This Issue’s Git ‘Er Done Award
Normally GMT features one person in the Git ‘Er Done series. However, Matt and Barbara Kannegaard are a team, and it would be nonsensical to recognize one without the other.
What is clear is that the husband and wife duo believe in community growth. It is evident through the projects they work on as business owners, as well as the time they devote to community projects outside of work.
If you are a local, you probably recognize Matt and Barbara’s (better known as Barb) familiar faces. Barb is a Miami native, and Matt might as well be, considering the two were high school sweethearts.
The two are also the faces of RAM Specialists, LLC, along with their son Luke, their design and engineering support. Barb manages the office and Matt manages operations. RAM stands for Rural Arizona Maintenance Specialists; it’s a business that they began in 1994. Providing their labor and equipment to various local industries, they specialize in a bit of everything: welding, rigging, crane services, home repairs and building fences, to name a few. They also tear down, refurbish, reassemble, pack and ship new or used mining equipment, using a 17.5-ton lift truck to do so.
Sometimes that means fulfilling special needs jobs at reduced rates. If someone asks if RAM can bring a crane, they’ve shown up with one, even on short notice.
“We go just about anywhere and do just about anything,” they agree.
They have installed sports lighting at the Pinal Little League Field. They worked on sewer treatment for both the City of Globe and Superior. They have used their crane to lift air conditioning units for the likes of Circle K, Hollis Cinema and Apache Gold Casino. (To their knowledge, they’re the only crane company in town.) In 2012, the RAM crew moved the Arizona Silver Belt’s old linotype, a massive relic dating back to the ‘30s, to Bullion Plaza Museum. They also painted the exterior later that year.
After many years spent as a tramp miner, working at the Centennial Development in Utah to the Magma Superior and Magma San Manuel Copper mines here in Arizona, Matt eventually saw a niche to move and rebuild mine equipment. In 1994, Matt mortgaged his and Barb’s house, placed a sealed bid at auction, and bought the building that is now RAM headquarters. Initially, the business was RAM Engineering; in 2000, it was renamed RAM Specialists.
Matt insists that Barb’s favorite hobby is work. However, even outside of work, the two make it a point to help out in the community.
Matt had been involved in Boomtown Spree, Miami’s historic mining competition, for 20-plus years. Using his mining connections, he was able to pull in yearly sponsor funds for the event. He also helped coordinate the event alongside others.
“”I was everything from the lowly helper to the president,” he says. “We poured our hearts into it.”
Unfortunately, Boomtown Spree has been waning in recent years, primarily because of lack of volunteers.
This year, Matt and Barb were volunteers at the Backhoe Rodeo, an event they have volunteered for in the last three years. The event is sponsored by the Copper Cities and Globe Rotary clubs. The morning of this year’s rodeo, Barb was working the concession while Matt and Luke were organizing the activities and mapping out the courses. Along with United Rental, Volvo, and Empire Cat, RAM Specialists also lent their equipment to the cause, including their John Deere Skid Steer.
Matt has been a member of the Miami Copper Cities Rotary Club since 1996, and has held almost every position, including former president, while Barb has been an honorary member for the last 10 years.
“Rotary just instills social-mindedness into you,” Matt says.
Both Matt, as well as Luke, serve on the Bullion Plaza Museum Board of Directors.
Meanwhile, Barb was president of the band booster club of the Miami High School Band, and now currently serves as president of the Miami Friends of the Library group.
In sum, “We all pitch in and do things,” Barb says.
Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.