It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and customer advocate-in-chief Kevin W. Bien. Kevin died peacefully, surrounded by his wife and four daughters, on Thursday, June 2nd succumbing to a short, but hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 63 years old.
Kevin’s highly successful career began in June, 1975 with the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company after he graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater with a degree in Marketing. Region manager, M.C. Hardy said of Kevin, “I spent approximately two hours with Mr. Bien and was very impressed with his personality, intelligence and aggressiveness. There is no question in my mind that he would make a good employee of the agricultural division.” Mr. Hardy was a good judge of talent and character as these traits would distinguish Kevin throughout his life. Kevin also served in both the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of second lieutenant, and the Army Reserves.
One of 35 employees selected by AGCO founder Robert J. Ratliff to form AGCO Corporation in 1990, Kevin held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing over the next 25 five years. Leveraging his vast industry experience, product knowledge and passion, Kevin was given the most challenging assignments, including introducing the Fendt brand of tractors to North American farmers. Later, he led the resurgence of his beloved Gleaner combine brand, earning several industry awards in the process. Earlier this year, Kevin was inducted into the U.S. Custom Harvesters Hall of Fame.
As much as Kevin was respected for his professional achievements, it was devotion to faith, family and friends that mattered most to Kevin. Kevin was always there for us all – maybe some advice or encouragement, but always a laugh or a hug when needed most. And certainly his beloved dealers and customers meant a great deal to him, many of whom he had relationships with for decades.
Kevin is survived by his wife of 40 years, Judy; daughters, Kimberly, Melissa, Tamara and Meggan, and eight grandchildren. Papa, as he was known to his grandchildren, enjoyed traveling, collecting western art, his Penn State Nittany Lions and his weekly get-togethers with retired AGCO employees. Kevin was also a long-standing and faithful member of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Alpharetta, GA.
Funeral services for Kevin will be held at St. Brigid Catholic Church, 3400 Old Alabama Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022 on Thursday, June 16 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will be held at St. Ives Country Club, 1 St. Ives Country Club Drive, Johns Creek, GA 30097 immediately following the service.