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Marcel Payeur – “Having Fun”

After more than half a century in the logging industry, Marcel Payeur, Quadco Group Sales Specialist and former Southstar owner, is retiring. Read on to learn about his lengthy career, accomplishments, and business motto.

With a career in forestry that has spanned more than five decades, Marcel Payeur has dedicated his life to reinventing, improving, and pioneering innovation in forestry attachments. Since he plans to retire this year, there is no better time to look back at his many accomplishments with Skylead, Southstar, and Quadco Group.

Marcel’s career began in 1967 when he took a job as a mechanic with Timberjack, a forestry manufacturing company based in Ontario. After growing up in a logging town, Marcel became interested in logging equipment mechanics at a young age. After spending some time working as a field mechanic and parts man, Marcel moved into sales and later into management. When the time was right, Marcel made the decision to take his skills and venture out on his own.

In 1981, he opened a parts supply business based in Vernon, BC, which sold logging equipment parts. As the company grew, it acquired Hyundai, Volvo and Tigercat logging equipment. Marcel was also responsible for developing the Skylead, a small skidder mounted yarder that is ideal for smaller timber. The design remains in use today.

In 2004, Marcel felt that he had reached the conclusion of this chapter in his career, and made plans to retire from the industry. He soon realized that he wasn’t quite done with logging and, in semi-retirement, remained open to the right opportunity that would bring him back into the fold. That opportunity came in 2011 when Southstar, a New Zealand-based attachments manufacturing company, went up for sale.

Together with four former employees turned business partners, Marcel and his team purchased Southstar. They were joined by a New Zealender who had been a part of the company since its inception, bringing his invaluable product expertise to the table. They began manufacturing in New Zealand and Canada, and forged plans to expand Southstar’s presence in the Western North American market.

Because the company was still operating on a relatively small scale, Marcel and his team were able to make innovative changes at an accelerated pace. During Marcel’s time with Southstar, the company developed hose-through design and four wheel drive, and was the first to introduce multi-stemming. They were also pioneers as the first to offer all three model types in grapple processor design. Looking back, Marcel is exceptionally proud to have been a part of a team that worked to take its products to the next level, focusing on innovation and improvement above all else throughout their tenure as company owners.

Southstar’s growth soon began to outpace its market presence, and Marcel and his partners began to look for an opportunity to sell. From the start, Southstar has proudly taken loggers’ concerns into consideration, making changes that reflect real-time needs and are based on customer feedback from the field. Because Southstar operated from this ideal, Marcel looked to Quadco when it came time to sell. He and his partners wanted to choose a company that could not only sustain Southstar’s growth, but accelerate it–opening Southstar’s products up to markets for distribution across the globe. As a company with a worldwide reputation for excellence, Marcel knew that Quadco was the right choice.

After the sale in April of 2016, Marcel went on to work with Quadco for five years as a part of the Sales Team, choosing to remain in the industry with a company that always asks the question, “What can we do to be better?” After such an impressive tenure, Marcel is proud to have worked with so many skilled and committed loggers around the world. In both stressful and fruitful times, Marcel has remained dedicated to his email sign-off and mantra: “Having fun.” Because, he says, “Through it all, it was fun.”

After a fulfilling, challenging, and exciting career, Marcel looks ahead to the peaceful days of retirement, where he plans to hike, skii, and spend time with his five grandchildren. And although he is retiring, he doesn’t expect to be far from the industry–look for him in the Quadco booth once logging shows resume!