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People on the Move: New hires and promotions from Gothic Landscape, Kawasaki, Heaviland, UTA, Willowood, Ruppert

January 11, 2017 -  By
Tim Zech

Tim Zech, former UTA president, is now the turf and ornamental national sales manager for Willowood USA.

Tim Zech resigned as president of United Turf Alliance (UTA), a company that markets turf protection products under ArmorTech and Optimizer brand. Zech, who was with the company for seven years, will assume the position of turf and ornamental national sales manager with Willowood USAa manufacturer of turf and ornamental chemicals and UTA supplier. Prior to UTA, Zech held roles with Sostram Corp. and Sipcam Agro USA. The corporation’s chairman of the board, Bob Mele, was appointed interim president.

UTA also hired Aaron Goy to fill the newly created position of director of sales and marketing. Formerly the president of ProGro Solutions and founder of Bull Market Turf and Ornamental, Goy brings decades of sales management, marketing and product distribution experience.

Gothic Landscape in San Fernando Valley, Calif., hired Nada Duna, a 29-year veteran of BrightView Landscape (formerly ValleyCrest), as the chief operating officer of the company’s maintenance division. Duna, who began her career at ValleyCrest Cos. in San Jose, Calif., as a head gardener and landscape leader in 1987, progressed through a series of senior positions over three decades, ultimately becoming a senior vice president in 2006. She earned a bachelor’s in agricultural engineering, a master’s in plant pathology from American University of Beirut and a bachelor’s in horticulture from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. The company also promoted Nicholas DePasquale to executive vice president. After joining Gothic in 2000 as a management trainee, he worked his way up to vice president of the maintenance division, his most recent position, in 2009. DePasquale earned his bachelor’s in sociology from the University of California Los Angeles. He is a certified arborist, a landscape industry certified manager and a qualified applicator.

The Engines Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp. added Todd Sytsma to its management team as an OEM sales manager. Sytsma most recently worked for Michigan-based Visual Workplace in sales and distribution roles. Sytsma holds a business administration degree from Calvin College. He is part of a sales group that recently moved from the company’s plant in Missouri to the division’s headquarters in Grand Rapids.

Heaviland Landscape Management, headquartered in Vista, Calif., added two new members to its operations teams.

  • Tim Sayegh joined the company as a regional account manager at the Vista branch. Sayegh entered the landscape industry 30 years ago. For the past 12 years, he has owned and operated his own landscape company, where he designed and installed commercial and residential landscapes. He holds a bachelor’s in landscape construction from Utah State University and an associate degree in ornamental horticulture.
  • Brandon Jenkins assumed a position at the company’s Miramar, Calif., branch as regional account managers. Jenkins, who started his career in Utah, earned a bachelor’s in landscape construction from Utah State University and also holds an associate degree in ornamental horticulture.

Ruppert Landscape promoted Nathan FadrowskiKyle Meissner and Claire Seesman at its Washington, D.C., landscape management branch.

  • Fadrowski was promoted to area manager. He joined the company in 2015 as a field manager in Ruppert’s Laytonsville, Md., landscape management branch. Fradrowski holds a bachelor’s in music from Shenandoah University.
  • Meissner was promoted to area manager. He joined the company in 2013 as a crewman and quickly worked his way up to field manager in the Laytonsville landscape management branch.
  • Seesman was promoted to enhancement manager. She joined the company in 2015 as a designer in the Laytonsville landscape management branch and has since taken on additional responsibilities of a business developer. She is a Maryland Nursery Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA) certified professional horticulturalist and holds a bachelor’s in family studies and ecological design from Prescott College.

Ruppert Landscape made several new additions and promotions within the company’s accounting, human resources (HR) and information technology (IT) departments.

  • Victoria Attwood was hired to the company’s accounting department as an AP specialist. Attwood holds a bachelor’s in combined studies from the University of Leicester in England.
  • Andrea Mayer was hired to the company’s accounting department as an AP specialist. Mayer holds an associate degree in business from Georgia Perimeter College.
  • Ranjani Devi was hired to the company’s accounting department as staff accountant. Devi holds a bachelor’s in accounting/financial management  and economics from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
  • Hunter Thompson has been promoted from accounts payable specialist to staff accountant. Thompson holds a bachelor’s in accounting, business administration and economics from McDaniel College.
  • Lily Novakova joined the company’s accounting department as an AP/AR specialist. Novakova holds a master’s in marketing and a bachelor’s in macroeconomics from the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria and an associate degree in accounting from Montgomery College.
  • Bruk Woldesenbet was added to the company’s accounting department as an AP/AR specialist. Woldesenbet holds a bachelor’s in economics from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. 
  • Jibran Misbah was promoted from accounts payable/accounts receivable specialist to general ledger accountant. 
  • Stephanie Whealton was hired in the company’s HR department as an employee development specialist. She holds a bachelor’s in business administration and human resource management from Towson University.
  • Lauren Dugan was promoted from administrative assistant to human resource specialist. She holds a bachelor’s in human resource management from Virginia Tech.
  • Casey Mills has joined the company’s IT department as help desk lead. He holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Frederick Community College and is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Reserves.

Photo: Willowood USA

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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