PONTIAC – If you have ever visited Stoller International’s Pontiac location for parts, chances are you have interacted with Dale Larkin.
The dealer parts manager was named the Bill Edwards Agribusiness Person of the Year by the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning during a surprise ceremony near his service desk.
“There is a pretty long list of people who have done a lot in ag for this area,” Larkin told The Central Illinois Farm Network while surrounded by friends and family. “It’s a big honor to be recognized like this.”
Larkin believes agriculture is how many of us were brought up and we learn to love it as it is a big part of life. This translates to dedication for Larkin who often starts work early and stays late to get the job done.
“We try to keep customers first and keep everybody moving when we need to.”
Lynn Stoller is proud of Larkin, who has been with the company for 25 years. He referred to him as an “outstanding man” who does a great job in the parts department.
“He is the face of Stoller International,” Stoller said. “When people come in, they’re not looking for Stollers – they’re looking for Dale.”
Stoller and his brother, Clark, have both won this chamber award in the past and are glad to see it once again go to someone at Stoller International.
“We are very thankful to be a part of the agricultural community here in Pontiac,” said Stoller.
The Case IH dealership has been in business 85 years and currently has locations in Pontiac, Ottawa, Streator, Herscher and Minonk. Stoller’s father established the business in downtown Pontiac in 1946 and built the current location in 1948.
Pontiac Area Chamber director Cathi Coppinger was impressed with the nomination.
“What Lynn wrote about (Dale) was so amazing and it just shows his dedication to the community and agriculture,” Coppinger stated.
Larkin will be formally recognized during the chamber banquet March 31 at the Pontiac Elks where the business person and volunteer of the year will also be honored along with students from area schools.