on Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Stotz Equipment proudly announces the induction of Ferenc and Tom Rosztoczy into the 2024 Farm Equipment Dealer Hall of Fame!
The Stotz Equipment community is proud and honored by this selection. We are grateful for the many other leaders that have shaped such an excellent industry.
Farm Equipment Magazine on the Inaugural Selection of Hall of Fame Inductees:
"The first-ever class of inductees left a legacy of excellence for today’s — & tomorrow’s — industry leaders
Last year, we announced a new recognition program to chronicle North America’s finest dealer professionals. With each passing year, more leaders leave us (including one the same week as his selection in Derek Stimson), and the Farm Equipment team agreed it was time to document the stories of our industry’s “greats” — before they were relegated merely to oral history, lore and tribal knowledge."
Teddy, Rob, Ferenc, Tom, Joey, and Madison Rosztoczy
Farm Equipment Magazine's feature on the the life, leadership, and work of Ferenc & Tom Rosztoczy:
"The late Ferenc Rosztoczy never considered that his professional calling would come in farm equipment. In fact, he earned a doctorate in chemistry and initially worked in a number of large labs doing high-level research. His son, Tom Rosztoczy, president of Stotz Equipment, says his dad’s entrance to the ag space was one of many big life decisions made over the course of his life.
The first was to flee Hungary when he was 24 years old. “In 1956, the Hungarians attempted to overthrow their Russian occupiers and become a free country,” notes Tom Rosztoczy. “The Russians quickly crushed the rebellion, causing a number of Hungarians to attempt to escape. Ferenc managed to escape, along with his brother and 5 friends. In January 1957, the group, which spoke no English, arrived in the U.S. penniless.
“That’s a big life decision,” says Rosztoczy. “He later left a chemistry career to come down here and run this business. That’s a big major life change.”
Rosztoczy recalls hearing his dad explain to others about how he went about those decisions and the consequences. “It was interesting that his answer was, ‘I just tried to make the best decision I could at the time. And then once I’d made that decision, I did everything I could to make sure that I had made the right decision.’ So it wasn’t necessarily a ‘burn the boats’ approach, but it also wasn’t a whole lot different than that.”
As Rosztoczy puts it, Ferenc was going to work his tail off to make sure the decision he made was the right one. He ended up running a John Deere dealership thanks to the family ties of his wife, Diane. Her father, Fred Elder, founded Arizona Machinery (the predecessor of Stotz Equipment) in 1947. When Fred passed away in 1975, the family asked Ferenc to step in as president. Despite knowing nothing about the farm machinery business, he agreed to move his family to Arizona from the San Francisco Bay area.
“He didn’t know anything about farm equipment or farming or John Deere, or running a small business,” Rosztoczy says. “He was a scientist who had been managing research projects. So he had managed people and he was very comfortable in doing so. His perspective was ‘managing people is managing people’ — regardless of the business.”
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