Landscape people: OPEI appoints new director of standards

Michael RossMichael Ross

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has appointed Michael Ross as director of standards.

In addition to his general standards work, said Kris Kiser, president and chief executive of OPEI, Ross has both national and international experience in electrical outdoor power equipment.

Ross will be involved with electrical product standards development with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). He also will communicate with key regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Energy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, while monitoring regulatory issues on behalf of OPEI. He will also serve as staff executive for the organization’s Electric Products Committee.

Kiser said Ross’s experience made him an ideal candidate for the OPEI position. Among previous positions, Ross worked as a regulatory engineer for handheld lawn and garden equipment for MTD Southwest Inc. He has engineering expertise in mechanics, dynamics, hydraulics, electrical, CAD design and manufacturing.

Kiser noted that standards and regulations work is ongoing and of high importance to OPEI members.

New Holland names brand marketing communications manager

New Holland recently named Francesca Vaughn as its new brand marketing communications manager. Vaughn brings more than 15 years of marketing experience to the organization and will be responsible for overall brand, product segment and channel marketing communications, in addition to management of creative agencies and vendors in North America.

Francesca VaughnFrancesca Vaughn

“We’re very excited for the level of expertise which Francesca brings to our organization”, said Chun Woytera, senior director of marketing. Vaughn earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Immaculata University. She served most recently as marketing communications manager at CertainTeed Corp. and also has marketing communications and product marketing experience with Armstrong World Industries.

Landscape contractors know New Holland for its small tractors, skid steer and compact track loaders, compact wheel loaders, and mini excavators. The company also makes a full line of agricultural equipment.

PBI-Gordon’s Loecke takes on new role

PBI-Gordon Corp. has appointed Dave Loecke to the position of market development manager for turf and ornamental products.

Dave LoeckeDave Loecke

Loecke has been with PBI-Gordon for 15 years, serving most recently as herbicide product manager. “Dave has been essential to the success of our herbicide line,” says Doug Obermann, PBI-Gordon vice president of professional and agricultural sales. “With his knowledge of the industry and dedication to our vendors and customers, I’m confident he will excel in his new role.”

Loecke called the new position “an exciting opportunity,” noting that PBI-Gordon has a number of new products “coming down the line for turf and ornamentals,

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, PBI-Gordon makes a full line of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, growth regulators and other products. The company is 100 percent employee-owned.

Loftness names new Eastern U.S. territory manager

Blake Eavenson has joined Loftness Specialized Equipment as territory manager for the Eastern United States. He will concentrate on growing the VMLogix line of products, including the Carbide Cutter G4 rotary drum mulching attachment, Kwik-Trim mechanical trimmer and other vegetation management equipment. He will also focus strongly on dealer development for those products.

Blake EavensonBlake Eavenson

Eavenson has extensive experience within the industry, including customer relations, territory management and business development with vegetation management equipment and construction equipment. He was most recently a regional business manager for Takeuchi Manufacturing. Eavenson has a sales and business marketing degree with a minor in general business from Western Michigan University.

“Blake brings an excellent hands-on working knowledge of the types of products we offer,” said Lynn Ziegler, Loftness’ vice president of sales and marketing. “He also has great contacts within the industry …”

In addition to its VMLogix line, Loftness manufactures the SnowLogix line of snow blower attachments, the GrainLogix line of grain-bagging equipment, the CropLogix line of crop residue equipment, and the FertiLogix line of fertilizer handling equipment.

TBEI taps new general manager for Lake Crystal facility

Steve HueserSteve Hueser

Truck Bodies & Equipment International Inc. (TBEI) recently announced the hiring of Steve Hueser as general manager of the company’s plant in Lake Crystal, Minnesota. Hueser will be in charge of all operations for the plant, which produces the Crysteel, J-Craft and Ox SuperDump brands of products.

“Steve’s proven leadership abilities with companies such as Caterpillar and Terex make him a tremendous asset to our already outstanding management team at TBEI,” said the company’s president and CEO, Bob Fines.

Hueser comes to TBEI with over 26 years of leadership experience in production, engineering, sales and marketing, most recently as general manager at ESCO in Portland, Oregon, where he managed operations at four global facilities.

Chapel Valley Landscape hires 1, promotes 2

Bonnie SzaboBonnie Szabo

Chapel Valley Landscape Co. in Woodbine, Maryland, announced recently the appointment of a new chief financial officer, Bonnie Szabo, as well as the promotion of two employees, Jennifer Giunta and Jill Hartkopf.

Chapel Valley provides landscaping services in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.

Szabo brings a wealth of accounting and leadership experience to Chapel Valley, having worked in finance in the private equity sector as well with Greystone Corp. and Wachovia Bank.

She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from George Washington University and earned her master’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland.

Jennifer GiuntaJennifer Giunta

Giunta, meanwhile, has been promoted to market development manager. In her previous role, she oversaw Chapel Valley’s most profitable maintenance branch in Alexandria, Virginia.

The company’s news release on her promotion cites Giunta’s exceptional track record in both sales and operations. In her new position, she will oversee sales in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia. Giunta graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in horticulture and earned her MBA from the Universite Institute of Finance and Management.

Finally, Chapel Valley has promoted Hartkopf to branch manager. She will oversee the company’s branch in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jill HartkopfJill Hartkopf

Hartkopf joined Chapel Valley in December of last year as a property manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from West Virginia University and practiced for several years before joining the landscape company.

“All three individuals are huge assets to our company, with resumes of experience that can’t be topped,” said James Reeve, Chapel Valley’s CEO. “Each of them will play an important role to help achieve our vision for new growth and sustainability.”

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