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Employee Spotlight: Rick Koelndorfer Retires

He worked at Hoosier Crane less than a year, but Rick Koelndorfer is so connected to our company we had to throw him a retirement party. And besides that, he’s just a cool guy.

You could say Rick married in to Hoosier Crane. His two daughters, Jennifer and Gretchen, are married to key members of the Hoosier Crane team. Gretchen is married to COO Todd Cook and Jennifer is married to Service Manager Derek Bukrajewski.  His son Rick is not connected to Hoosier Crane. He works for Thor.

“I caught Todd at a weak moment about a year ago,” Rick said. “I told him I didn’t want to retire yet and I asked him if he needed any help. He said, come on, let’s see what we can do.”

Rick came to Hoosier Crane with plenty of sales experience. He spent more than 40 years working for different companies, mainly selling and estimating aircraft equipment and parts. He spent most of his time, 24 years, at Parrish Machine, but also worked at Adams Engineering, Bendix Aerospace, and Value Tool & Engineering. 

“I actually started out in tool and die engineering at Adams but then got promoted to sales and estimating,” said Rick. “I sometimes wonder if that was really a promotion,” he said with a laugh.

Rick’s territory was the entire United States and he was involved with some fascinating projects over the years, including work with NASA and the Space Shuttle, work with nuclear submarines, and nuclear bomb casings for the military.

“I got to do quite a few things that were great experiences,“ he said.

Another experience Rick has enjoyed over the years is playing in a band with some friends. When they were younger the band was called “New Trend,” but a later version was known as “Third Session.” Rick played trumpet for the band which had gigs all over Michiana.

“We like to play but we don’t have time to practice so I don’t think we’ll start that up again,” Rick responded when asked about maybe getting the band together again.

Rick says he would like to travel with his wife Charlotte. They’ve been married 46 years.

“She’s put up with a lot. I’d like to show her the places I’ve seen.”

He also said he plans to learn how to fish and one of his 12 grandchildren is going to be his teacher.

“My grandson Dylan is going to be my boss. He’s going to teach me how to fish.”  

Rick will turn 65 this month. Hoosier Crane wishes him well as he begins this new chapter in his life.