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Blue Ox President and CEO Ellen Kietzmann announced this month the promotion of five key employees. Those promoted include:
Top Row (L-R) Aaron Rabbass, Chad Wall, Steve Schutt. Bottom Row (L-R) Dave Merchant, Paul Choquette

Top Row (L-R) Aaron Rabbass, Chad Wall, Steve Schutt. Bottom Row (L-R) Dave Merchant, Paul Choquett

• Aaron Rabbass, vice president: Rabbass has been elected to the position of vice president and will maintain his current position of treasurer. He has been with Blue Ox since 1997 and has direct oversight for accounting and systems administration where he is responsible for all areas related to financial reporting.  Rabbass also oversees the planning and implementation of critical initiatives which support the company’s infrastructure.

• Chad Wall, marketing manager: Wall began his career in corporate advertising before relocating to California to join Picture Arts as art director and graphic designer. The company was later purchased by Jupiter images, where he was responsible for managing 54 photo agencies through the distribution channels in Latin America, Canada, and Asia. Wall eventually returned to Nebraska where he worked in design at Affiliated Foods before joining Blue Ox in April of 2013. “Chad’s creative ability and pragmatic approach coupled with his deep understanding of targeted marketing is crucial to the continued development of the Blue Ox brand,” Kietzmann said.

• Steve Schutt, logistics and technical product manager: Schutt earned his degree in manufacturing engineering and is currently responsible for the oversight and development of all the technical manuals, instructions and product bulletins. Prior to joining Blue Ox he was assistant production manager for Kelly Klosure. “Steve’s in-depth knowledge of product and system processes will aid greatly in further development of established standards and efficiencies within logistics,” Kietzmann said.

• Dave Merchant, testing and standards manager: Merchant has been instrumental in the development of the engineering team at Blue Ox. Kietzmann said, “In an effort to take our company to the next level, Dave has assumed direct responsibility for the development of the Testing and Standards segment within our company.” Merchant’s 40 years of experience in the design, development and manufacturing of products and components provides the structural backbone required to meet the acceptance standards in the defense and international markets which Blue Ox competes. Merchant has several patents to his credit and is a member of the adjunct faculty at Southeast Community College.

• Paul Choquette, engineering manager: Choquette began his career at Wilson Trailer before joining Blue Ox as product specialist where he worked his way through the ranks within the engineering department.  Choquette has been instrumental in the design of several products, including patented features on the company’s Sway Pro weight distributing hitch and tow bars. Kietzmann said, “Paul’s ability to work with suppliers and customers to understand their needs is a critical component to future design and expansion of Blue Ox products and a culture which he will continue to nurture within the engineering team. These important staff members have all contributed to the strength of our products in the marketplace and to the financial growth of our company, and I’m confident they will excel even more as they take on their new responsibilities.”