News from SavATree

Honoring the military was the theme of SavATree’s sales conference this year, which took place at the Thayer Hotel on the grounds of the West Point United States Military Academy. Each year SavATree’s corporate team and arborists come together for two days of educational seminars, hands-on workshops, team-building and camaraderie.

SavATree’s keynote speaker, Admiral Ray Smith, a Navy SEAL for over 31 years, shared his insights on using military strategy in the business environment. Business Battlefield was led by Matt “Boom” Daniel, who has 12 years of experience as a fighter pilot and works with firms to maximize team-building tactics. The program also included an awards and recognition ceremony.  

SavATree named Edmund M. Shebert  as vice president of development. He will be directly involved in the recruitment, negotiation and purchase of tree care companies that fit SavATree’s business model. Shebert will report directly to President and CEO Daniel van Starrenburg.

With more than 40 years’ combined financial and executive experience, Shebert joins SavATree from McFarland Tree & Landscape, Inc., where he served as general manager. He previously spent 15 years at The Care of Trees.

SavATree is a tree, shrub and lawn care company operating in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Leggett Wins IPM Award

The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program  at Cornell University presented an Excellence in IPM Award to inventor John Leggett at the Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Syracuse, N.Y. He was recognized for exceptional work in developing automated weather instruments and software to forecast disease and insect pests and reduce pesticide use.

Matt Land, left, receives the 2008 Achievement Award from Ed Friel.

CICCA Honors Dixie Chopper

The Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance presented Dixie Chopper with the 2008 CICCA Stakeholder Achievement Award for developing the first OEM propane-powered lawn mower. Dixie Chopper Director of Sales and Marketing Matt Land accepted the award from CICCA President Ed Friel during the group’s annual meeting. In 2006, Dixie Chopper partnered with engine manufacturer Generac to develop the LP3000 line of mowers.

Search for Beautifully Brutal Golf Holes

John Deere Credit has launched a search to find the most Beautifully Brutal Golf Holes in North America. Superintendents, architects, owners and developers can nominate holes on their courses by submitting photos and descriptions of what makes the holes challenging. Nominations will be collected from five regions in the United States and one in Canada. Entries will be featured on a special contest Web site,, on posters and in national and local media. Judges will select winning holes in each region and choose 18 of the regional winners as the overall winners. Winning holes will be announced quarterly. Photos and descriptions of the holes will be published in a keepsake calendar. The deadline for par-4 holes is May 15, 2008, and the deadline for par-3 holes is July 15, 2008.

Zander Promoted at Manitou

Manitou North America announced that Kirk Zander has been named director of sales and marketing. Zander has worked for Manitou as Midwest regional sales manager and field sales manager.

Broome Joins Synatek

Synatek has hired Rick Broome as a golf technical sales representative. He will serve territories in northern and south central New Jersey and southern New York. His responsibilities will include sales and service of new and existing golf accounts with a focus on fertigation customers.

Broome has over 25 years of experience as a golf course superintendent in New Jersey, having served most recently at Harbor Pines Golf Club.

News from Toro

The Toro Co. announced that the 2008 James R. Watson Scholarship recipients are Sara Camuso and Nicholas McKenna. The program awards scholarships to students who are planning a career in the sports turf industry. Camuso is majoring in turfgrass sciences at Pennsylvania State University. McKenna is a graduate research assistant at Virginia Tech, specializing in crop soils and environmental science/sports turf. Applicants are judged on academic preparation, cumulative grade point average, experience in sports turf management, references, contributions and career objectives.

Jared Knoodle was the winner of the sixth annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. Knoodle traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., to help the grounds crew prepare the game field and practice facilities for Super Bowl XLII. He is working toward a master’s degree in athletic administration at Michigan State University.

Toro has joined forces with Beacon Athletics and Diamond Pro to present three Athletic Field Maintenance Forums, which will cover game day preparation, aerification/mowing, irrigation, infield soils/topdressing, mound and home plate management, and managing infields. Featured speakers include Boyd Montgomery, Paul Zwaska, Tom Burns and Dale Getz. The forums are scheduled for April 16 in Chicago, Ill., and May 14 in Boston, Mass.

About 48 groundskeepers spent the final day of the annual Major League Baseball sports turf managers conference helping to renovate the sports field at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz. The team included representatives from Toro, Turface Athletics and Covermaster. Toro provided the use of a mower, utility vehicles and other equipment. Turface provided soil conditioner and mound clays, and Covermaster donated sports surface covers.

Exmark Creates New Web Site, Awards Grant

Exmark has invited the public to meet the people behind its products. A new Web site,, features the stories of Exmark team members, describing typical workdays, proudest moments, funniest stories and more. Exmark will continue to post new stories throughout 2008.

Exmark and the Toro Giving Program recently awarded a grant to Homestead National Monument of America. Located just west of Beatrice, Neb., Homestead is a unit of the National Park System. The grant, in the amount of $33,890, will be used to create new outdoor exhibits, which will be placed throughout the monument’s 100-acre restored tallgrass prairie and at the Freeman School, a historical schoolhouse.

Marney Dorsey Justin Stewart

Dow Names New T&O Sales Reps

Dow AgroSciences has added Marney Dorsey and Justin Stewart to its turf and ornamental sales team.

Dorsey will cover sales in Ohio, eastern Michigan, western Pennsylvania and western West Virginia. She joined Dow in 2007 as a sales trainee. Dorsey attended Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and a master’s in agricultural and extension education. Dorsey replaces Kylee Swyers, who has been promoted to the United States Northern Crops marketing communications position.

Stewart will be responsible for sales in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. He joined Dow after completing graduate school at Purdue University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in turfgrass science and master’s degrees in business and plant pathology. Stewart has more than 10 years of experience in golf course maintenance.

Signature Control Announces Alliance With ESI

Signature Control Systems, Inc. has entered into a strategic alliance with Environmental Sensors, Inc. of Canada to develop various proprietary sensor probe technologies for the global golf, sports turf and commercial turf markets.

News from Accu-Length

Accu-Length, by OnTrack Sports, has signed a distributorship agreement with Dimple Ltd. to have its clubs sold in New Zealand. Dimple is an importer of golf equipment in New Zealand and Australia.

Accu-Length has partnered with Dancin’ Dogg Golf and Medicus Golf on a teaching program for younger players. The Junior Success Kit gives junior golfers the ability to develop and improve their swings at home.

HRI Awards 2008 Research Grants & Scholarships

The Horticultural Research Institute granted $425,000 to research endeavors throughout the United States for 2008. The selected research projects focus on industry priority issues resulting in problem-solving solutions and techniques. HRI continues efforts to broaden research activities through continued collaboration with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative.

Shawn Wolf

Wolf Named President of Wright

Shawn Wolf has been named president of Wright Mfg. Bill Wright had held the position since establishing the company in 1981, and will continue on as chairman of the board. Wolf had served as chief operating officer for the past eight years. He came to Wright with over 10 years of executive experience. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryan College, a master’s in management from Eastern University and is enrolled in a doctoral program in strategic leadership at Regent University.

GIS Sets Records

Overall attendance at the 2008 Golf Industry Show was up to 25,737, surpassing the previous high of 23,099 established in 2007 (an 11.4 percent increase). The number of qualified buyers rose 20 percent, from 8,793 to 10,553. The trade show itself was the largest ever, with 965 companies represented and exhibits covering 300,900 square feet, a 3.2 percent increase over last year.

GIS is presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association and Club Managers Association of America, along with supporting organizations Golf Course Builders Association of America, American Society of Golf Course Architects and the National Golf Foundation. Show partners announced they have signed a letter of agreement to execute a contract extending the show through 2014. The next show will be held February 5-7, 2009, in New Orleans, La.

BASF Launches Online Training Initiative

BASF Turf & Ornamentals has launched a new online training module to educate golf course superintendents on its Trinity fungicide. The new module at explains use sites, key benefits, recommended turfgrasses and diseases controlled. It also features interactive narration by Kyle Miller, senior technical specialist at BASF, and a quiz at the end.

Agrium Adds Marketing Manager

Agrium Advanced Technologies announced the addition of Bryan Gooch as marketing manager for coated products in their Sylacauga, Ala., location. He will provide leadership to the organization and will be responsible for the POLYON and Duration brands. Gooch holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in turfgrass management from Virginia Tech and a master’s in business administration from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining Agrium, Gooch worked for Bayer Environmental Science in various sales and marketing management positions.

Blake Garrett

FarmLinks News

Tru-Turf, a manufacturer of greens rollers, is the newest On the Course Partner of The Experience at FarmLinks. Tru-Turf’s rollers will be added to FarmLinks’ educational programs.

Blake Garrett has returned to The Experience as manager, having previously served as golf course superintendent. Garrett has more than 11 years’ experience in the golf course industry. He attended Auburn University and received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and soils/turfgrass management.

Aquascape Announces 2008 Water Garden Seminars

Aquascape, Inc. and its distributors are offering a range of water gardening seminars held in locations across the country throughout the year. Topics include basic and advanced pond installations, sales and marketing, and information on the latest industry trends. For more information on the classes, log on to or call 866-877-6637.

Agri-Fab Names Johnson National Sales Manager

Roger A. Johnson has joined Agri-Fab, Inc. as national sales manager for North American consumer products. He will be responsible for identifying and pursuing strategic growth opportunities. Johnson comes to Agri-Fab from Kimberly Clark Corp., where he held a series of sales and marketing positions. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Carroll College and a master’s in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College.

Nibco Announces Fresh Look for Web Site

Nibco, Inc. unveiled a new look for its home page at, offering visitors better access to new product information, career opportunities and a What’s New area that will highlight pertinent corporate and product information. The page will make it easier for visitors to locate resources and tools, including the catalog/price sheet area. In addition, Nibco offers a Contractor & Engineer Corner to make it easy to locate submittals, product specifications and the newly expanded 2D/3D library that contains a selection of CAD drawings.

Wiedenmann Expands Sales Staff

John Muehlbauer has joined Wiedenmann’s North American sales staff. He has performed contract aerification sales/services and operated his own landscape business for many years. Muehlbauer will be covering the Midwest portion of the United States and Canada.

Mike Smith has also joined the Wiedenmann sales team. Smith has worked for several turf houses over the past 30 years. He will be covering the East Coast of North America.

John Deere Golf Honors Distributors

Beard Equipment, based in Mobile, Ala., was named top distributor of the year by John Deere Golf at the 2008 Golf Industry Show. The Beard Equipment team was presented with the Mark Rostvold Award, given annually to the distributor that exemplifies superior salesmanship and industry dedication.

Other distributors honored included Colorado Golf & Turf, Inc., Arizona Machinery, Guertin Equipment and Northwest Outdoor Equipment, Inc. 

MacGregor Appoints Setola President and CEO

MacGregor Golf Co. announced that Michael J. Setola has been named president and CEO. Setola was most recently president of Oxford Industries, where he was responsible for multiple brands and operating groups. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of Salant Corp.  

Burke Named Business Manager for Bayer

Joe Burke was named business manager, imidacloprid products, for Bayer Environmental Science. He will have marketing responsibility for Merit, Allectus, CoreTect and all other green industry imidacloprid products. Burke has worked for Bayer and its predecessor companies since 2000. Previously, Burke worked for Timeplex Group for nine years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey and a master’s in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Lindsay Unveils New Web Site

Lindsay Corp. has unveiled a new and improved Web site at The site provides production information and recent news on Zimmatic, GrowSmart, Greenfield and LMC Equipment.

Strata Receives CE Marking Certification

Strata Systems, Inc. announced that its geogrids and other soil reinforcement products have been issued a CE marking certification. CE is a mandatory European marking for certain product groups to indicate conformity with health and safety requirements. The CE marking allows Strata to sell and distribute its products throughout the 28 countries of the European Economic Area.