News from around the Green industry

PLANET Donates $104,000 to Project EverGreen

Project EverGreen announced its largest single donation in its history from the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), which contributed $104,000 to the nonprofit organization. In announcing the contribution, Project EverGreen Board President Chris Kujawa noted that the investment is a solid indication that PLANET recognizes the need for the green industry to inform consumers about managed green spaces.

Project EverGreen is committed to informing the American public about the positive effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses, parks and other green spaces.

Turf Canada to Distribute Western Pozzolan Soil Amendments

Western Pozzolan Corp. has added Turf Canada, Inc. to its distribution network. Turf Canada is a distributor of premier products for the golf, sports field and landscape industries.

Bob Best presents the Wright sales award to Bill Burke.

Keen Edge Wins Wright Sales Award

Keen Edge Co., an outdoor power equipment distributor headquartered in Lyons, Ill., is the volume leader among Wright commercial products distributors for 2007. Bob Best of Wright Mfg. presented the award to Bill Burke Sr., president of Keen Edge.  

Grasshopper Wins Best in Business Award

Grasshopper Co./Moridge Mfg., Inc. received a 2008 Best in Business Award in conjunction with the Wichita Business Journal’s annual selection of the region’s best-managed businesses. Grasshopper was one of five overall winners from over 250 nominees. Companies nominated for the award were judged on recent growth, financial health, product and marketing innovations and involvement in the community. The finalists were evaluated and chosen by Don Beggs, president of Wichita State University, and Karyn Page, president and CEO of the Kansas World Trade Center.

As part of the award, Grasshopper representatives will attend a “meeting of the minds” in Napa Valley, Calif., later this year to discuss business strategies and receive economic and investment forecasts from UMB National Bank of America.

Emak Signs Keen Edge as Distributor

Emak USA signed Keen Edge Co. as a distributor of Efco power equipment. Keen Edge is located in Lake Geneva, Wis., and will cover Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and northern Indiana.

Emak USA is the seventh worldwide division of Emak Italy, a multinational company distributing outdoor power equipment to more than 70 countries for over 30 years.

Art of Green Spaces Competition Winners Announced

Project EverGreen’s first annual Art of Green Spaces Competition asked the youth of Akron, Ohio, why green spaces matter to them. Patricia Boh, Nicholas Hobbs and Evie Nyerges answered that question through poetry, painting and mixed-media artwork and won in their age categories. Project EverGreen partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve and the Western Reserve Academy to bring attention to how important green spaces are to Akron’s environment, economy and quality of life.

Project EverGreen presented each winner with $100 and an award commemorating the achievement. The winning entries were displayed at the Seiberling Nature Realm.

PACE Appointed Exclusive Magnum Distributor

PACE, Inc., an outdoor power equipment distributor based in Plymouth, Mich., has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of Magnum salt spreaders for the Midwest. PACE will be responsible for dealers in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and portions of Missouri and West Virginia.

Ferkany, Miller Join Ditch Witch Dealership

Ditch Witch of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania & Western New York announced that James E. Ferkany has joined the dealership as controller. He has over 22 years of combined accounting and management experience. Previously, Ferkany worked for Holt Co. of Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Keith Miller has also joined the dealership as parts manager for the Columbus, Ohio, location. Miller has years of construction equipment experience through his past positions with the U.S. Navy, Bobcat of Columbus and Ditch Witch of Ohio.

Banner Expands Distribution & Service Area

Banner Sales & Consulting, Inc. of Union Lake, Mich., has expanded its distribution and service area to Illinois and Wisconsin. Banner provides consulting services and sells insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, organic soil amendments, injection systems, spray equipment and other supplies.

Brian Thompson

Thompson Joins BASF as FarmLinks Project Leader

BASF Turf & Ornamentals appointed Brian Thompson to the position of FarmLinks project leader. Thompson will manage on-site BASF activities at the FarmLinks research facility in Sylacauga, Ala. In his new role, he will spearhead BASF’s cornerstone partnership with FarmLinks by supervising BASF field research and product testing, and enhancing turf professionals’ education and training opportunities during the Experience at FarmLinks.

Thompson has 10 years of experience as a superintendent, having served most recently at Sutton Bay Golf Club in Agar, S.D. He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in turf management.  

McCloskey at ConExpo 2008

McCloskey International showcased its entire product line at ConExpo 2008. All products were making their North American debut at the show. Paschal McCloskey, founder and president, was on hand to discuss his company’s newly designed machines. Over 1,000 new leads were generated and all of the exhibited machines were sold before the end of the show. It was the second time McCloskey had exhibited at ConExpo.

Scotts Restructures Marketing Team, Upgrades Web Site

The Scotts Co. LLC announced a new organizational structure for the North America Professional Business Group’s marketing team. The new structure will help the business group continue development of new services and products while contributing to a more cohesive global marketing effort.

Chris Buchheit has been appointed North American marketing manager for ornamental horticulture. Previously, Buchheit was marketing manager for controlled-release fertilizers.

Richard Morris, formerly plant protection marketing manager, is now marketing manager of all professional landscape and plant protection products. He will now handle the Landscaper PRO turf care product line as well as fungicides, herbicides, miticides and insecticides. He will also be responsible for managing Scotts’ global plant protection portfolio.

Ryan Lewis has been named marketing communications manager. He will now manage all marketing services and communications coming out of North America. Lisa Koonts, marketing services specialist, has been with Scotts for 14 years, the first seven of which were spent with the business group. She rejoined the group in March 2008.

Scotts upgraded its Scotts Testing Lab Web site at The lab provides analysis of irrigation water, growing media, mineral soil and plant tissue. The enhancements include simpler request forms and direct e-mailing of results. In celebration of the upgrade, Scotts has supplied its territory managers with coupons valid for a free analysis from the lab. A complete list of territory managers is available at

Jodale Perry Offers All-Season Cabs on Toro Groundsmasters

Toro announced that all-season cabs with air conditioning and heat for Groundsmaster 4000-D and 4100-D models are now available through Canadian manufacturer Jodale Perry. Studies indicate that controlling the temperature of the operator environment can have a positive effect on alertness and safety.

Though all-season cabs have been available from turf maintenance equipment distributors for years, Jodale Perry now installs the AC system in the cab during the manufacturing process, increasing the quality and performance of the all-season cab.

Syngenta’s GreenCast Offers New & Improved Solutions

Syngenta Professional Products announced the newly redesigned and enhanced GreenCast at, which offers free access to information that can help users make more informed business decisions. The new enhancements were created to help lawn care operators learn more about pest management and how to achieve superior turf conditions.

Pest Outlooks provides insight about potential and probable pest outbreaks. Users can receive customized e-mail alerts when pests in their area reach a certain threshold. Also new is a library of more than 100 pests—insects, diseases and weeds—that includes information on biological, chemical and structural control methods. Additional tools include feature articles, podcasts, product calculators, soil temperature maps, e-learning modules and TechNotes.

John Deere Golf & Bayer Accepting Nominations for Green Start

Nominations are being accepted for Green Start Academy, a two-day educational and networking event for assistant superintendents sponsored by John Deere Golf and Bayer Environmental Science. The program offers an opportunity for assistants to enhance their careers by learning best practices, meeting industry experts and networking with peers.  

Once nominated by their superintendent, any assistant from the United States or Canada can apply to attend by submitting an essay. Fifty assistants will be selected to attend the event, which will be held October 1-3 at the Bayer Development and Training Center in Clayton, N.C., and John Deere’s Turf Care factory in Fuquay Varina, N.C. Superintendents and assistants should visit for more information.

Caterpillar and Navistar To Pursue Strategic Alliance

Caterpillar, Inc. and Navistar International Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue global on-highway truck business opportunities and cooperate on a variety of engine platforms. Through this alliance, Caterpillar plans to target a 2010 introduction of a North American Cat-branded heavy-duty truck for severe service applications. Concurrent with this new strategic direction, Caterpillar has determined independently that it will not supply EPA 2010-compliant engines to truck and other on-highway original equipment manufacturers.  

The companies intend to work together to develop, manufacture and distribute commercial trucks in select regions outside of North America; cooperate on engine development; and expand their existing remanufacturing relationship to include Navistar’s MaxxForce on-highway engines.  

Woodward Hosts U.S. Open

Before assuming his duties as CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Mark Woodward wrapped up a three-year stint as manager of golf operations for the city of San Diego, Calif., by hosting the 108th U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. It is the first city-owned, municipal golf course to host a U.S. Open.

A former GCSAA president, Woodward was assisted by Jon Maddern, the city’s assistant golf operations manager, who has also served as GCSAA president; Candice Combs, superintendent of the South Course; and the rest of the Torrey Pines staff. John Deere fairway mowers were part of the fleet the team used to prepare the course.

HMI Releases Podcast on Storm Preparation

Doug Cowles, president and CEO of Horticultural Asset Management, Inc., announced the release of an audio podcast on preparing large trees and shrubs for the annual storm season. In the podcast, Cowles discusses how residential and commercial property owners can take action to help prevent loss of landscape assets as well as damage to other property by using HMI’s inspection and health assessment products and services.

Cowles gives a detailed description of how property owners and the insurance industry are impacted by severe weather events and discusses the link between the health of large trees and their ability to withstand adverse conditions.

The podcast is available for download at

News from Thomas Equipment

Francisco Auer has joined Thomas Equipment, Inc. as a regional business manager. He will oversee expansion of Thomas’ dealer network and customer base in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as in South and Central America. Previously, Auer was a sales specialist at Kelly Tractor Co. He holds an associate degree from Miami Dade Community College.

Daniel J. Casey was named regional business manager for the Midwest. Previously, Casey was compact equipment specialist at Ditch Witch of Minnesota. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Thomas promoted Allan Downey to regional business manager for the Northeast. Downey, previously technical service manager, joined Thomas 14 years ago and has held quality control and technical positions.

Mary Jane Clark was promoted to director of European and Australian operations, from her previous position as sales administration manager. Clark, who has been with Thomas for 34 years, will be responsible for directing activities of regional business managers and growing Thomas’s business and dealer network throughout Europe and Australia.

Hewlett Equipment, the Thomas dealer for Australia and New Zealand, showcased Thomas skid steer loaders at CivEnEx Sydney, an Australian show for the construction, public works and open space management industries. Hewlett has headquarters in Brisbane and branch offices in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia, and a facility in New Zealand.

Solo Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH, based in Sindelfingen, Germany, is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2008 as an engine and outdoor power equipment manufacturer. The cornerstone of the company’s success was the production of a compact backpack sprayer that allowed one person to handle spraying operations—hence the name Solo.

Founded by Hans and Heinz Emmerich, Solo is still a family business, operated by Hans’ sons Wolfgang and Andreas. The company markets its products in more than 85 countries and has production facilities in Sindelfingen and Newport News, Va., which is also the headquarters of its subsidiary, Solo, Inc.