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.

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.

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.

Plant Experts Certified as CANPs

Twenty-nine green industry professionals were certified as Connecticut Accredited Nursery Professionals after successfully completing a 13-week course for tradespeople employed by garden centers, landscapers, nurseries and greenhouses in the state. This year’s graduates are Garth Koneski, Burton Jaynes, Heide Mizak, Richard Cecarelli, Michael McHill, Jeff Fengler, David Mann, Sharon Mann, Julio Trevino, Peter Novajosky, Arik Carlson, Daniel Maki, Ashley Hasenbein, Tasha Broduer, Mary Pat Murray, Jen Belanger, Melissa Emma, Anne Saucier, Jordan Takvorian, Laura McPartland, Rick King, Kirsten Smith, Micaela Boland, Joyce Larson, Geoff Martin, Shawn Shay, Rondi Niles, Chris Fusca and Samantha Giordano.

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.

News from SavATree

SavATree was named a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Performance Track program, becoming the first in their industry to achieve this green credential. Performance Track recognizes facilities that have a strong record of environmental compliance, as well as three-year goals for environmental improvement, internal systems to manage their environmental impacts and community outreach programs.

SavATree committed to being a 2007-08 Audubon Partner for the Environment in cooperation with Audubon International. The company agreed to complete at least one environmental improvement project this year and document its results. Audubon International will provide educational and project information and staff support, as well as awards and recognition for completed projects. Maria Falkenberg will spearhead participation of all 18 facilities. The SavATree corporate office is certified in Environmental Planning by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, an international program designed to help landowners preserve and enhance the environmental quality of their property.

SavATree sponsored a rope-climbing event at the 19th annual Riverkeeper’s Shad Festival to help raise awareness of the health of the Hudson River and green living. The company gave out “Go Green” T-shirts to children and also a green edition of its “Timely Tips” newsletter for their parents.

SavATree arborists Stephen Skyer of Ramsey, N.J., and Steven Donald Mazza of Crompond, N.Y., recently demonstrated professional competency by successfully completing the certified arborist examination administered through the International Society of Arboriculture and the local chapter of the ISA.

Bayer Names New Lawn Care Sales Reps

Bayer Environmental Science has announced two new sales representatives for the lawn care market, Dave Swanigan and Brad Herman. They will be responsible for sales and product support for lawn care customers in their respective territories.

Swanigan will cover Savannah, Ga., northern Georgia, North and South Carolina, eastern Tennessee and southern Virginia. Prior to joining Bayer, he spent 17 years at Lesco. A graduate of Concord University, Swanigan holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Herman will handle the New England region and New York. Previously, Herman was employed by Bell Laboratories, Inc., as a turf and ornamental account manager. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and sociology.

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

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.

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.

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.

A Toro Groundsmaster with cab.

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.

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.

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.

Don Wilson, left, Hewlitt sales manager for Syndey, discusses Thomas skid loaders with a customer.

Dan Casey Mary Jane Clark

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.

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.

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

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.