Category Archives: Winners

Crane Hot Line Honors 2018’s Top Trainers for Innovative Methods and Top-Notch Results

May 2, 2018 – Crane Hot Line magazine has named its Top Trainers for 2018.  

Winners of this year’s competition are AI Abel of Mazzella Companies in the Corporate category and William Elmore of Alaska Crane Consultants in the Professional category. 

The Corporate category is for trainers employed by a company whose principal business is not training, such as manufacturers, contractors, equipment rental companies, or equipment dealers. 

The Professional category is for trainers from companies whose principal business is training. 

This year’s Honorable Mention (runner-up) awards went to Wayne Wille of Straightpoint in the Corporate category and Yannick Morin of Kraning in the Professional category. 

The program is endorsed by theAssociation of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) and supported by several sponsors, including Lifting Gear Hire (Platinum); Slingmax and Rigging Institute (Gold); Terex, Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB), Mazzella Companies, Morrow, and Altec Sentry (Silver); and American International Crane Bureau (AICB) (Bronze).

As Top Trainer Award recipients, Abel and Elmore will each receive complimentary registration and hotel accommodations for the 2018 ACRP General Assembly in Houston, May 15-18, where they will be presented trophies during an awards ceremony.  

Both will also receive scholarships thanks to funding from Top Trainer sponsors. 

“The crane and rigging industry is constantly evolving. The only way to keep up with innovation is through training,” said Tom DeSoo, director for I and I Sling/Slingmax Rigging Solutions, and ACRP president. “I am pleased to congratulate Al Abel of Mazzella Companies and William Elmore of Alaska Crane Consultants on their Top Trainer achievements,” DeSoo continued. 

Crane Hot Line editor Mike Larson added, “Trainers deliver far-reaching benefits that improve the bottom line of an entire job site. Properly trained workers do their jobs more safely. That reduces costs for lost time, damaged equipment, medical treatment, and insurance premiums.” 

Larson also said, “Because well-done training delivers such important benefits, Crane Hot Line is honored to recognize outstanding individuals who do this vital work by holding the annual Top Trainer program.” 

Now in its 11th year, the Top Trainer competition is held annually to recognize trainers in the lifting and rigging industry who excel at using innovative hands-on instruction, encourage peer or corporate accountability, demonstrate training success, and have a strong overall effect on students, the industry, or the environment. 

Entrants are nominated by peers, co-workers, or students.  

Al Abel, lifting specialist for Mazzella Companies, winner in the Corporate category, has been a perennial nominee ever since the first Top Trainer program eleven years ago. He is well liked by customers and peers. As one of his nominators says, “His knowledge of lifting applications and standards is the basis for presentations; however, his remarkable ability to present critical information in a very engaging manner is where he differentiates himself from other trainers. His level of experience in knowing and transferring this information in a memorable fashion is truly remarkable.  

William Elmore, who co-owns and is principal trainer at Alaska Crane Consultants, earned Top Trainer in the Professional category this year. He was nominated by Alaska Crane Consultants’ co-owner Teresa Elmore. She said, “Bill goes the extra mile to help his students become proficient in their knowledge of best crane, rigging, and signal person practices. He has a very welcoming personality and never meets a stranger. He can talk to anyone and soon have them responding in conversation.” Bill Elmore has been involved with crane operating, rigging, training, and safety for 46 years, including 18 years in safety/training for cranes and rigging. 

Corporate Honorable Mention went to Straightpoint’s Wayne Wille, who has 18 years of experience in crane and rigging training. He is also a member of the National Association of Tower Erectors, the Associated Wire Rope Federation, and the International Society of Weighing and Measurement. Wille keeps students engaged by using many tactics, such as moving around the room, changing tone and emotion, and asking questions. He also brings a case full of products and props to help give students visual demonstrations and hands-on experience. 

Professional Honorable Mention went to Yannick Morin of Kraning, who has been in the crane and rigging industry for many years. After becoming a professional engineer, Morin redirected his knowledge to teach and train, as well as to become a speaker and expert witness. Morin’s nominator says students appreciate his training style because he adapts and teaches in a way that is measurable and customized. Also, he affects the broader industry by speaking at conferences and by participating on numerous committees in the crane and rigging industry, to help raise quality standards. 

For information about how to nominate a candidate for the 2019 Top Trainer competition, visit

Trainers Honored for impacting Crane & Rigging Safety Culture

Patrick Clark, National Rental Support Manager for Lifting Gear Hire, and Jeffery Ellis, Instructor and Field Services Manager for Crane Tech LLC, have been named 2015 Top Trainers by the Association of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) and Crane & Rigging Hot Line.

Clark represents Corporate Trainers, who work for companies such as suppliers, dealers, contractors or rental companies, and who provide crane and rigging training to their customers and/or employees. Lifting Gear Hire, Bridgeview, Ill., is a national rental provider of rigging and material handling equipment.

Ellis represents Professional Trainers working for companies that are primarily engaged in training activities. Crane Tech, based in Brandon, Fla., has provided crane and rigging training since the 1970s. It is a full-service training, certification, lift planning, and inspections provider.

Endorsed by the ACRP, the 8th Annual Training Excellence Awards are supported by Platinum Sponsor Crane Institute Certification; Gold Sponsors Rigging Institute and Slingmax Rigging Products; Silver Sponsors Terex, Southwest Industrial Rigging, and Altec Sentry; and Bronze Sponsors Stephenson Equipment Inc. and Morrow; and Supporting Organization Institute for Safety and Health Management.

Commenting on the wide variety of nominations received from various sectors in the hoisting industry, Nelson Plumb of Crossland Construction and a member of the judging panel, said: “We need better trained people who are willing to be trained by the best trainers in order to meet the demand for skilled craft workers. There are a large number of men and women in the workforce who don’t realize they have the talent to become top trainers. Tapping into this resource may be the greatest challenge our industry faces today.”
Corporate Top Trainer

Patrick Clark
Patrick Clark

Clark was selected for his initiative in writing custom training programs for hundreds of rigging and material handling products that LGH offers, then using technology to expand the availability of that information. “There are any number of off-the-shelf programs Pat Clark could use in his rigging training. Instead he’s chosen to write his own program, tailored to the safety needs of his company’s employees and clients. He’s carried his efforts to the entire industry through his YouTube training video series,” commented one Top Trainer judge.


Professional Top Trainer

Jeff Ellis

Ellis was selected for repeatedly displaying care in improving the overall safety of a situation, even when correcting the condition of equipment, processes, or knowledge of employees not a part of his original task as a trainer. “Jeff Ellis’s knowledge and experience allow him to gain the trust and respect of people at all levels of organizations to impact positive changes, often beyond the scope of the training he was hired to do,” said one judge.

Judges evaluated each nomination on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of the following areas:

  • Use of innovative or hands-on instruction;
  • Encouraging peer or corporate accountability;
  • Evidence that training was successful; and
  • Overall impact on the students, environment, or industry.

Six other trainers received Honorable Mention recognition. Far more than a conciliatory prize, these individuals are excellent trainers, worthy of recognition.

Corporate Honorable Mention                                                 Professional Honorable Mention

Gary Campbell, Allegiance Crane & Equipment                   Carl Whitaker, Crane Institute of America

Bryan McClure, LPR Construction                                              Yannick Morin, KRANING Inc.

Al Abel, Mazzella Lifting Technologies                                     John Mormann, Southern Illinois Carpenters Training Center


Clark and Ellis will receive complimentary registration and travel expenses to the 2016 ACRP General Assembly to be held May 10-13 in Chattanooga, Tenn., where they will be presented with a trophy during an awards ceremony. They will also be granted $2000 scholarships, made possible through funding provided by the 2015 sponsors. All of those recognized receive free registration to a future Crane & Rigging Conference hosted by Crane & Rigging Hot Line.


2016 Top Trainer

Nominations can be made year round at The first 30 individuals making a nomination will receive a 2016 Hot Line Crane Guide. Nominations received after July 31 will be considered for the following year’s Top Trainer award. Learn more at


About the Companies

Since 1997, Crane & Rigging Hot Line has been the leading national marketplace for the crane industry. Published monthly, the magazine offers readers a broad mix of topics related to current issues, new products, and job applications. It is read by more than 80,000 crane and rigging professionals in heavy construction, specialty trades, crane and heavy equipment rental, mining, manufacturing, and equipment sales.


Association of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) is a non-profit association whose mission is dedicated to improving crane operations and rigging activities in all industries. This is accomplished by providing educational opportunities to its members and the public. The association holds an annual General Assembly meeting. ACRP works to develop national quality standards for the training and qualification process of crane oper­ators and riggers.

The 2014 Top Trainers are Chosen

December 8, 2014 Crane & Rigging Hot Line and the Association of Crane & Rigging Professionals (ACRP) congratulate Nelson Plumb, operator, trainer, and lifting and rigging advisor for Crossland Construction Co., Columbus, Kan., and Sam Smith, training manager for North American Crane Bureau, Lake Mary, Fla., the 2014 Top Trainers. Nominated by Clay Kubicek, Plumb won in the Corporate Category, while Smith won in the Professional Category. He was nominated by Joe Crispell, executive vice president. Continue reading The 2014 Top Trainers are Chosen

Dutton, Alverio Named Top Trainers for 2013

November 4, 2013 – Crane & Rigging Hot Line announces the winners for the 2013 Top Trainer Awards. William “Hank” Dutton, senior technical specialist for Travelers Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn., has been named the 2013 Top Trainer in the Corporate Category, and Angelo Alverio, senior instructor/inspector for Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau, Orlando, Fla., is the 2013 Top Trainer in the Professional Category. Read more about the winners in the November 2013 issue of Crane & Rigging Hot Line. Continue reading Dutton, Alverio Named Top Trainers for 2013