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People on the Move: Hirings and promotions from PBI-Gordon, Stihl and more

July 14, 2020 -  By
Gary Wolf (Photo: PBI-Gordon Corp.)

Gary Wolf (Photo: PBI-Gordon Corp.)

PBI-Gordon has hired Gary Wolf as the senior director of operations.

Wolf brings more than 30 years of industry experience to PBI-Gordon.

Most recently, he was director of active ingredient operations at Bayer, where he was responsible for the chemical manufacturing of active ingredients for herbicides, fungicides and intermediates at four plants. Prior to that, Wolf was a production manager with Exide Technologies and spent more than a decade with Compass Minerals in various leadership roles.

A former officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, Wolf earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama and his MBA from Wake Forest University.

Stihl promoted Casey Kralovetz from sales manager at Intermountain Stihl to branch director of Stihl Northwest.

As branch director, Kralovetz will be responsible for directing and managing the sales, distribution and service of all products, parts and accessories at the company-owned branch. He will also lead the development of advertising and marketing plans for the territory which encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

The position was formerly held by Dave Warren, who will begin his new role as general manager of Stihl Ltd. in Canada.

Kralovetz started his nine-year career at Stihl in 2011 serving as product management specialist in Virginia Beach. In his most recent role as sales manager at Intermountain Stihl, Kralovetz was responsible for sales operations in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. Prior to his career with Stihl, Kralovetz owned a tree care service company and worked as an ISA-Certified arborist. Kralovetz earned his associate’s degree in horticulture and arboriculture at Milwaukee Area Tech College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis.

MiniTrencher, manufacturer of the hand trencher, GeoRipper, promoted JJ Harris to general manager.

Harris is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of MiniTrencher including sales, manufacturing and marketing. Harris joined MiniTrencher in 2016 as product manager and has since risen to the executive team. Harris brings with him 23 years of experience in the architectural/engineering/construction industry, and served as managing director for the North End Players and Twilight Theater Cos. in Portland, Ore.

Harris has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University – Washington.

John Smith, a veteran of the professional products industry, has taken on a newly established role as vice president of commercial operations for Amvac Environmental Products (AEP), an American Vanguard company.

In his new role, Smith oversees all marketing, branding, sales and key account management for AEP’s products and technologies in turf, ornamentals, pest control and public health. AEP’s product portfolio for the environmental and professional sector includes Nuvan, Dibrom, Turfcide, Navigator, Wisdom, Premion, Previa, ProVerde and SurePyc IQ, a new dual-action, broad-spectrum herbicide for turf and lawn care.

Smith previously spent nine years leading the professional products team at WinField United as director of marketing. He also served a nearly five-year term as a board member for Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. A current resident of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., area, he will transition to AEP’s offices in Morrisville, N.C.

The Irrigation Association named Lynda Wightman of Missoula, Mont., as the recipient of the 2020 Industry Achievement Award. This award is the IA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry, as well as its products and programs.

Wightman retired from Hunter Industries in February 2020 after 35 years with the company. She was the 13th employee hired at Hunter and spent her career focused on elevating the industry through volunteer leadership and education. Wightman has also served on the boards of the Irrigation Foundation (chair), American Society of Irrigation Consultants, Montana/Idaho American Society of Landscape Architects, Landscape Architecture Foundation, Sports Turf Managers Association, National Recreation and Parks Association and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. In addition to serving as a leader for these organizations, she has also supported the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Student Career Days and Renewal and Remembrance since the beginning of both programs.

Although Wightman was a valuable long-time member of the Hunter Industries team, her legacy reaches beyond Hunter in her efforts to impact the industry through volunteer work and a dedication and commitment to irrigation education.

The Irrigation Association also recognized Brent Q. Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS, of Loveland, Colo., as the recipient of the 2020 Industry Achievement Award.

Mecham retired from his position as the Irrigation Association’s industry development director in July 2020 after joining the IA in 2007. Mecham has been part of the irrigation industry for more than 45 years. He taught irrigation classes for more than 20 years, played a major role in the success of the IA’s certification and education programs, contributed to numerous publications and conducted research on various aspects of irrigation. He has also been extensively involved in the standard and codes process for irrigation equipment and practices.

Mecham is considered one of the most respected resources on landscape irrigation in the U.S. His knowledge is relied upon by government agencies, code developers, water purveyors and other nongovernmental organizations focused on landscapes and water management. Mecham is also uniquely known for his calm demeanor, attitude and collegiality, even when in the midst of a difficult task.

Wightman and Mecham will be a featured guest on an upcoming episode of the IA’s Bringing Water to Life podcast, and the IA will host an online discussion in early fall with her and another Industry Achievement Award recipient and the 2020 Innovator Award recipient about their views on the future of the irrigation industry.

Gothic Landscape named Roger Zino, an experienced services industry executive and veteran of the landscape business, as vice chairman and joins Gothic Landscape’s board of directors effective immediately. In this role, Zino will partner with Jon Georgio, Gothic’s CEO, to drive the company’s long-term growth strategy.

Zino has recently led Socratic Dialog, a business services consultancy, as its managing partner. He has extensive distributed services experiences including several key roles in the landscape services business. He has served as president of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance, CEO of ValleyCrest Companies and as vice-chairman of BrightView during the company’s integration. Prior to ValleyCrest, he was a partner at McKinsey & Co. and served a range of diversified businesses in that capacity. Zino has a B.S.B.A. degree in accounting/computer science from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

LawnStarter hired Arman Panjwani as its new chief financial officer.

He was previously chief business officer at Muzik responsible for leading strategy, business development, and partnerships. Prior to that, Panjwani led Snap’s Corporate Finance and Investor Relations team. He joined Snap in late 2016 to assist with Snap’s initial public offering (IPO). Panjwani, began his career on the Mergers and Acquisitions team at Qatalyst Partners focusing on deals across the technology ecosystem. Panjwani has worked on closed deals exceeding $10 billion in transaction value.

LawnStarter also hired Jeff Herman as managing editor, formerly of Austin-based, and Shawn Jones, head of contact center operations.

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Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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