People on the Move: The latest awards, hirings and promotions from Yanmar, Ruppert, Kress and more

Catch up on the latest hirings and promotions from Yanmar Compact Equipment, Ruppert Landscape and more.

Yanmar Compact Equipment appoints global CEO

José Cuadrado
José Cuadrado

Yanmar Compact Equipment appointed José Cuadrado as global chief executive officer and chairman of the board at Yanmar Holdings Co. Cuadrado replaces Giuliano Parodi who has spent the last six years leading the transformation of Yanmar CE into a global leader. Parodi is now transferring to manage the Yanmar Group’s Strategy Division, as chief strategy officer.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Cuadrado brings with him construction, industrial and automotive experience, working at leading brands that include Ingersol Rand, Doosan and CNH Industrial. Cuadrado joined Yanmar CE in early 2023, where he is managing director of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

In the new role, Cuadrado is responsible for leading increased organizational integration and improving financial performance, as well as driving customer success through best-in-class product development.

“José is an experienced and dynamic leader and, having helped shape the strategy as part of the global leadership team since joining the company, is fully aligned to our goals and aspirations,” said Giuliano Parodi, newly appointed chief strategy officer at Yanmar. “We are confident that he will continue to drive Yanmar CE towards meeting its objective of becoming a customer-centric, innovative, global leader in compact equipment. We offer José our full support in his new role.”

Ruppert Landscape welcomes new branch managers

Kevin Paepke
Kevin Paepke

Ruppert Landscape recently welcomed Kevin Paepke as branch manager in the company’s Mableton, Ga. landscape management branch. In this role, he will be responsible for the overall welfare of the branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training, customer service and day-to-day operations.

Paepke holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from West Virginia University and brings more than 16 years of landscape industry experience, including several years at Ruppert earlier in his career. Over the last decade, Paepke played a role in establishing and expanding a Dallas landscaping firm. Under his leadership, the firm grew to encompass 60 employees and achieved $8 million in revenue, offering comprehensive services in landscape maintenance, design and construction.

“Kevin’s familiarity with our organization, combined with his proven leadership skills, will play a key role in driving growth and maintaining the high standards our clients expect,” said Steve Faber, region manager in the company’s landscape management division. “We are excited about the positive impact he will undoubtedly make in steering our Mableton branch to new heights.”

Chris Southworth
Chris Southworth

Ruppert also recently expanded its landscape construction operations to include a permanent location in Charlotte, N.C. Chris Southworth, who has recently been promoted to branch manager, will lead the new location. In this position, his responsibilities include planning, budgeting, personnel development and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Southworth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Eastern Kentucky University and has more than 20 years of construction industry experience. He joined Ruppert in 2011 and served four years as a senior estimator in the North Carolina construction branch before relocating to the Texas construction branch to serve as a business developer. In 2021, he returned to North Carolina and was promoted to assistant branch manager to help oversee the Charlotte satellite operation.

“Chris is a high-energy leader who really focuses on his people and taking care of customers. He sweats the small stuff and does a great job bringing people together,” said Bob Jones, president of Ruppert’s Landscape construction division. “We are excited to see him step into this new role and are confident in his ability to lead the Charlotte team as we continue to grow our presence in that market.”

Nick Jiannas joins Kress

Nick Jiannas
Nick Jiannas

Kress added Nick Jiannas as vice president of Kress Dealer Sales and Operations. Jiannas joins Kress after a 26-year career with Stihl where he served as vice president of sales and marketing. Most recently, Jiannas led the end-user engagement arm of Stanley Black & Decker’s outdoor-independent retail channel.

“Nick is a proven leader who has worked in nearly every role on the OEM side of our industry during his three-decade career,” said Michael Jones, president and CEO of Positec North America, parent company to Kress. “Jiannas has a demonstrated track record of building partnerships with dealers. He operates with honesty and transparency and has earned the trust of independent business owners throughout the U.S. He’s a great fit for our culture and I’m thrilled to see his impact on Kress’ continued growth.”

Jiannas’ experience includes dealer onboarding, warehousing and logistics, field testing, product and channel management, as well as leading regional and national sales teams. At Kress, Jiannas will oversee the U.S. sales team with a focus on expanding its dealer base while deepening relationships with new and existing partners.

“Kress is balancing its pursuit of innovation – through products, technology and business modeling – with a clear commitment to independent dealers, who I believe are the bedrock of our industry. It is the best of both worlds and is one of the many reasons I am so excited to join the team – to help this brand continue its strong growth,” Jiannas said. “A strong team culture has always been important to me. There is a talented sales team in place that has made major strides in onboarding an impressive national dealer network in the brand’s first year in the US. I’m excited to lead and support this group as we continue to expand the Kress brand and bring a truly viable battery solution to the commercial landscape industry.”

David J. Frank Landscape senior horticulturist induced into Wisconsin Landscape Hall of Fame

Kurt Bartel
Kurt Bartel

The Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association recently recognized the 45-year green industry career of Kurt Bartel senior horticulturist for David J. Frank Landscape, No. 110 on the 2023 LM150 list, by inducting him into its hall of fame.

Bartel began his career in the green industry in 1979 at Milwaukee County Zoological Park, where he managed the installation and maintenance of both tropical plant displays and exterior woody and herbaceous plant collections.

He joined David J. Frank Landscape in 1989 and assumed three job titles: horticulturist, plant pathologist and vice president of maintenance. Thirty years later in 2019, Bartel stepped down from his vice president position and concentrated solely on being the company’s senior horticulturist. He is set to retire in September after 35 years at the company.

Over the years, Bartel has shared his love and knowledge of horticulture by giving hundreds of educational presentations to community groups and green industry organizations. He has helped organize and been one of the main presenters at DJF University, the company’s two-month training program held for hundreds of employees during winter.

Bartel’s love of the environment extends into his own backyard. He is an avid gardener and has cultivated large perennial plants, dwarf conifers, ornamental grasses, and hosta collections.

“If I had to list just one thing I’m most proud of, it’s the fact that my teaching and training over the years have positively affected so many people, giving them the knowledge and confidence to excel in the green industry,” Bartel said.

Massey Services’ Suzanne Graham receives Women Who Mean Business award

Suzanne Graham
Suzanne Graham

The Orlando Business Journal selected Suzanne Graham, director of government affairs at Massey Services, as one of its Women Who Mean Business award winners. The annual award honors women who exceed expectations in their roles and drive business success, industry growth, workforce development and community advancement.

“We are extremely proud of Suzanne for being recognized for her incredible accomplishments and effective leadership with this award from the Orlando Business Journal,” said Tony Massey, president and CEO of Massey Services. “She is an outstanding and essential member of our Massey team. Her passion for our industry, our company, our team members and our community are what make her such an exceptional leader.”

Graham has been with Massey Services since 2012, serving as the company’s representative for federal, state and local government officials, community stakeholders and allied industries. In her role, she is also responsible for government relations and tracks laws at the state and federal levels that impact the pest management and landscape industries. In 2022, Graham initiated a plan to achieve the standardization of all the agreements in the states where Massey Services operates.

Brandt adds Tampa entrepreneur to board

Brad Oleshansky
Brad Oleshansky

Brandt welcomed Tampa entrepreneur, Brad Oleshansky to its board of directors.

“When we look for new board members, we are looking for entrepreneurs who know how to see opportunities and take appropriate risks,” said Rick Brandt, president and CEO of Brandt. “That pretty much defines Brad. Brad has an incredible track record of seeing the future, refusing to hear no and achieving things that have been described as impossible.”

Brandt shareholders elected Oleshansky to a one-year term; he joins ten other directors and one consultant.

Oleshansky spent 12 years as an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles and helped run a digital marketing firm in Michigan. After exiting that business, he conceived, developed and built M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. He exited that business in 2019 to build The Motor Enclave in Tampa, Fla.

“Brandt is a company on the move and I am thrilled to join its board,” Oleshansky said. “To me, this is the perfect fit: Even though it has been in business for more than 70 years, Brandt is still innovating, trying new things and looking to new markets. That’s where I think my experience and expertise can really help the Board and the company overall.”

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