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Crane Hot Line

Top Trainer Al Abel Retires After 27 Years with Mazzella

June 16, 2022 - Al Abel, a winner of the Corporate Top Trainer Award from Crane Hot Line magazine, has retired after 27 years as a as a lifting specialist with Mazzella Companies.

Abel’s long career with Mazzella followed his equally successful career as a schoolteacher.

Abel was nominated and awarded 2018’s Corporate Top Trainer award by Crane Hot Line.

The Top Trainer program, endorsed by the Association of Crane and Rigging Professionals (ACRP), honors 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 impact on students, the industry, or the environment.

“Al was a multi-time Top Trainer, but more importantly, was a great person and an asset to our company,” said Mazzella Companies CEO Tony Mazzella. “He brought energy and excitement to our training sessions to help attendees find a comfort level with the information, always represented the organization in a professional manner, and went above and beyond to make sure people were making safe overhead lifts. While we will miss Al, we are grateful for his contributions to our team, and wish him a happy retirement.”

Since the Top Trainer program began 15 years ago, Abel was a perennial nominee and five-time runner-up. He started at Mazzella Companies in 1995 and was instrumental in developing and growing the company’s training programs, and mentoring other trainers in the organization.

Training and preparing the current and next generation for properly doing their work was something that came natural to Abel, as evidenced by his 25-year teaching career within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District before joining Mazzella Companies.

Abel taught high-school students, and while other teachers experienced attendance issues, he did not. In fact, students routinely said they came to school to attend Mr. Abel’s classes. That same kind of spirit followed Abel to Mazzella Companies.

“It was quite informative,” a training attendee said. “I actually took notes.”

Another added, “This was actually one of the best training sessions that I have been to. The trainer was so enthusiastic, yet practical in how our learning was to be applied. The training was made relevant to everyone. You also knew that the trainer knew what he was talking about from his own experiences.”

Said another, “I really appreciated and enjoyed how the trainer got everyone involved. Also, his examples made the information apply personally to everyone. They were new, not the same old every-day life examples. He kept our attention, and I took a lot of notes. He made the material very interesting to learn.”

Abel was active in the lifting and rigging industry — frequently speaking at industry conferences about risk and lift planning. He also contributed articles to industry publications and appeared as a guest on the Portage County Safety Council’s podcast.

Civic minded, Abel was always willing to help in the local community — as he took on the role of organizing quarterly Red Cross blood drives at Mazzella Companies, and continues volunteering at his church and at local fundraising events.

In retirement, Abel plans on spending more time playing golf, travelling, and enjoying family events with his children and grandchildren.


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.