MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) recognized three leaders at the President’s Banquet at Exchange 2015 on Feb. 24 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Nominated by their peers, all award winners were recognized for their dedication and commitment in service to the grain industry, the GEAPS organization or both.
Award winners included: George Kornstad, Industry Leader Award; Steve Schmitt, Corbett Award; and Tim Sullivan, International Member of Distinction.
Kornstad was honored for his dedication to advancing the best interests of grain handling operations in the areas of safety, health, environmental responsibility, efficiency and stored-grain quality management.
A GEAPS lifetime member with over four decades of industry service, Kornstad was recognized for his U.S. and international work, and for his leadership in GEAPS, which spanned from the local chapter he started in his home state of Wisconsin to his service on the International board, which he chaired in 1986.
Kornstad’s career involved managing elevator operations in the U.S. where he became an expert and industry speaker on OSHA regulations and later spanned the globe through his work with the Citizen’s Network for Foreign Affairs, which took him to Moscow where he built small grain storage units at 57 sites in Russia and Ukraine and to Egypt where his work with an entrepreneur to build a state-of-the-art export grain unloading elevator on the Mediterranean Sea. Kornstad’s dedication continued into retirement, where he taught proper grain storage practices for U.S. AID-funded companies in Russia, Bulgaria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Afghanistan.
Schmitt, with T.E. Ibberson Company, received the Corbett Award, the highest honor presented to a GEAPS Associate member for representing the interests of Associate members.
Schmitt was working as a summer intern when he joined GEAPS in 1990, and recalls that fellow honoree George Kornstad was one of the GEAPS leaders who recruited him into the organization.
Schmitt has always had a passion for recruiting new members. A fellow member recalled being recruited by Schmitt while he was submitting a competing bid for a facility design project. Even though they were competitors, Schmitt wanted to share the benefits of GEAPS membership.
He has been a member of the Greater Iowa, Cornbelt and Minneapolis chapters. He served on several chapter committees and the chapter board before serving on the GEAPS Associates board, which he went on to chair. Schmitt values the experience he gained as a GEAPS leader and championed the need to continue to recruit strong board leaders to make the decisions that help the organization grow and meet member needs.
Sullivan was honored for his commitment and dedication to GEAPS and to the grain industry. Sullivan has served GEAPS and the industry over his more than 40-year career. Sullivan served as a chapter leader for the Greater Iowa Chapter and on a number of International committees including the original GEAPS Grades and Weights Committee, leading to an appointment to the joint committee with the National Grain and Feed Association that addressed emerging operational and regulatory issues with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Grain Inspection Service.
Sullivan said he is particularly proud of the GEAPS/Kansas State University Distance Education Program, which grew out of the highly successful 2002 Facility Design Conference that he helped to develop.
From his chapter and committee work, Sullivan went on to serve as a director on the GEAPS International board from 2002-05 before becoming treasurer. He served as treasurer from 2005-11. Following his term as treasurer he continued to serve as a director from 2011-12.