Dick Friesen – President & General Manager
Dick has been in the fabricating and manufacturing atmosphere for most of his working career. The 8 years that he spent at Flexi-Coil working in research and development gave him valuable knowledge in product development as well as manufacturing. Dick spent a good portion of this time working on the Barton disc opener and was involved in most of the development at that time. After leaving Flexi-Coil, he started his own business Pillar Welding and Machine. They designed and built weld fixtures, as well as many different manufacturing support items for several Ag Manufacturers. It was during this time that Dick was approached by Hugh Barton (the inventor of the Barton Disc Opener) about redesigning the disc opener and developing a double shoot system that would work on a single disc. After several years and many different prototypes, the current design of the Disc Hoe Opener was ready for production. Dick leads the design team at Pillar which has designed and produced the Disc Hoe Opener, Pillar toolbars and the most resent the Pillar Heavy Harrow. Dick enjoys spending time with family camping, fishing, hunting as well as other outdoor activities.
John Martens- Partner/Laser operations
John has worked in the farm implement manufacturing sector and metal fab for 31 yrs. Starting just out of school at CNH (Flexi-coil). His last 7 yrs. at CNH was spent working with engineering, designing and developing new products for production. In 2005 John and his partners started a new company Pillar Lasers Inc. By using all the combined experience, Pillar has developed its own line of farm equipment. John now manages the laser cutting division of Pillar and continues to consult on the design of existing and new Pillar products.
Bill Froese- Partner/Purchasing, Financial operations.
Bill is a partner in Pillar Lasers Inc. His background has been in the construction industry starting in 1979 as an employee, then manager and successfully owned and operated the business for approximately 12 years. As part of the management team, Bill brings his business knowledge to Pillar Lasers Inc.
Jody Derocher- Sales Manager Alberta
Jody is an outgoing marketing and salesperson with focus on the goal. He enjoys new challenges and has the drive and the background to see them through to the end. He has a strong mechanical background that helps him understand equipment and helps assist customers in making confident purchases. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and Crop Science as well as 3rd year Auto Mechanic. He enjoys traveling, and meeting new people. Building Cars, volunteering, hockey, are my pastimes
John Gibson-Sales & Marketing Manager
This is John Gibson, recently joining the Pillar team as Sales and Marketing Manager.
With experience in both Eastern and Western Canada brings a unique background to the Pillar Team. Growing up close to farm roots in Belleville ON, then headed to University of Guelph earning a B.Sc. Ag. and Master’s degree in Ag. Business. Early career days were spent with UCO/GROWMARK in Ontario, then moving to Saskatchewan focused on positioning fertility and crop protection products with channel partners. Always passionate about improving agronomics/economics for growers this ultimately led to him joining Pillar. Being able to provide growers with improved seeding tools for high residue conditions while offering industry leading seed/fertilizer placement is an extremely exciting opportunity.
Sandie Ginther- Sales Administration
Sandie is a confident Sales Administrator who joined Pillar in Feb 2023. She enjoys working with the Sales Team and customers. She is certified in Tradeshow Marketing Management and enjoys organizing and planning tradeshows, making videos, arranging air seeder demonstrations, and maintaining social media platforms. Sandie’s experience with working in customer service has assisted her in maintaining our customer sales database. In her spare time, she enjoys snowmobiling, baking, and crafts.
Jolie Woodrow-Human Resources & Accounting
Jolie is a dedicated employee focused on looking after our staff and customer needs. She ensures all business accounting procedures and human resource needs are managed with great attention. She brought ambition and experience to our company in November of 2016 and continues to complement Pillar’s desire to sustain policies and procedures to run a solid, respectful company. Jolie’s education is in Management, and has been working in the Agriculture Industry for 18 years. She enjoys health & wellness, watching hockey, sunny beaches and especially her time spent with family & friends.
Matt Loewen-Shop Foreman
Matt is a dependable Shop Forman & Workflow Manager who grew up on a farm north of Saskatoon. He started welding in high school, joined Pillar in 2011 and is confident in welding and fabricating aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel products. During Matt’s 25 years in the field, he has found enjoyment in the Research and Development side of his employment and is honored to be a part of some trusted products here at Pillar. When Matt is not at work, you will often find him on his motorcycle or his vintage car, in the shop repairing and restoring vehicles, fishing, camping and enjoying his family.
Dan Martens-Parts/Service & Purchasing