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Midwest Fire makes major changes

Brett Jensen (left) and Kraig Scholten are settling into their new roles at Midwest Fire. (Submitted photo)

LUVERNE — Big changes have been taking place at Midwest Fire.

After switching owners six months ago, the company has also named a new vice president and general manager. Former Purchasing Manager and Sales Consultant Kraig Scholten has been promoted to vice president, and former Sales Consultant Brett Jensen has been promoted to general manager.

Jensen compared the difference in ownership to that between night and day.

“Sarah Atchison is our new CEO and Dean Atchison is our Chief Operating Officer, and the change has been tremendous,” he said. “The work environment and people’s attitudes have all changed. They have been wonderful to work with.”

The Atchisons are also partnered with Sarah’s parents, Jane and Lyle Gessell, in running the company.

“We’ve been working on a new strategic planning process and making the shop a ‘lean process,’ meaning making the shop more efficient and more profitable,” Scholten said.

Jensen said one of the goals for the company is to increase its revenue by 20 percent over the next three years.

Scholten has been with the company for six years, and his promotion is the result of a newly created position in which he will be the main point of contact guiding customers through the production timeline. He will also work with fire departments on any change orders.

“I started in an entry- level position and worked my way up to purchasing and sales,” Scholten said. “Coming in at the ground level allowed me to learn the entire process of how a fire apparatus is built and what is involved.”

Jensen has been with the company for almost 21 years. He has worked in multiple departments and numerous roles.

As the general manager, Jensen will concentrate on leading the sales team, managing warranties and servicing customers on the phone with any questions.

“Scholten and Jensen are essential members of our team and hold a lot of responsibilities,” said Sarah Atchison. “We are proud to promote from within, and thank them for their hard work and dedication to customers and company success over the past several years.”

Midwest Fire also recently announced plans to sponsor a two-part classroom session taught by Dr. Richard Gasaway to benefit a fire department.

Both volunteer and professional firefighters are eligible to win and may fill out entry forms at Midwest Fire’s booth during the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

The winning fire department will have until the end of March to book the consecutive two-part classroom sessions.

“This is our first year at the show under new ownership and we wanted a high impact giveaway that reflected our belief and enthusiasm in community involvement,” said Sarah Atchison.

Midwest Fire has been manufacturing high quality tankers, tanker-pumpers and fire rescue vehicles in the U.S. and Canada since 1987.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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