Al In The Family (A Tribute)

Al Strohmaier 2It was 30 years ago that a young guy joined our advertising sales force, covering the Great Lakes Territory. My first impression was favorable — rugged good looks, nice smile, firm handshake, look you straight in the eye. His credentials were equally good — grew up on a wheat farm in Washington State, worked for The McGregor Co. driving a spray rig, then moved to Cleveland, OH, and started selling products for heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.

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He should do well, I thought. And wow, has he ever! From regional advertising manager to publisher to group publisher of the CropLife and U.S. Cotton Group — not to mention serving a term as president of one of the ag industry’s most respected organizations, the Mid America Croplife Association (MACA). His customers look at him as a friend — someone they know have their best interests at heart, both professional and personal.

Favorite Memories

But enough with the business accolades. Let’s talk about Al Strohmaier, the Al in the Meister Family.

Did you know he:

  • Plays a mean guitar. Likes to host sessions in the “Silver Lounge” in his basement.Al Strohmaier 1
  • Used to compete regularly in karoke contests? He’s a good, bordering- on-great singer, especially Elvis. So good, in fact that when he got called on stage at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN, during a MACA meeting, he blew by the band’s lead singer and Elvis impersonator, who was none too happy.
  • Loves horses (has four of them), English setters (also numbering four) and is happiest puttering around the barn or riding a trail in the MetroPark?
  • Loves to play jokes on fellow employees. One of his favorites is sticking out his left hand when being introduced to a new hire, his right arm stiff, hand twisted into a claw. But he’s the first to recognize a job well done, like sending congratulatory e-mails and cc’ing the whole company so achievements aren’t overlooked.
  • Is a pretty good cartoonist (check out the best of IRON WORKS), loves to “doctor” covers of our magazines once they’re in print. He’s got a drawer chockfull of them, some he’s shared with the cover personalities but most just poking fun.

And most importantly, know that he’s a beloved colleague and friend who will always be our “Al in the Family.”

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Michael DeLuca says:

During my seven years with Meister Media Worldwide, parent company of CropLife, I have worked side-by-side with Al in good times and bad (mostly good!), always impressed by his market knowledge, business and marketing savvy, and his inspiring leadership. I, this company, the many people whose lives he touched in this industry will miss him very much.

David G. Jones says:

Many, many congratulations, Al… All the best for a happy, healthy retirement.

David Jones (formerly of COTTON GROWER)

Bonnie McCarvel says:

Well said – I will miss him as will MACA. He is a wonderful person who made us better. Hope he can enjoy the change of pace!

Way over here in Eastern Washington, we at The McGregor Company wish you the best in retirement! You are a good egg, Al. Thank you for all you’ve done to promote agriculture and for the friendships you’ve made along the way.

Steve Watts says:

Proud to say I knew and worked with you before you started your career with Meister and have followed your progress ever since. Congratulations and best wishes in your well earned retirement Al. Steve Watts

Lia Guthrie says:

Congratulations, Al! I remember when you were the regional sales manager for Memphis – I was a young ag field editor. You would come down and we would play tennis and spend Thursday evenings on the roof of the Peabody. So glad you are retiring! Come see us if you get to wine country.