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People on the Move: Hirings and promotions at RC Mowers, Positec, Harrell’s and more

November 30, 2022 -  By

RC Mowers, a manufacturer of remote-operated robotic mowers, added two new members to its sales and engineering teams.

The company hired Matthew Bries as its senior robotics engineer and Bryan Johnson as its regional sales manager based in the Pacific Northwest.

“These new hires are a testament to the abilities of our product and the anticipation of our future product lines,” said Tim Kubista, vice president of sales and marketing for RC Mowers. “We are seeing sustained interest from both commercial landscapers and from public works departments. Their positive reaction to our mowers, along with the continued expansion of our dealer network, has made these new hires a necessity to meet demand.”

Bries has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, worked for several years as a research engineer at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and has extensive experience in robotics technology. He will continue his work in autonomous vehicle development at RC Mowers.

Johnson comes from the automotive industry. He has experience in sales, operations, project management, customer service and team building, including a 15-year career at Discount Tire.

Positec appoints new president and CEO

Michael A. Jones (Photo: Positec)

Michael A. Jones (Photo: Positec)

Positec Tool Corp., the manufacturer of Worx and Kress, appointed Michael A. Jones to the position of president and CEO.

“With decades of experience in domestic and international sourcing, as well as sales and service excellence across a broad range of consumer and professional-grade goods, Michael comes to Positec at a time of tremendous product innovation and portfolio growth,” said Ben Dalziel, group executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Michael’s ability to drive business excellence is second to none, and we are delighted to have him guide Positec’s strategy and operations at this important moment in our company’s history.”

Jones previously served as chief commercial officer, Europe, for General Electric. He then became President for Husqvarna AB’s North and South American business operations, followed by executive roles with Lowe’s including chief merchandising officer and then executive vice president and chief customer officer.

“Together with the board of directors, I share tremendous optimism for Positec and its category-leading brands,“ expressed Jones. “The founder, Don Gao, and his global leadership team – with best-in-class R&D and proven brand-development capabilities – have built a powerhouse portfolio of innovative products, and I sense tremendous potential for growth in the coming years.”

Harrell’s adds Ph.D., to R&D team

Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D. (Photo: Harrell's)

Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D. (Photo: Harrell’s)

Harrell’s added Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D., as its new director of agronomy, specializing in horticulture.

At the University of Florida (UF),  he oversaw a plant diagnostic clinic. After 13 years on faculty at UF, Palmateer went to work at Bayer as a technical development manager. Five years later, he transitioned to SePRO in technical development.

“We are excited to add another industry-leading Ph.D., to our research and development team. Aaron brings a wealth of knowledge to our ornamental division that we have never had before. We are looking forward to an exciting future, one in which Aaron will play a significant part,” said Jack Harrell III, senior vice president of inventory, R&D, sales and marketing for Harrell’s said.

Rotary Corp. welcomes new territory managers

Todd Van Sickle (left) and Chris Sipos (Photo: Rotary Corp.)

Todd Van Sickle (left) and Chris Sipos (Photo: Rotary Corp.)

Rotary Corp. appointed two new territory managers to serve its dealer network.

The company named Chris Sipos territory manager for metro Atlanta and the Chattanooga, Tenn., region, and Todd Van Sickle territory manager for Michigan and Ohio.

Sipos will replace Billy Sapp who the company promoted to regional vice president for the southeast. Sipos previously served 10 years in territory sales for another outdoor power equipment supplier with accounts in Georgia and Tennessee.

Van Sickle is a Navy veteran with more than 20 years of experience in sales including municipal snow and ice removal equipment.

Have news about your company’s recent hirings or promotions? Send it to DiFranco at and we’ll feature it in an upcoming People on the Move.

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Rob DiFranco

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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