New site; new manager
There was never much doubt in Craig Krysan’s mind about what he wanted to be when he grew up.
“I’m a third-generation ‘iron’ salesman,” Krysan says. “I’m just following in my father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, carrying on the family tradition.”
Krysan started last Nov. 1 as the new manager of the Kibble Equipment John Deere dealership in Blue Earth. He had previously been the manager at the Albert Lea and Kiester dealerships.
Born and raised in Cresco, Iowa, Krysan attended Kirkwood Community College and then went to work for several implement dealerships.
“I have been in the John Deere business for 22 years,” he says. “I worked for two other dealership groups before joining with Mankato Implement.”
He was the sales manager for six Mankato area John Deere stores.
“When we merged with Kibble Equipment, it was decided to go to local-level decision making when it came to management,” Krysan says. “That is when I went to Albert Lea and Kiester.”
When Skip Schimek retired in Blue Earth, Krysan replaced him.
The new manager says it was great taking over the manager’s position from Schimek.
“Skip had this place running like a well-oiled machine,” Krysan says. “The reputation of the Blue Earth store has been excellent in this area.”
He especially praised the parts department, saying it is well known for having any part the customer needs.
Soon the local dealership will have even more space to store all of their parts, as well as room to work on any piece of equipment.
The new building and site is really taking shape at the new North Industrial Park in Blue Earth.
But, the question everyone asks is, will it actually be open in March as originally planned.
“No one has given up on that plan yet,” Krysan says. “No one, not Butch (Kibble), not the building contractor, no one has ceded that it won’t be March.”
Krysan says the contractor told him one day that it will probably be impossible to be done by March 1st.
“I told him that March 2nd would be just fine, then,” Krysan joked. “The actual answer is we have to wait and see, and we will get in there as soon as we can.”
The new manager said the concrete floors will all be finished being poured this week, and the interior walls are mapped out and ready to be built.
“We had a lot of delays at first,” Krysan says. “Problems with the DNR, wetlands, bad weather, even an old well; all were setbacks to the construction. But, it is moving along as quickly as possible now.”
When the structure is completed it will be state of the art, with a huge 100 by 200 foot shop, indoor wash bay, lots of office space, display area and a very large parts department.
“But, it isn’t just going to be so much larger,” Krysan says. “It will also be a much more efficient work area, and much safer, too. Safety is a huge deal for our company.”
There will even be a training center on site for both employees and customers.
When it is completed, the impressive new John Deere dealership in Blue Earth will be one of a kind but not for long.
“Kibble (Equipment) is going to build an identical facility in Sleepy Eye,” Krysan says. “Same exact foot-print, size of building even the color of the building will be the same.”
When Krysan came to Blue Earth from Kiester, he did not come alone. As the store was closing there, all of the employees but two made the move to the dealership in Blue Earth.
“We have a total of 21 employees at this time,” the manager says. “But, we are growing, too.”
In fact, there are three intern technicians who will be working at the local Kibble Equipment. Two are still in high school.
“They will work here this spring and summer, then go on to John Deere Technical School in Calmar, Iowa,” Krysan says.
The town of Calmar, Iowa, holds some special significance to Krysan, besides being the home of a John Deere tech school.
“That’s where my grandfather had an implement dealership many, many years ago,” he explains. “In fact, he sold International equipment, Moline plows and even Ford automobiles as well as Delaval Cream Separators.”
Then Krysan’s father, Paul, ran an implement dealership in Cresco, Iowa, for years. His father is now 82 and retired.
“I guess I am just following the family business tradition,” he says. However, his family has another family tradition besides farm equipment.
Krysan and his father, brother and sister are all partners in a manufacturing company called Bethany Housewares, located in Cresco, Iowa.
“We manufacture all kinds of Norwegian and Scandinavian cookware,” he says. “My father bought the company in 1985 and moved it to Cresco. We all have an interest in it, but my sister runs it.”
Krysan currently lives in Albert Lea with his wife, Belinda and two daughters, Lauren, 3, and Reagan, 1 1/2. He is not sure if the family will be making the move to Blue Earth or not.
Family is important in his life, Krysan says, whether that involves camping or boating or just being together.
And, the family tradition of being an ‘iron salesman’ is important to him, too.
“I love what I do,” Krysan says. “And it is exciting to be here in Blue Earth and be involved with this new building project.”