Mid-States Recycling Named 2022 Exhibitor of the Year

Ric Barr and Jack Brown

Our team was honored to attend the Midwest Pawn Convention, particularly since our own Jack Brown was given this prestigious award.

We were moved by his speech and wanted to share it with you as well:

Myself, as well as the rest of the Mid-States team, are very thankful for this recognition by Greg, Ric, Darlene, and the rest of the Indiana Pawnbrokers Association. We are very humbled.

I think recognition for our support is nice to hear and very much appreciated, but I think it’s also important to recognize the work that these three people have done to continue to honor the vision and legacy of Misters Ron Stempkowski and Steve Krupnik for the educational symposium called the Midwest Pawnbroker Convention that they created over 25 years ago. Many thanks to all who work so hard to continue to make the Midwest Convention what it continues to be as one of the most relevant and best-attended industry events.

I remember being at that very first Midwest meeting and continue to see so many of those same faces here today—Greg Engstrom, Ric Barr, best-dressed pawnbroker of all time Randy Ramsey. I was sad to find out that Darlene Stempkoswki and Cathy Haggerty could not make it this year. But let’s also take a moment to remember some of those people that were such a huge part of this event that are no longer with us, Tom Brown from Illinois, Ramona Thompson from Kentucky, and my dear friend Craig Rabiner from Ohio.

I started thinking about all of those in the vendor community that attended those early shows: Union Life, Wexler, Burrell, Bluestone Trading, Pawnmaster, Paul Reiser and Associates, Worldwide Diamond, GunBroker, Rolland Safe. All these companies are still strong and continuing to support this industry for close to thirty years. I also would be remiss not to mention some of those in the vendor community who I genuinely miss seeing, Michael Elliot from North American Metals who was the smartest man I’ve ever met when it came to buying and testing Gold scrap. And let’s not forget the infamous Gary “Zoomer” Zimmerman from Zimbals and Ron Steele from Geib Refining, amazing people and friends of mine who I always knew where I could find after trade show hours.

As I was preparing to attend this meeting, I took a quick glance at the pre-registration list of all who planned on attending this weekend and was amazed at the number of new names and pawn shops that I really didn’t recognize. I think that speaks to the durability of the Pawn Industry and is proof of the consumer’s necessity for the services you all provide them and your communities.

With so many new faces in this group, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the pioneers of the Pawn Industry that some of you may have never heard about or had the pleasure to know, and of course some that you do. But I can assure you that much of the success that you enjoy today is because of the hard work and timeless hours and dedication these people invested into the Pawn Industry.

Let’s start with some of the original and past presidents of the NPA: Morgan Jones, Brian Smith, Ed Bean, Fran Bishop, Kevin Prochaskha, and some the more recent presidents: Tim Collier, Kerry Rainey. Boyd, you have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m confident you’ve risen to the challenge. Lastly, I’d like us to remember the names of a few others that are no longer with us, but deserve the recognition for their efforts: Dave Newman, Harold Dambrodt and Jackie Kinlaw. These are names I hope you’ll never forget, and I can assure you that Sam Shocket and Jerry Whitehead could go on for hours telling you stories about all these people and what they meant to our industry.

Thank you all again for this award.