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People in the news: Updates from Primera, Control Solutions Inc. and more

January 25, 2022 -  By

Primera Board Chairman Michael Kropp Sr., 54, died on Dec. 22, 2021.

Kropp served on the Primera board of directors since 2014 and as chairman since 2019.

“Michael will be remembered as an exceptional leader, dedicated to the success of our cooperative, but most importantly, he’ll be remembered by many as a friend,” said Primera CEO Jeff Braun. “Michael led the board with a tremendous passion for making Primera a leader in our industry. His forward-thinking and vision for what success could be for our member-owner and supplier partners was a driving reason I chose to join Primera. Michael has left his mark on our industry, our cooperative, and we are all grateful for his invaluable contribution. He will be genuinely missed by all who had the privilege to call him a collogue and friend.”

As a result of Kropp Sr.’s passing, the company announced the following changes to its board of directors: Bob Windsheimer, vice president and COO of Walker Supply, has been named board chairman and Todd Griebe, director of procurement at Target Specialty Products, has been appointed vice-chair.

 

Control Solutions Inc. (CSI) added a new member to the Quali-Pro team: Jeff Rampino.

Rampino will support the Quali-Pro Brand in Florida. With 27 years in the turf industry, Rampino is well-seasoned.

His experience as a territory manager with a national distribution company to his years as a golf superintendent provides an excellent insight into his customer’s goals and issues, according to the company.

 

The employee-owners of PBI-Gordon Corp. added Michael Johnson as a sales representative.

He is responsible for PBI-Gordon product sales to golf course and turfgrass management customers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Immediately prior to joining PBI-Gordon, Johnson worked at FMC Professional Solutions as a market specialist, a position he held since June 2018. In that role, he supported sales efforts by working directly with customers, distributor representatives and end-users.

 

Outworx Group, a provider of municipal and facility maintenance services, promoted Eric Hartmann to be its CCO.

Hartmann previously served as the executive vice president, client experience for Outworx. Prior to joining Outworx, he was with Tovar Snow Professionals, which is owned by Outworx. At Tovar Snow Professionals, Hartmann worked his way from a salt driver to executive vice president of sales before his move to Outworx.

As CCO, Hartmann is responsible for Outworx Group’s commercial strategy as it relates to marketing, product development, sales and customer service to drive business growth.

 

Rain Bird appointed Michael L. Donoghue as its president and CEO, effective Feb. 1.

Donoghue succeeds CEO and Chairman Art Ludwick, who took on the interim CEO role upon the passing of Rain Bird’s former president and CEO, Tony LaFetra, in January 2021. Ludwick will remain the chairman of the board and Donoghue will become the newest member of Rain Bird’s board of directors.

Since joining Rain Bird in 1990, Donoghue has held roles as quality manager, plant manager, engineering manager and business unit director of the company’s golf division before becoming a vice president at Rain Bird in 2000. In February 2021, Donoghue was promoted to the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

At different points throughout his 31-year career with Rain Bird, Donoghue has been responsible for each of the company’s six business units. He has also overseen the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations since 2006.

 

NaturaLawn of America has welcomed three new owners to its national system of franchises, in addition to a new franchise and service location.

A Madison, Wis. location will begin service in 2022, with a new franchise opening under the leadership of owner Brian Burton. Burton brings with him 30 years of experience in the hotel industry, where he started in operations and spent over twenty years in sales. In his last role, he served as a vice president of sales for a property portfolio of more than 100 locations across the United States.

At NaturaLawn of America’s Chicago, Ill. franchise, Trevor and Trent Foss will serve as new owners after the passing of their uncle and previous franchise owner Jeff Treywn. Additionally, Patrick Braun will now serve as owner of the Minneapolis, Minn., franchise of NaturaLawn of America, taking over from Rod Criego after six years as the location’s operations manager.

 

K-Rain announced that Miguel Quino has joined its team as a regional sales manager.

Quino brings over 12 years of green industry experience to lead the sales organization in the southwestern region. Working in a variety of sales management positions both domestically and internationally, Quino brings with him a wealth of experience in the area of water conservation.

 

Jeffrey Scott added Loriena Harrington to its team as a consultant and peer group leader.

Harrington is a long-time client of Jeffrey Scott and owns Beautiful Blooms Menomonee Falls, Wis. She also was named the National Association of Landscape Professional’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.

Harrington is heading up Jeffrey Scott’s newest “Leader’s Edge Peer Group” which kicks off on March 7.

 

Munro named Thomas Buck as its new inside sales representative. Buck will work closely with the company’s regional account managers and network of professional distributors, to provide support and further develop and enhance Munro’s current market presence.

Buck has more than 19 years of experience working in sales and customer service and is excited to contribute to the growth of a premier brand. Buck earned his bachelor’s degree in Leadership from Ohio Christian University in 2015 and is currently working on his master’s degree.

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

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