People on the Move: PBI-Gordon adds to research team, Davey hires new manager of technical services and more from Spring-Green Lawn Care, K-Rain, Holganix and Altoz

June 21, 2018 -  By
Chris Williamson headshot

Chris Williamson

Chris Williamson has joined PBI-Gordon’s research team.

Based in Defiance, Ohio, Williamson will be responsible for coordinating all research protocols, technical assistance to cooperators and product support for end users in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

Williamson holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Kentucky, where he developed novel and innovative strategies for management of the black cutworm on golf course putting greens. He earned his bachelor’s in agronomy/turfgrass science and a Master’s from The Ohio State University.

Most recently, Williamson was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—a position he’s held for the past 20 years. Prior to that, he was an assistant golf course superintendent and a research scientist with TruGreen.

“Chris has nearly 30 years of experience in the turf and ornamental industry and has always strived to provide relevant and practical solutions to growers and managers,” said Mark Welterlen, vice president of research and development for PBI-Gordon. “He comes on board at a time when PBI-Gordon is developing and expanding its insecticide portfolio. By tapping into his extensive expertise in entomology, we’ll be providing even more solutions for the golf and lawn care industries.”

The Davey Tree Expert Co. promoted A.D. Ali to manager of technical services for the Davey Institute.

Ali joined Davey in 1998 as a technical advisor and has more than 30 years of experience in the green industry. He has written a book on pest management in the landscape, presented over 130 scientific and training seminars and authored more than 300 scientific and trade-oriented articles in his career.

“A.D. has an enthusiasm and technical expertise that both our service lines and clients have come to rely on over the years,” said Jim Zwack, general manager of the Davey Institute. “His dedication to the scientific aspect of our industry is highly valued as we continuously strive to lead with technical integrity and deliver the highest quality of practice for our clients.”

Ali holds a bachelor’s degree in entomology and a Master’s degree in plant protection and management both from the University of California at Davis. He has a Ph.D. in entomology from Louisiana State University and is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist. Ali served on the board of directors of the Florida Chapter of the ISA, including a term as president. He also served as adjunct professor at Edison State College and Hodges University in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Spring-Green Enterprises—the parent company to the Spring-Green Lawn Care and Pet Butler franchise brands, as well as its portfolio of company-owned locations and subsidiaries—hired Jeff Kastelic as its chief financial officer (CFO), effective April 30.

Kastelic started his financial career in 1991 with Price Waterhouse and went on to become the CFO of a privately held, family-owned window company in 2000. In 2005, he became the CFO of Strive Logistics, a privately held, third-party logistics provider where he oversaw the fiscally responsible growth from 20 employees to more than 200 during his 13-year tenure. Kastelic will oversee accounting, human resources and all financial-related functions for Spring-Green Enterprises.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to work for a well-respected and established organization,” Kastelic said. “I have spent most of my career working with privately held companies with a focus on reporting, budgeting and operational analysis. I look forward to applying my experiences and contributing to the long-term development of the organization.”

Rick Hall, irrigation industry veteran of K-Rain Manufacturing, has assumed the position of director of sales North America for the company.

Having successfully held technical management and leadership sales positions within the company throughout the past 14 years, Hall brings a deep knowledge of irrigation products to the industry.

“Rick’s ability to take our engineering technology and innovation and boil it down to how it truly benefits irrigation professionals and their customers is amazing,” said Chip Kah, president. “In his expanded role, he’ll be able to now provide his leadership to our growing sales organization across the country.”

Chris Knapp and Erick Alpizar have taken positions as the Midwest and Northeast region territory managers for Holganix.

“We are excited to announce that Chris Knapp and Erick Alpizar have been hired to manage the midwest and northeast regions, respectively,” said Holganix National Sales Manager Rob McCoy.

As territory managers, Knapp and Alpizar are tasked with managing client relations in their territories.

Chris Knapp has more than 10 years of experience in the landscape industry. He began his career as the project lead for Blue Ribbon Lawn Care, after which he became the branch manager for Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply. Knapp has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. Knapp is managing the Midwest including Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Erick Alpizar is now the territory manager for the Northeast. Alpizar brings more than 30 years of experience in the landscape industry and more than 10 years of experience in sustainability. He began his career in 1983 as a crew supervisor for The Brickman Group (now known as Brightview), eventually rising through the ranks to become the regional manager for the Delaware Valley Region in 2006. Following his tenure with The Brickman Group, Alpizar became director of operations at Sharp’s Landscaping and director of marketing and sales at Elements Lawn Care. He has an associate degree in agriculture science and forestry from the Agricultural Technical Institute of Costa Rica.

As territory managers, Knapp and Alpizar are responsible for managing and strengthening distributor and end-user relations, educating distributor teams about Holganix products and growing the business in their respective territories.

Altoz added Barry Swanger to the company as district sales manager earlier this month. Swanger will provide support for existing dealers and continue to grow the Altoz dealer network in the northeast region of the U.S.

“Barry is a veteran with almost 40 years of experience in the outdoor power equipment industry. His knowledge and experience will be a great asset to Altoz,” said Dennis Brazier, Altoz CEO. “Barry has experience as a territory, sales, service and business development manager. This gives him extensive knowledge of the business from many different standpoints.”

Swanger has worked as a territory sales manager in the distribution of multiple different brands within the turf equipment industry over the course of his career.

Photo: PBI-Gordon

About the Author:

Kelly Limpert is a graduate of Ohio University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Her background in online journalism and advertising aids LM in developing a strong online presence.

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