Industry Update


News from around the Green industry

Clark Wins GIE+EXPO’s Trucks of the Industry Giveaway

Jennifer Clark of Clark Landscape Group in Monroe, N.C., was the winner of the Trucks of the Industry Giveaway held during the 2007 Green Industry & Equipment Expo. Just by attending the show and visiting the exhibits of the participating truck manufacturers, she received $20,000 toward the purchase of a new work truck.

The giveaway was sponsored by Power Equipment Trade and Turf magazines, and featured eight major truck manufacturers: Dodge, Ford Commercial Truck, Isuzu Commercial Truck America, GM Fleet and Commercial, International Truck & Engine Corp., Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Sterling Truck Corp. and Toyota Trucks.

New Host for Oklahoma Gardening

Kim Rebek became the new host for Oklahoma Gardening in 2007, replacing Steve Owens, who had hosted the program since 2001.

Rebek comes to Oklahoma State University from Michigan State University, where she held the position of professional aide to the state coordinator of the Michigan Master Gardener Volunteer Program.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin and her master’s degree in entomology at Purdue University.

Parker Hannafin Presents Grasshopper Innovation Award

The Grasshopper Co. has received a Partnership Award for Excellence in Pioneering Innovation from Parker Hannafin Corp.

The company received the award in recognition for their collaborative design and test efforts in the codevelopment of a new hydrostatic drive system. The system, dubbed T2 by Grasshopper, is incorporated into a new AntiVibe Power Platform in certain 2008 models.

Innisbrook Reopens Island Course

Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Tampa, Fla., has reopened the Island Course following $1.7 million in renovations.

Entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson and her hospitality company, Salamander Hospitality purchased Innisbrook in July 2007 and immediately began renovating the course.

Island has been lengthened to 7,310 yards, with a par of 71. Additional improvements include new cart paths, course signage, bunkers, irrigation systems, new tree plantings and finer landscaping throughout. The Glase Golf Construction Co., based in Bonita Springs, Fla., oversaw the project.

Middleton Kicks Off Youth Achievement Award Program

Middleton Lawn & Pest Control, based in Orlando, Fla., has announced the second annual “What’s Bugging You?” Youth Achievement Award program. This program seeks to learn what’s on the minds of Florida’s high school seniors by giving them an opportunity to express their opinions by writing an essay or creating a work of art that answers the question, “What’s Bugging You?”

Expanding after its initial success last year, the 2008 program now has a visual category for entries, and has increased its reach to students in 22 Florida counties. Middleton will award six $2,000 prizes to six overall winners —  three from the written category and three from the visual, as well as 22 $500 awards to one winner from each of the participating counties. The awards will go toward the winners’ college expenses.

A team of judges consisting of Middleton management, business professionals, educators and art/design professionals will determine winners based on their originality and how well they answer the question. The students’ personal achievements will also be considered during judging.

The award competition is open to high school seniors in Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.  All entries must be postmarked by February 29. Winners will be announced in April. Interested students can visit for complete program rules and entry details and to download an application.  

Massey Acquires Nature Coast, Expands

Pest management company Massey Services has expanded its service offering in Florida with the acquisition of Nature Coast Environmental Services, founded in 2000 by owner Kevin Citarella.

Nature Coast, based in Brooksville, Fla., provides commercial and residential pest management services to over 2,000 customers in Brooksville and the surrounding communities.

Massey Services, Inc. has announced the addition of a new consumer services region, as well as the strategic realignment of its current regions.

The realignment includes the promotion of Paul Giordano to the position of division manager for the company’s PrevenTech Commercial Services division, which includes seven service centers in Florida. Giordano joined Massey in 2005 and was soon promoted to general manager of the PrevenTech Orlando Service Center.  

Seven Falls Hires Darnell

PGA Master Professional Mark E. Darnell has joined the Seven Falls Golf and River Club in Hendersonville, N.C., as the director of golf for the new Arnold Palmer Premier course, which is scheduled to open by late fall 2008.

Darnell comes to Seven Falls from the West Lake Country Club in Augusta, Ga., where he served as the club professional for over thirty years. Thirteen of those years he served in the dual capacity of general manager and director of golf. In addition to being a PGA Master Professional, Darnell has two PGA Specialty Certifications in general management and retail. In 2000, he was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University.

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.

Dow AgroSciences Recognized

Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co., was recognized as a winner in one category and as a finalist in four others in the AGROW Awards competition, which honors corporate and individual excellence in the crop protection and production industry.

Winners, named October 16 at a dinner and presentation in Glasgow, Scotland, included Dow AgroSciences’ EcoZome as the 2007 Best Formulation Innovation.

Dow AgroSciences was nominated and named as a finalist for Best Stewardship Program for its product stewardship and risk mitigation for ProFume fumigant; Best New Crop Protection Product for aminopyralid-containing herbicides; Most Innovative Chemistry for spinetoram; and Best Public Program for its agricultural science outreach tours.

This is the first year the awards were presented. Entries were judged by a panel of 13 industry professionals from around the world.

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.

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.

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.

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.

John Deere Names Agency of Record

John Deere Construction & Forestry Division has tapped Fergus/Peters Group, based in Des Plaines, Ill., as its public relations and advertising agency of record for its construction business.

John Deere’s partnership with Fergus/Peters officially began Nov. 1. All public relations and media activity for their construction business will be coordinated through the new agency and managed by Craig Olson, the manager of marketing communications, events and promotions for the Construction and Forestry Division.

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.

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.

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.