Tuscola Stone Company has mined stone in Illinois for 50 years and was recognized in December by the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers with the Industry Leadership Award.
IAAP President, Jack Keeler, said, “This company realizes how important it is for the public to understand what the industry does, and the benefits mining provides to communities.”
The quarry hosts students, teachers, community groups and elected officials serving East-Central Illinois to learn more about mining and what is going on beyond the fence. For their ongoing efforts, mine employees receive a Community Relations award, a Rock Solid Safety award and the IAAP’s recognition each year.
Tuscola Stone mines a geological anomaly that attracts the attention of researchers from universities all across the Midwest as well as a television production by the History Channel titled, “How the Earth Was Made; America’s Ice Age.”
The company’s manager, Alan Shoemaker, chaired the IAAP’s Safety Committee for five years and helped refine and create many of the member recognition awards, including this one. Over the years he has actively served on numerous member committees and volunteers for activities like the IAAP’s Rocks, Minerals & Mining workshop for Illinois teachers. Tuscola Stone sponsors area teachers to attend this professional development workshop each year.
“This is the top achievement a company can receive from the IAAP and it is a great honor to be recognized by our peers,” said Alan Shoemaker. “I am surprised and humbled by the Association acknowledging me and the company for our leadership. Success comes from teamwork – the owners, management, and all our employees. Without their support and hard work, this could not have been achieved. I am so proud of everyone!”
Alan Shoemaker understands how government officials make decisions and has participated in the IAAP’s lobby days at the Capitol in Springfield and kept his legislators informed about the importance of passing the capital infrastructure bill in 2019. He continues to participate in key meetings regarding legislation that affects the industry. But for him this is more than just advocating for the mining industry, for the past ten years he has served as a city council member working to address community concerns. Alan is the current president of the Tuscola Community Foundation and past president of the local chapters of Kiwanis and the Rotary Club.
Shoemaker began his mining career more than forty-five years ago in 1976 as an underground, union coal miner in Murdock, Illinois. He later managed a coal mine, but soon after passage of the Clean Air Act began to affect coal mining in Illinois, he moved to surface aggregate mining working in management roles for Vulcan Materials Company in northern Illinois. In 2007, the owners of Tuscola Stone hired him to manage the quarry in Tuscola.
IAAP Executive Director, Dan Eichholz commented, “Alan Shoemaker stands out as an inspiration to everyone in the mining industry.”
He remains a long-time IAAP Board member, currently serving as Vice-President, and in December of 2022 will begin serving as the IAAP’s president.
The Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers is the trade association serving the aggregate and industrial mineral mining industry in Illinois for more than fifty years.