Landscape people: Ruppert Landscape names chief financial officer

James ThompsonJames Thompson

Ruppert Landscape recently named James Thompson, who has more than 20 years of finance, accounting and treasury experience, to the position of chief financial officer.

Thompson has worked previously in both the landscaping and construction industries, as well as with security and hotel companies. For the past eight years, he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as vice president of global finance, accounting, treasury and purchasing for United States Pharmacopeia in Rockville, Maryland.

“Following the transition of former CFO Tom Barry to oversee of our Landscape Management Division, we began a thorough search for our new CFO,” said Phil Key, president of Ruppert. “One of the key things that drew us to James was his desire to function more in the capacity of an operational CFO – meaning he intends to not only look at the numbers but also at how our systems and processes, efficiencies and inefficiencies impact our operations. To that end, he’ll spend much of his first few months immersing himself in our processes and operations to learn about Ruppert from the ground up.”

Thompson will oversee both the accounting and information technology departments at Ruppert, a family and employee-owned business.

A native of Texas, Thompson is a Certified Public Accountant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and an MBA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Ruppert Landscape provides commercial landscape construction and management services from its 19 branches. The company serves eight primary markets: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and Houston.

Altoz CEO wins Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Dennis Brazier, founder and chief executive of Central Boiler and its sister company, Altoz, in Greenbush, Minnesota, was among the winners of EY’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the Upper Midwest.

altoz-logoWinners in the awards program – now in its 30th year – were selected by an independent panel of judges made up of previous winners of the award, leading CEOs, private capital investors and other regional business leaders. The winners were unveiled at a black-tie awards gala on June 9 at the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America.

“EY has had a tremendous history in honoring outstanding entrepreneurs during the past 30 years,” said Todd Papa, EY Entrepreneur of the Year program director for the Upper Midwest. “This year’s winners have not only taken their companies to the top, but they have also acted as mentors to their employees and made impressive contributions to their communities.”

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year national program.

Altoz is a manufacturer of zero-turn mowers for both lawn-care professionals and the retail market.

Heads Up Landscaping promotes 5, hires 2

Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Heads Up Landscaping has promoted several employees across departments. The company has also hired two new employees for its Santa Fe branch.

Josue Leon has been promoted to project technician and Austin Smith to senior landscape technician. Jesus Rosales is now a crew leader trainee, while Trinidad Diaz has been promoted to crew leader. Adan Gomez is now a senior landscape technician.

Jorge Mata and Feliza ShieldsJorge Mata and Feliza Shields

Heads Up also announced the hiring of Feliza Shields as a business development staff member in the Santa Fe branch. Before joining the landscaping company, Shields spent 16 years in various multi-family property management positions in Albuquerque.

Jorge Mata has been hired as an account manager in the Santa Fe branch. Before joining Heads Up, Mata worked in Albuquerque at A Better Way of Living, providing direct support to adults with disabilities.

Heads Up Landscaping was founded in 1973 by Gary Mallory as a two-man residential lawn sprinkler service. Forty-three years later, Heads Up designs, installs and maintains commercial and residential landscapes and is a national leader in xeriscape design and installation.

TBEI welcomes Jason Stansbury as territory manager

Truck Bodies & Equipment International Inc. (TBEI) recently appointed Jason Stansbury central territory manager for TBEI’s Crysteel, DuraClass and Rugby brands.

Jason StansburyJason Stansbury

Stansbury has extensive experience in the industry, starting as office manager at the United Rentals location in Jefferson City, Missouri. He then moved to Knapheide as logistics manager, where he expanded his expertise by becoming the manager of multiple departments at two locations, including the parts department, production/installation scheduling, inventory and transportation. Most recently, Stansbury served as general manager of the Palfleet-Council Bluffs location.

Stansbury earned his bachelor’s degree and an MBA at Columbia College.

As central territory manager, Stansbury will cover the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Morbark president named Michigan Manufacturer of the Year

Morbark LLC President James W. Shoemaker Jr., has been named the 2016 recipient of the John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award recipient for large tier companies. The award is presented by the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

Now in its 35th year, the awards program recognizes manufacturers for their dedication to community service, issue advocacy and their role as a symbol of the positive work being done by the manufacturing industry.

“I’m deeply honored,” said Shoemaker. “More importantly, this award really belongs to the great team here at Morbark who are truly committed to what we do.”

Jim ShoemakerJim Shoemaker

Shoemaker joined Morbark in 2003 as director of operations before being promoted to vice president of operations. He was named president of the company in 2011.

“Jim Shoemaker is a great example of what it means to be a Michigan manufacturer, and he has helped position Morbark LLC, as a top manufacturer in the state,” said Chuck Hadden, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

The association’s large tier category award is presented to a company with 200 or more employees.

Morbark is based in Winn, Michigan, and manufactures equipment for forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill and biomass markets. In March, the company was acquired by an affiliate of Stellex Capital Management, a private equity firm.

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