Industry Update


News from around the Green industry

GIE+EXPO to Feature New Products, Lumberjack Shows, Concerts

After a one-year hiatus, the new products showcase will return to GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo) in Louisville, Ky. Sponsored by Turf and Power Equipment Trade magazines, it is now called New Products Live. Signs on each new product will direct attendees to the appropriate exhibits, where they can learn about the products’ applications and benefits. Products are eligible only if they have been introduced since last year’s show. Products that have been accepted include the Barreto 1824 TK; Pivotrim Pro from Better Heads LLC; Brutus from Lawn Grips Footware; the Power Barrow; and Millcreek Mfg.’s Row Mulcher. A preliminary list of entries will be posted on in August.  

Scheer’s Lumberjack Shows will present the Stihl Lumberjack Challenge daily at GIE+EXPO. Featured events will include axe throwing, chopping, log rolling, cross cut sawing, hot sawing and chain saw carving. The Lumberjack Challenge will be held in the outdoor demonstration area at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

38 Special, LoneStar, The Briggs Bluesbusters and Candy Coburn will perform free concerts at GIE+EXPO. The shows, sponsored by Ariens/Gravely/Stens and Briggs & Stratton, will be held at 4th Street Live! in downtown Louisville.

Converted Organics to Expand Manufacturing Capacity

Converted Organics, Inc. has begun implementing plans to expand capacity at the company’s manufacturing facility in Gonzales, Calif. The equipment required to commence receiving food waste was delivered and installed in June.

Converted Organics acquired the Gonzales plant in January 2008, with the intention of upgrading the facility. The equipment installed last month constitutes phase one of the upgrade. The second phase involves installing equipment that will enable the facility to produce solid fertilizer products in pellet formulation, in addition to the liquid fertilizer currently being produced. Phase two is expected to be completed by September 30, 2008.

Smiths South-Central Sales employees participated in a dealer incentive trip to the Northwest.

Notes from Shindaiwa

Smiths South-Central Sales, Springhill, La., completed a dealer incentive trip to the headquarters of two of their manufacturers, Shindaiwa and Oregon Cutting Systems. The trip, cosponsored by Shindaiwa, OCS and Smiths, included 11 of Smiths’ best dealers, Vice-President Robert Smith, four territory salesmen, Sales Manager Fred Bowen and spouses. The trip included factory tours of the OCS plant in Milwaukie, Ore., and the Shindaiwa facilities in Tualatin, Ore.

Shindaiwa participated in a tree planting event organized by Tampa, Fla.’s The 11th Hour Earth Day World Record Tree Planting was designed to alert the public to the need for environmental consciousness. The team of volunteers set a new world record by planting 10,000 longleaf pine trees in one day. The earth augers used to facilitate the process were specially constructed using Shindaiwa 3410 C4 engines.

SourceOne Expands Production in New Facility

SourceOne has completed its move into a new, expanded facility in Lincoln, Neb. The completion of the project provides the company with over 70,000 square feet of production space. While relatively new to the outdoor power equipment industry, SourceOne has over 30 years of experience manufacturing products for the automotive, aviation, agricultural, construction, athletic and consumer markets.

Di Iorio Named General Manager

Charles Machine Works, Inc., manufacturer of Ditch Witch equipment, appointed Matt Di Iorio to the position of general manager of Ditch Witch of Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western New York. Di Iorio spent more than two decades in dealer management, operations, industry advocacy and ownership. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals.

Chicago-Area Students Study Green Roof Benefits

Teachers at Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School in Skokie, Ill., were awarded a $10,000 grant through the A+ For Energy program, created by BP to support and reward teachers who implement innovative energy activities. The grant is to be used for increasing understanding and awareness of energy concerns.

The BRMS team divided the grant into a series of “mini-grants,” and one group of eighth-grade students is using its mini-grant to perform a study on the benefits of green roofs. Two freestanding structures will be built, one with a green roof, the other with a traditional roof.

GeoEdge, a sustainable, aluminum green roof restraint manufactured by Permaloc Corp., will surround prevegetated modules provided by LiveRoof of Spring Lake, Mich. Permaloc donated the GeoEdge material to the school as part of its ongoing Sustainable Design Initiative. As part of this initiative, Permaloc supports educational organizations researching green building technologies.

Bryan Equipment Breaks Ground on New Warehouse

Bryan Equipment Sales, Inc., an exclusive distributor of Stihl products in Loveland, Ohio, has broken ground on a new 43,000-square-foot warehouse expansion scheduled for completion in fall 2008. This project is the third major warehouse expansion since the original building was completed in January 1986. The new facility will nearly triple the amount of warehouse capacity and will include provisions for a new training facility.

Bryan will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2008. A grand opening dealer celebration, to include special guest Hans Peter Stihl, is planned for October 9-11, 2008.

Bass Releases Book

Tony Bass of Tony Bass Consulting has released a new book, “50 Ways to Find, Recruit, Hire & Retain Super Star Employees.” The book offers small businesses ideas on ways to discover and keep high-quality people in the company. Bass is the founder and president of Super Lawn Trucks and has more than 20 years of landscape and green industry experience.

Museum’s Smart Home Features Permaloc Products

As part of its 75th anniversary year, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has built a three-story, fully functional modular and sustainable “green” home. The home is designed to showcase ideas and products that allow people to make their lives more eco-friendly.

Permaloc Corp. contributed the edge restraint for the driveway and walkways for the Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibit. Over 1,200 linear feet of edging was used. The driveway and many walkways were constructed using a permeable paver that allows water to drain through the material, reducing stormwater runoff. Additional walkways were built using a crushed, decomposed granite that also allows for slow water runoff.

Cub Cadet Sponsors Green Care for Troops

Cub Cadet Commercial is encouraging its green industry colleagues to give back to families whose loved ones are serving overseas. The company is sponsoring Green Care for Troops, a nonprofit dedicated to helping military families care for their lawns during times of deployment. To date, more than 5,900 families nationwide need help, with only 1,300 volunteers to support them. Anyone can get involved at any level of support, whether you commit to mowing a family’s lawn twice a month, loan or donate equipment for citizen volunteers, provide equipment maintenance or even donate a gas card. If you’d like to contribute, contact Joy Westenburg at [email protected]

Bird-X Introduces Improved Web Site

Bird-X, Inc. launched a new and improved Web site at While retaining all of the information from the previous site, the improved site has increased user-friendliness, easier navigation and sourcing, and more relevant information pertaining to specific bird problems and solutions. Not just a commercial site, it is a complete resource on bird and animal control with educational and practical information, with links to articles and customer testimonials.

Toro Announces Program & Processor Winners

Three members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America have been selected as winners of the Toro Championship Tournament Training Program. Kevin Breuker, assistant superintendent, Traverse City Golf and Country Club, Traverse City, Mich., and Shane Griffith, a University of Wisconsin student, helped prepare for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla, Calif. Ryan DeMay, assistant superintendent, Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club, Powell, Ohio, will head to Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., for the PGA Championship. Individuals were selected based on past work experience and an essay about their future career goals.

Wallace L. Smith, general manager of Hillwood Country Club in Nashville, Tenn., won a Toro ProCore Processor for his course after entering a sweepstakes at the Golf Industry Show. Bill Blackburn, general manager for Smith Turf & Irrigation, Toro’s Nashville-area distributor, delivered the news to Hillwood, along with the equipment.

Andersons Acquires Douglass

The Andersons, Inc. has acquired Douglass Fertilizer & Chemical, Inc. as an addition to its Plant Nutrient Group. Douglass, based in Maitland, Fla., is primarily a specialty liquid nutrient manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler serving a variety of markets.  

Doyle & Nilsestuen Visit Johnson’s

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Rod Nilsestuen, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, visited Johnson’s Nursery in Menomonee Falls, Wis., to get a better understanding of the needs and challenges facing Wisconsin small agricultural businesses. After a tour of the grounds, they sat down with Chad and Scott Johnson (president and vice president of Johnson’s) to discuss a wide range of topics from invasive plant species to labor issues. Johnson’s breeds and grows specialty landscape plants for Wisconsin and is one of the state’s largest suppliers to the landscaping industry.

Stihl Opens iCademy to Vocational Educators

Stihl, Inc. has opened its iCademy online dealer training program to vocational education programs. Educators can access Stihl’s Internet-based distance training and testing program and augment all aspects of their technical instruction curriculum. The site launched in 2007 and has 200 schools participating to date.

The iCademy program will be made available to any accredited school teaching small engine repair and will assist students in a variety of subjects concerning the operation of a power equipment dealership. Instructors can monitor each student’s progress through the various lessons.

Instructors who want to participate in the program can apply by visiting

Aquascape News

Aquascape, Inc. has partnered with Lawn & Garden Webvision, creating the opportunity for on-demand, television-style programming featuring educational water gardening videos. Aquascape’s distributors, contractors and retailers will be able to feature the how-to and quick tip videos on their Web sites.

Scott Rhodes joined Aquascape as director of product marketing. He has over 17 years of sales, marketing, management and product development experience in the aquarist and water gardening industries, having most recently worked at Rolf C. Hagen, Inc. Rhodes will develop and implement strategic product plans, identify target markets, perform competitive analysis and identify product service, benefits and positioning in the marketplace.  

Ed Beaulieu was promoted from his position as vice president of field research to chief sustainability officer. He will oversee development and implementation of sustainable and environmental initiatives. He began his career with Aquascape in 1993 in the construction department. Beaulieu holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology with an emphasis in limnology, and concentrated his master’s studies in marine biology.

Pfaff Joins Becker Underwood

Katrina Pfaff has joined Becker Underwood as field development specialist for the company’s horticulture and specialties group. Pfaff will focus on maintaining and improving the company’s lineup of beneficial nematode products. She will also be involved in field trials and research projects and serve as a resource for research collaborators and growers. Pfaff received her bachelor’s degree in biology and natural sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She completed requirements for a master’s in horticulture.

News from Thomas and Osiris

Thomas Equipment President and Chief Executive Officer Petter M. Etholm appeared on TV’s “The Business Buzz” to talk about the market for the company’s skid steers. Etholm joined Thomas as CEO last year and is also president and CEO of Thomas’ parent company, Osiris Corp. 

Thomas appointed Tarcisio Sciocco to the position of regional business manager in Italy. Sciocco, who has led marketing for major heavy equipment companies in Italy, holds a degree in business administration from Universita Commerciale L. Bocconi, where he majored in marketing.  

Thomas appointed Donald S. Sturwold as a regional business manager responsible for sales and business development of Thomas skid steer loaders in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Before joining Thomas, Sturwold was territory manager for northern Indiana and southern Michigan at NationsRent. He received an associate degree in business management from Oakton Community College.

Rebecca Barton has joined Osiris as director of marketing. Previously, she was assistant vice president and business analyst for the business management team of Banc of America Securities, Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking Group. Barton holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and received a master’s in business administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University, specializing in marketing and strategy.