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People on the Move: LandOpt CEO steps down, Fisher’s longest tenured employee retires and more personnel changes from Performance Nutrition, Swingle, CNH Industries, LaurelRock

August 3, 2016 -  By
Tim Smith

Tim Smith, former CEO of LandOpt Headshot: Tim Smith

LandOpt CEO Tim Smith stepped down after 12 years with the national network of landscape contractors. Smith, who had served as CEO for the past eight years, will continue to serve the company at the board level. A search committee has been assembled to find Smith’s successor. He will continue to fill the role of CEO until a replacement is found to ensure continuity and success for his team and customers, the company said.

Fisher said goodbye to Horace Grover, who retired this month after more than 47 years with the company. Grover was hired in December 1968 after serving in the U.S. Army. His first role was packing hydraulic kits in the hydraulic department. In the late 70s, Grover earned his accounting degree and took a purchasing position, where he remained until his retirement. Grover was the company’s longest-tenured employee when he retired. “We talk about ‘legacy’ a lot at Fisher, and there’s no better example of that than what Horace has accomplished,” said John Murphy, vice president of sales at Douglas Dynamics, parent company of Fisher Engineering. “We thank him so much for all he’s done for this company, and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Performance Nutrition, a division of LidoChem and producer of environmentally sustainable lawn care products, hired Ed Brockton as territory sales manager for turf & ornamental products in the Midwest region. Brockman has more than 20 years of experience in the turf & ornamental industry and was president of the Kentucky Turfgrass Council in 2008. He most recently worked as a distributor at Sigma Organics, where he distributed Performance Nutrition products. Brockman is a Navy veteran of Desert Storm and a graduate of the University of Louisville.

The company also promoted Randy Rider to national sales manager for turf & ornamental products. He’s worked as territory manager and regional sales manager for Performance Nutrition for the past six years. Rider is a past golf course superintendent and holds a bachelor’s in horticulture with an emphasis in turfgrass science from Oklahoma State University.

Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care hired Jason Anderson as senior operations manager of enhancement services. Anderson has 17 years of experience in the landscape and tree care industry, previously managing ValleyCrest Tree Care Services in South Florida and Lucas Tree Expert Co. in Charleston, S.C. He is an ISA Certified arborist and has a Certified Treecare Safety Professional certification.

CNH Industrial Parts & Service named Kurt Coffey vice president of the company’s North American operation. He succeeds Scott Harris, who recently became vice president of the the company’s Case Construction division. Coffey most recently served as director of sales and marketing for the CNH Industrial Reman. He holds a bachelor’s in agricultural business from Illinois State University.

Christopher Blair, a turfgrass and landscape management major at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Waco, Texas, received the $1,000 Kevin L. Dilliard Scholarship from the Texas branch of the Professional Grounds Management Society.  In addition to attending classes full-time, Blair works at least 30 hours a week at Walnut Creek Country Club in Mansfield, Texas, where TSTC students work to gain experience. Blair started in the industry at 16 years old, when he worked at Shady Valley Country Club in Arlington, Texas. He expects to graduate from TSTC in August 2017. “He will be a valuable asset to a golf course,” program chair Ron Gwyn said. “He wants everything taken care of and done to the best of his ability. He grasps a lot of the technical aspects pretty quick.”

The LaurelRock Co. in Wilton, Conn., hired five new employees.

  • Jeremy Ferguson was hired as landscape architect/project manager. For more than two decades, he designed outdoor spaces in the hospitality sector. Ferguson’s portfolio includes hotels, high-end residential design/build projects and more.
  • Elizabeth Reinhardt was hired as garden and property manager. Reinhardt brings more than 10 years of experience after spending time as a landscape manager and private gardener working on for-sale homes and commercial properties.
  • Maggie Liang was added as a landscape designer. According to LaurelRock, Liang’s design and landscape architecture expertise is heavily influenced by her global experience, having lived and worked in China, Australia and the U.S.
  • Juan Torres joined The LaurelRock Co. as the enhancement and fine gardening production manager. Torres has more than 25 years of experience and is bilingual. Previously, he worked in landscape operations management and as a bilingual instructor in the landscaping and arboriculture industry.
  • Marisol Rodriguez was hired as human resources and office administrator. Rodriguez brings 26 years of human resource experience. Her experience focuses on benefits, compensation, work/life programs and staffing.

About the Author:

Dillon Stewart graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, earning a Bachelor of Science in Online Journalism with specializations in business and political science. Stewart is a former associate editor of LM.

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