does just great.” Hal is the name the guys gave the robot.

 

Kugler isn’t sure what the next big change is going to be, but he does know that one thing is for sure “No matter what comes next for us welders, it’s going to be fun, it always is.”


For My Family, And Many Others, a ShoreMaster Is More than Just a Boat Lift or Dock

Written by: Kurt Welch, ShoreMaster LLC PolyDock Products National Sales Manager.

It is easy to think about how much enjoyment people get from using their ShoreMaster dock or boat lift to get out on the water, or even just to lounge around the shore entertaining guests and taking in the waterfront views. That’s because owning a ShoreMaster Infinity dock or fully-welded premium boat lift is, for many waterfront property owners, the pinnacle of lakeshore living.

A simple cruise around the lake by boat or pontoon is almost always accompanied by discussions of the lake’s homes and the waterfront equipment that sits in front of them. The rounded ends on ShoreMaster’s boat lift canopies are seen as a symbol of enduring quality, and it’s easy to spot a genuine ShoreMaster canopy cover by the instantly recognizable ShoreMaster logo on the canopy ends. The curved sections on ShoreMaster’s Infinity series of docks, along with the 8 decking options invite bare foot enjoyment, and the Quick Connect brackets for dock accessories leave ShoreMaster docks looking just like the day they were manufactured, with no drill holes from mounting or moving the accessories.

My family (Kurts girlsmy wife and our two young daughters) live on a small 700 acre lake just outside of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. To me, there is almost nothing better than raising your children on a lake. I suppose entertaining your grandchildren at the lake would rank right up there too. Growing up, I spent my summers at a family cabin owned by my best friend’s parents, and I always thought it would be great to just live on the lake someday with my own family. In fact, I made it a goal. When we purchased our lake home several years ago, we had a pretty strict list of requirements; large yard, great neighborhood, close to town, great fishing, and great swimming. Even then, we knew how hard it was going to be to be able to check off even half of the items on our list. We got 4.5 of our 5 requirements. Not bad, right? The shoreline just in front of our property isn’t all that great for swimming, there are some weeds, it’s pretty shallow and in some areas there is a bit of muck. However, our lake has a great sandbar so a 2 minute pontoon ride is all that’s needed to be able take a refreshing swim on a hot summer day.

“We Are Saving Up For a ShoreMaster Infinity Dock”Kurts girls2

My family doesn’t currently own a ShoreMaster dock system because a relatively new dock was included with the purchase of our home. And while I won’t mention the brand, I will say that in the several years that we’ve owned it, we’ve had a lot of problems with it including cracked welds. We will definitely need a new dock system within the next couple of years, so now we are saving up for a ShoreMaster Infinity Dock. In fact, we’ve made it a goal. We would rather save up for the quality and flexibility of a ShoreMaster dock than buy an inferior product and waste our time and money on repairs and limited configurability. We do own a ShoreMaster boat lift and there is nothing more durable or easy to use on our property. We can’t wait to be able to say the same thing about our dock system.

Even though we live on the lake, and we enjoy swimming at the sand bar, sometimes my girls and I just like to head out to the beach for an afternoon of building sandcastles. There are plenty of places to swim in Otter Tail County, after all, we do have 1,100 of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes within the county lines, but as is the case with young children, we tend to go to the beaches closest to home. For us, the nearest beach is at Pebble Lake in Fergus Falls, MN.  Sure, we go to Glendalough State Park (actually we go there a lot), but we usually combine swimming and kayaking on those excursions, and it’s usually an all-day event. We also like to hit up the beach in Maplewood State Park, but mostly during a full weekend of camping. So when it comes to a good, quick, old-fashioned afternoon at the beach, we’ll head over to Pebble Lake. This gives the kids an opportunity to play with other kids, and it gives us the chance to spend a little time at the beach digging in the sand, which is perfect because the sand bar at our lake, while awesome for wading and swimming, doesn’t really give us a true beach to enjoy.

Back in July of 2014, as a thank you to the City of Fergus Falls for letting ShoreMaster use Pebble Lake beach for a photo shoot, and also as a way to “give back” to the community and promote waterfront recreation in the lakes area, ShoreMaster donated a TS9 dock system to the city of Fergus Falls. At the start of the 2015 swimming season, the city reconfigured the dock, installed it at Pebble Lake Beach and opened it up for public use at the start of the season.  To the people who swim at Pebble Lake, that ShoreMaster dock is like their own dock system, and Pebble Lake is just like their own piece of waterfront property. After watching people, including my own children, play around the ShoreMaster dock at Pebble Lake, I think I’m right, it is pretty easy to imagine how much enjoyment people get from using their ShoreMaster dock or boat lift to get out on the water. In fact, you don’t really need to imagine it at all, you simply need to get out there and experience it for yourself.


Employee Activites

 Being a ShoreMaster employee is about more than just coming to work every day – its about being a part of the ShoreMaster Family. It is about a passion for the waterfront, the outdoors, and our community. It is about the ShoreMaster Way. ShoreMaster, LLC is proud to sponsor our employees in activities outside of the workplace.

Softball Team2For the past two summers, ShoreMaster has had a softball team of employees who play every Friday night in the City of Fergus Falls Men’s League Division. Not only is it fun for employees, but their family and friends also have a good time watching, and cheering on the team. Plastics manager, and coach, David King says, “The guys all show up ready to play, we have a lot of fun as a team.” As playoffs are right around the corner, we wish our softball team the best of luck!Mike Shooting

While softball might not be for everyone ShoreMaster also has a sporting clay team. Employees get to shoot once every month in the summer at Viking Valley Hunt Club in Ashby, MN. Sporting clays is a type of clay pigeon shooting where the target usually simulates the flight path of different game species. Every station is sure to keep the shooter on their toes. While Viking Valley is home to one of the finest fully automated sporting clays  courses in the upper Midwest, employees are able to have fun at the competitive sport!

To learn about how to join the ShoreMaster team visit our career opportunities page, we are always looking for hardworking, energetic team members.