News from around the Green industry

Proffitts Opens Second Location

Proffitts Lawn & Leisure has opened a second location in Amarillo, Texas. The new building measures 18,000 square feet, and the grand opening will be March 1. The company has been family owned since 1970.

Bonita Bay Forms Low Impact Design Team

Bonita Bay Group, based in Bonita Springs, Fla., has created a low-impact design team to share information and develop innovative techniques that will enhance existing environmental practices and programs while identifying new ideas for responsible land use. The group of experts consists of environmental engineers, ecological consultants, South Florida Water Management District, Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah and a multidisciplinary team from Bonita Bay Group.

PacLease Announces Three New Locations

PACCAR Leasing Co. continues its expansion with the addition of three new full-service lease locations in Knoxville, Tenn.; Ringgold, Ga.; and Piedmont, S.C. The new locations are operated by Arscott PacLease, which also has locations in Baltimore, Md., and Richmond, Va.

New Management & Logo for Belvedere

Signature Golf Group was named as the management company for Belvedere Plantation Country Club, just outside of Topsail Beach, N.C. The facility was purchased, with the majority owners being brothers John and Randy Long.

Signature worked in conjunction with 90 Degree Design to create a new logo and brand for Belvedere.

Ausley Receives Exmark Award

Lawnmower manufacturer Exmark has selected Diane Ausley of Waukesha-Pearce Industries as the winner of its 2007 Extreme Cup, awarded annually to the most outstanding manager or parts department of an Exmark distributor.

Ausley is the parts manager for WPI branch 25 in Houston, Texas, and was nominated by Anthony Rowell, Exmark’s regional sales manager. WPI is a global designer and packager of engine-driven equipment.

Hustler Breaks Ground for Expansion

Hustler Turf Equipment has broken ground in Hesston, Kan., to begin construction on a 55,000-square-foot expansion. The project, expected to be completed by July 2008, will allow for additional production space, a new shipping dock dedicated to outbound finished goods, restrooms, offices and a new employee break room/meeting room.

Jacobsen Supports High School Turf Management Programs

Jacobsen, headquarted in Charlotte, N.C.,  recently opened its doors to local high school students studying turf management in a program designed to prepare them for career opportunities. Jacobsen’s management team gave the students a guided tour of its headquarters and manufacturing plant.

The students from Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, S.C., are majoring in golf course management, one of a few public high school programs designed to teach the skills needed for success in the turf industry.

Nation Ford’s agriscience program, created and headed by agricultural educator Jacques LeCour, is designed to give students a jump-start on a career by teaching them the skills and work ethic to start a job right out of high school or pursue higher education.

Key Joins SubAir

Brian Key has joined SubAir Systems as an agronomist and golf project manager. He will assist in all stages of the golf project—planning, installation and customer service. He will also assist SubAir engineers, leading projects on research greens at their office and production facility in South Carolina.

Key is a graduate of Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Ga. He has worked in environmental horticulture for more than fifteen years. Prior to joining SubAir, Key was the director of golf at Swainsboro Golf and Country Club.

Smiths Wins Award as Shindaiwa’s Top Distributor

Smiths South-Central Sales of Springhill, La., won Shindaiwa’s Ichiban award for best distributor worldwide for 2007. Ichiban is the Japanese word for “Number One.” The award was announced at Shindaiwa’s distributor meeting in Louisville, Ky. Accepting the award for Smiths were President and Founder Billy Smith and Vice President Robert Smith.

Smiths employs 30 people and distributes Shindaiwa throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and eastern Texas.

Shindaiwa presents the Ichiban award annually. Distributors compete in several categories, including achieving a minimum sales threshold, exceeding previous year’s sales, meeting sales targets, and improving service levels. The top distributors receive the designation of Samurai and are awarded a Japanese katana (sword) and a check for $2,500.

The Ichiban distributor is selected from among the Samurai, based on customer service excellence; creative dealer merchandising and booking programs; effective co-op and sales program participation; proactive technical service and warranty control; ongoing dealer training and development; dealer base growth; and incremental sales growth. The Ichiban is awarded a Japanese kabuto (warrior helmet) and an additional check for $7,500.

Corona Clipper and PLANET Join Forces

The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and Corona Clipper, Inc. have teamed up to create a training manual and DVD about pruning trees and shrubs. The techniques demonstrated will mirror skills required to receive PLANET’s nationally recognized Certified Landscape Technician designation.

Available in Spanish and English, the DVD focuses on shrubs and trees less than 15 feet tall, demonstrating specific pruning techniques with an emphasis on safety. The accompanying manual will include content-related questions, enabling companies to test an employee’s knowledge.

Saint-Gobain Plants Honored for Safety

Twenty-two CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics manufacturing sites in the United States recently received awards for safety performance in 2006 from The Society of the Plastics Industry’s (SPI) Occupational Health and Environmental Issues Committee.

The Distinguished Safety Award recognized sites without an OSHA recordable injury or illness. These were Saint-Gobain plants in Beaverton, Mich.; Clearwater, Fla.; Mickleton, N.J.; Poestenkill, N.Y.; Seattle, Wash.; and Taunton and Worcester, Mass.

The SPI Achievement Award was earned by Saint-Gobain plants in Bridgewater, N.J.; Elk Grove, Ill.; Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; Garden Grove, Calif.; and Ravenna, Ohio, for operating without an injury or illness resulting in lost time or restricted work activity.

The Saint-Gobain facility in Bristol, R.I., and the CertainTeed facility in Social Circle, Ga., were honored with an Award of Merit for having a days-away-from-work, days of restricted activity or job transfer (DART) rate lower than the national average and a DART rate reduction of at least 20 percent.

Three Saint-Gobain plants (in Granville, N.Y.; Portage, Wis.; and Wayne, N.J.) and five CertainTeed facilities (in Buffalo, N.Y.; Jackson, Mich.; Lodi, Calif.; Waco, Texas; and Williamsport, Md.) received a Special Recognition Award for having safety performance better than the national average.

Ryan Lewis

Scotts Co. Promotes Lewis

Ryan Lewis has been promoted to the position of product manager for water soluble fertilizers for The Scotts Co.

Based in Marysville, Ohio, Lewis is responsible for all water soluble fertilizer product lines. Lewis started with Scotts in June 2006 as an assistant marketing manager for the Professional Business Group.

Prior to his tenure with Scotts, Lewis served as an assistant product manager for Union Tools, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. He also served as a marketing assistant for Ohio State University’s Department of Athletics in Columbus. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.

LidoChem Expands into Southeast

LidoChem, Inc.’s Performance Nutrition Division has expanded into the southeast turf and ornamentals markets with its line of agricultural, turf and ornamental fertility and disease control products. To support this new stage of growth, LidoChem has announced the addition of Glen Thompson as southeast regional sales manager for the turf and ornamental markets. He will be responsible for managing product sales for golf courses and sports turf management, and expanding the company’s network of local dealers throughout the Southeast.

Thompson is a graduate of the Lake City Turf Management Program and has served as an assistant superintendent at various golf courses in the Carolinas. He spent several years selling fertilizer products for dealers in the Florida markets. Most recently he owned and operated a local fertilizer distribution company.

Weathermatic Acquires Ecologic

Weathermatic has acquired Ecologic, developer of the RainBrain line of rain and rain/freeze sensors.

Ecologic’s manufacturing operations will move into the Weathermatic production facility in Dallas, Texas. Ecologic founder Dave Klever will oversee the transition.

Weathermatic has manufactured landscape irrigation equipment since the 1940s and was the first company to introduce a rain sensor in the 1970s.

Klever has developed sensor products for the irrigation industry for more than 20 years. Prior to founding Ecologic, he designed rain sensors for Glen-Hilton Products.

Eagle Point Adds Job Board

Eagle Point Software Corp. announced the addition of a job board to its newest business service, Eagle Point Exchange.

This service is an on-line business community dedicated to civil engineering, land surveying and landscape architecture firms. Initially, it includes access to resources that help owners manage workload, such as a job board and Contract Connections. The exchange will evolve to provide educational materials, business templates, and connections to others in the industry to help business owners manage their organizations effectively and efficiently.

TeeJet Alerts Users of Update

TeeJet Technologies sells and supports GPS receivers using the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), the United States’ free DGPS correction system.

The WAAS signal is transmitted by geostationary satellites that are independent of the GPS satellite system. Two of these satellites (referred to as PRN 122 and PRN 134) were decommissioned in July 2007, and once they ceased broadcasting correction signals, PRN 135 and PRN 138 became the only active WAAS satellites available. Many GPS receivers that have been shipped over the past five years will need a configuration change in order to continue receiving the WAAS correction signal from the new satellites.

TeeJet will be exhibiting at a variety of trade shows, and GPS receivers can be brought to shows for free upgrades to any affected products. For more information visit

Scotts Co. Announces New Global Structure

The Scotts Co. has announced a new organizational structure for its Professional Business Group, which markets fertilizers, plant protection products and agriculture products. According to Claude Lopez, senior vice president, international, the realignment is intended to leverage the company’s worldwide presence.

Fred Bosch has been named vice president, global professional, and will be responsible for developing a long-term business plan for that division. He will also lead the International and North America Professional businesses.

Korbin Riley has been named vice president, Global Professional Grass Seed and Emerging Markets and is tasked with leveraging Scotts’ recent investment in grass seed operations on a more global basis. He will also focus on expanding the company’s Professional and Consumer businesses into emerging markets throughout the Asia/Pacific region, Latin America and other world regions. Fidel Quinones, director of the Latin America division, will now report to Riley.

Thomas Appoints Etholm President & CEO

Thomas Equipment, Inc. has hired Petter M. Etholm as president and chief executive officer, and he was appointed to the board of directors. He succeeds Michael Luther, who will remain with Thomas Equipment as chairman of the board.

Thomas Equipment is emerging from a period of financial difficulty and embarked on a restructuring program to regain its market position and financial strength.

Previously, Etholm was a consultant to the Thomas Equipment 2004 subsidiary. He was also president of Cardsmart Retail and executive vice president of Nutri/System, Inc. Earlier in his career, Etholm founded Norwegian Wood, Inc. and Elinex, LLC.  

CGC & SPI Announce New President; Honor Distributors

Commercial Grounds Care, Inc. and Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc. announced that Pat Cappucci is the new president of the affiliated companies. Cappucci brings a diversified background and experience to the companies, with service in a variety of functional areas ranging from ground level to senior management. Cappucci brings over 10 years of OPE experience to CGC & SPI and more than 25 years of driving growth for leading companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and an MBA with honors from The Carlson School at the University of Minnesota.

CGC and SPI also honored their commercial distribution sales partners at their recent distributor meeting in Johnson Creek, Wis.

CGC award winners include Hayward Distributing, Distributor of the Year; Bobby Garner, Pat Davenport and Jeff Keuhn, Territory Managers of the Year; Mike Fairfax, Sales Manager of the Year; and Scott Ferrone, Rookie of the Year.

SPI award winners include Fierle Distribution Corp., Distributor of the Year (United States); Echo Canada, Distributor of the Year (Canada); Buddy Merz, Jeff Woods and Jeff Peek, Territory Managers of the Year; and Rick Favata, Sales Manager of the Year.

John Deere Clarifies Position on Biodiesel Use

Due to the variety of standards that exist in the diesel engine industry and in response to questions from various markets, John Deere Power Systems has officially clarified its position on the use of biodiesel in its diesel engines.

While 5 percent blends (B5) are preferred, biodiesel concentrations up to a 20 percent blend (B20) in petroleum diesel fuel can be used in John Deere engines through Tier 3/Stage III A models, including all non-emissions-certified engines. Biodiesel blends up to B20 can be used only if the biodiesel (100 percent biodiesel or B100) meets ASTM D6751, EN 14214 or equivalent specification. Biodiesel users are strongly encouraged to purchase biodiesel blends from a BQ-9000 Certified Marketer and to source from a BQ-9000 Accredited Producer, as certified by the National Biodiesel Board.

Arysta Acquires GBM

Arysta LifeScience Corp. has completed the acquisition of Grupo Bioquímico Mexicano, S.A. de C.V. (GBM), a Mexican manufacturer and marketer of inputs for the fruit and vegetable market. The purchase includes GBM and its subsidiaries, affiliated real estate and employee service companies, as well as its formulation and manufacturing facilities in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico.

TapSet Signs Distribution Agreement With Rex

TapSet Corp. has signed a distribution agreement with Rex Commercial Tool & Fasteners, authorizing the sister company of Senco Products, Inc. to sell TapSet branded products through its existing channels. The TapSet line of chemical anchors will be sold through the sales organizations of both Senco and Rex.

TapSet is a plastic injection molding company headquartered in Calumet, Mich.

Komatsu Announces Completion of Parts Depots

Komatsu America Corp. announced the completion of eight regional parts depots throughout the United States and Canada.

Komatsu will work closely with distributors to monitor and improve local parts stocking and availability of “on-the-shelf inventory” at distributor locations. The company has also improved the customer service, technical assistance and response teams as well as increased the inventory levels and parts availability at their Master Parts Distribution Center in Ripley, Tenn.

HMI Announces Wildfire Preparedness Program

Horticultural Asset Management, Inc. is now offering a tool for evaluating a property’s wildfire preparedness. HMI’s Wildfire Preparedness Assessment consists of an on-site evaluation of a property using HMI’s proprietary PDA-based software, which collects specific information regarding the property’s compliance with established defensible space criteria. Based on the data collected by a trained assessor, HMI will produce a graphical report detailing any non-compliant conditions as well as provide specific remedial requirements for each property.

Platinum Equity Acquires Tecumseh

Platinum Equity has acquired Tecumseh Power Co., which provides powertrain solutions to the outdoor power equipment industry. The acquisition includes facilities in Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Platinum Equity announced that Rudi Strobl has been appointed as president and CEO of the business. Strobl is an experienced senior executive who previously served as president and CEO of Strategic Distribution, Inc., a Platinum Equity company engaged in outsourcing of MRO supplies, as well as deputy CEO of DyStar, a Platinum Equity company that manufacturers textile dyes.

German Company Begins Distribution Of Subsite Equipment

The Charles Machine Works, Inc. has announced the addition of Schmetz Messtechnik of Menden, Germany, as an official dealer of Subsite electronic locating equipment, which is used to locate and identify underground utilities at construction jobsites. Established in 1982, Schmetz Messtechnik is a distributor of a wide variety of electronic measurement products, including densimeters, flow meters, leak indicators and ultrasonic wall-thickness gauges.

Bayer Names New Sales Reps

Bayer Environmental Science has announced three new sales representatives, Mike Kelly, Bob Ducote and Mike Hirvela. They will be responsible for sales and product support for golf customers in their respective territories.

Kelly’s territory is Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota. Previously, Kelly was golf course superintendent at Edina Country Club, Edina, Minn., and an assistant site superintendent for Thunder Hawk Golf Club, Beach Park, Ill.

Ducote covers Southeast Texas for the golf market and is also the golf and lawn care field sales representative in Arkansas and Louisiana. Ducote was a distributor sales representative for UAP Professional Products and Helena Chemical Co.

Hirvela will be responsible for the golf market in Michigan. Most recently, Hirvela owned and operated Total Land Care, Inc. and Fertilizer in Royal Oak, Mich. Prior to that, Hirvela worked as golf course manager for Wabeek Country Club.

Sod Solutions Unveils New Logo

Sod Solutions, Inc. has introduced a new corporate logo reflecting the company’s role in researching, developing and marketing environmentally friendly products. The logo more accurately depicts its mission, which is to identify, test and introduce new selections of turf varieties that exceed the expectations of consumers.

HMI Reaches Agreement With Bartlett

Horticultural Asset Management, Inc. has reached an agreement with Bartlett Tree Experts, a nationwide provider of tree and shrub care services. Under this new agreement, Bartlett is making its local arborists available to support the creation of Certified HMI Horticultural Assessments. Bartlett personnel will also be available to conduct both remedial and preventive services that may be required as a result of the assessment process.

Assessments provide detailed information including plant description, location, replacement cost value, general health assessment and other important data which can be used for insurance, tax, real estate or risk management applications.

LawnGrips Goes International, Partners with Stihl

LawnGrips, LLC has announced the appointment of Deshe Itzhar as exclusive distributor in Israel for its growing line of footwear. The expansion into Israel is a first step in establishing a global presence for the Oregon-based company. Deshe Itzhar, established in 1992, operates a 148-acre sod farm.

Stihl, Inc. has entered into an agreement with LawnGrips to make available to the nationwide network of independent Stihl dealers three models of lawn care footwear that will feature both the Stihl and LawnGrips logos.

Ditch Witch Employees Complete Training

Thirteen Ditch Witch employees completed Trenchless Products New Person Sales Training at the Ditch Witch Training Center in Perry, Okla.

The trainees were Terry Thompson, Bobby Sellers, Brian Mehigan, Charles Riggs, Cory Bailey, Damon Reeves, Gary Murphree, Joe Person, Michael Dellazizzo, Michael Mooney, Roger Bigaouette, Ron Martin and Shawn Tuschhoff.

Doonan Partners With Truck Web Services

Doonan Specialized Trailer, a manufacturer of specialty flatbed, drop-deck and lowbed trailers, has appointed Truck Web Services, a division of Dominion Enterprises, as its exclusive Internet services and solutions provider. Truck Web Services provides Web sites and Internet marketing solutions for commercial truck and trailer dealers.

Greene Elected to STC Board

Stanley H. Greene, president and CEO of Sprinturf, was elected to the board of directors of the Synthetic Turf Council during the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting. Founded in 2003, STC serves as an objective resource assisting buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf and landscape applications.

AlturnaMats Acquires Mobile Matts

AlturnaMats, Inc., a producer of ground protection mats, has acquired Mobile Matts, based in Green Bay, Wis.

Phil Schounard will continue to head up Mobile and operate from the Green Bay facility. Mobile Matts are now available through AlturnaMats’ extensive dealer network.

John Deere/LESCO Golf Merger Complete

A merger between John Deere and LESCO has been finalized. With the merger, John Deere Golf has added about 150 agronomic experts to its sales and support organization.

Agronomic products, including LESCO brands, will be available through golf sales representatives, Stores-on-Wheels and John Deere Landscapes Gold Branches, while equipment and irrigation products are available through John Deere Golf distributors.  

Red Rhino Wins Green Apple Award

Red Rhino Crushers won the National Gold Award in the International Green Apple Awards 2007 for Environmental Best Practice, in recognition of their Compact On-Site Recycling Solutions project.

Trophies are awarded annually in recognition of organizations carrying out projects that benefit the environment.

The award-winning project will be featured in The Green Book and the organization will also be presented with a Green Heroes Shield.

The Green Apple Awards campaign is run by The Green Organization, which recognizes, rewards and promotes environmental best practice around the world.

Beidel is Growing

Ed Beidel, president of Beidel Design Associates, has opened new offices. The corporate office is now in Orlando, Fla., with a satellite office in Valencia, Pa. Beidel has been practicing golf and landscape architecture for 31 years.

Peterson Appoints New Managers

Peterson, an Oregon-based manufacturer of grinders, chippers and blower trucks, appointed Brian Gray as product support manager for Eastern North America.

Gray has worked in a wide variety of areas in sales and support for the forestry and construction and power generation industries. Prior to joining Peterson, Gray worked for Pioneer Machinery and Carter Machinery in Virginia.

Peterson also appointed Victor Acevedo as blower truck sales manager. Acevedo will focus on blower truck sales, support and demonstrations.

Acevedo has worked for Peterson since 1993, most recently serving as the blower truck manufacturing coordinator.

Dent Promoted at Ecological Laboratories

Ecological Laboratories, manufacturer of the Microbe-Lift brand of products, announced the promotion of Doug Dent to vice president of sales. Dent joined Ecological in 2002, prior to which he spent 32 years in the biotechnology sector with Sybron Biochemical, where he was director of institutional, household and commercial products.

Bayer Announces Marketing and Sales Changes

Bayer Environmental Science recently announced changes with marketing and sales in the Green Professional Products group.

Jason Kuhlemeier was named business manager for fipronil and classic insecticides. He is also the lawn care market lead. Previously, Kuhlemeier was marketing services/project manager.

Matt Bradley will assume the responsibilities of marketing services/project manager. Bradley’s previous position was in Florida as a golf field sales representative.

Joe Burke was named business manager for imidacloprid and the greenhouse/nursery market lead. Previously, Burke was the controlling manager for the Environmental Science business.

There are now four sales regions for Green Professional Products. Mike Ruizzo was named northeast sales manager. Previously, he was national accounts manager. Jim Fetter was named north central sales manager. Previously, he was manager of the Lawn and Landscape sales group. Brian Tepper remains western regional sales manager, and Eric Kalasz remains the southern regional sales manager.

Bryan Gooch was named national accounts manager. Previously, he was business manager for imidacloprid products.