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Dale Leppo receives CFAES award

Dale Leppo, a tireless supporter of Ohio State ATI and a leader in the power equipment industry, is the recipient of the 2014 College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Meritorious Service to Students Award. The FAES Student Council recognizes individuals each year from outside the college and university that have given extraordinary service to students in our college through support of student organizations, co-curricular teams, or serving as a guest speaker in undergraduate classes.

Dale is currently chairman of Leppo Group, a full-service power equipment sales and rental dealer with seven locations in Northeast Ohio. Leppo Equipment was founded in 1945 by Dale's parents, Roy and Stella Leppo, as an Oliver Farm Equipment Dealer. Leppo Equipment's primary products are Bobcat loaders and excavators, JLG aerial work platforms and telehandlers and a wide range of other equipment to serve construction, industrial, energy and agricultural customers.

Dale has served on Ohio State ATI’s Key Advisory Committee for numerous years, where he has demonstrated his commitment to two-year, applied degree programs. As a committee member, he provides valuable input about the equipment industry and how Ohio State ATI can prepare graduates to be leaders in that industry. His insights have helped assure that Ohio State ATI power equipment/hydraulic students graduate with marketable skills.

Dale has served a number of leadership roles in the equipment industry, including  seven years on Bobcat’s Dealer Advisory Council, president of Ohio Equipment Distributors, and chairman of the board of the Associated Equipment Distributors, an 800-member organization representing equipment distributors in the US and Canada.

Dale takes an active role in Ohio State ATI’s internship program. He regularly provides paid internships for Ohio State ATI students and has on many occasions offered full-time employment to Ohio State ATI students who have interned with Leppo Equipment. He also served as commencement speaker for ATI's 41st commencement on May 3.

For many years, Dale has provided a generous gift of $5,000 in unrestricted funds to the power equipment/hydraulics programs. 

Leppo Equipment has participated in every power equipment career fair since its inception 12 years ago.  "If our programs are ever in need of a piece of equipment for lab or demonstration purposes, we can always count on Dale to make on available to us, often delivering them to campus himself," said John Arnold, associate professor and coordinator of Ohio State ATI's power equipment and hydraulics programs. "He has been active in student recruitment events, serving as a panelist to discuss career paths and opportunities within his industry."

Dale's interest in equipment has a personal connection: he is an avid motorcyclist and has traveled via motorcycle through 38 states, 17 countries outside the U.S. and six continents. "I'm missing Antarctica," Dale explains.

Dale holds a B.S. in chemistry from Kent State University. He is a northeast Ohio native. He and his wife, Cindy, who are just a couple of months shy of their 40th wedding anniversary, have two children and two grandchildren.