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People on the Move: Promotions and hirings from Bayer, United Turf Alliance and more

October 4, 2021 -  By
Jesse Benelli, Ph.D.

Jesse Benelli, Ph.D.

The Turf and Ornamentals (T&O) business of Bayer has tapped veteran turfgrass expert, Jesse Benelli, Ph.D., as the newest member of its U.S. Green Solutions Team.

He is responsible for providing scientific support and technical expertise to superintendents and lawn care operators across the southern region. Benelli brings more than 15 years of experience in the turfgrass industry to this role.

Most recently, Benelli served as a technical expert for the Bayer T&O organization in Canada. Prior to joining Bayer, he was the director of turfgrass programs for the Chicago District Golf Association. Additionally, he worked at several golf courses in Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Benelli earned his Masters and Ph.D. in turfgrass and plant pathology from the University of Tennessee. He will be moving back to the Southeast with his wife and two sons.

United Turf Alliance (UTA) named Nicholas Strain as its new CEO. Strain replaces George Furrer, who is now the General Manager of Valley Green.

“I’m eager to lead UTA as we continue growing the ArmorTech and Optimizer portfolios. With a clear commitment to turf and ornamental professionals, UTA is well-positioned to meet the evolving demands of the industry,” Strain said.

Strain has nearly 15 years of experience in the industry, including distributor and manufacturer sales positions along with leadership of the Turf and Ornamental division for Control Solutions Inc. Most recently, he served as the Vice president of business development at Primera. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Davey Tree Expert Co. promoted David Inman to district manager of Davey’s Napa Residential/Commercial (R/C) services office.

Inman began his career at Davey in 2011 as a groundperson and has held various positions since then of climber, crew leader and plant health care technician all for the Napa R/C office. In 2018, he was promoted to sales arborist of the same office.

Inman is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and holds an ISA Qualified Applicator License.

Kurtz Bros. chairman and CEO John Kurtz recently received the inaugural “Growing the Good in Business Award” from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Kurtz is a 2008 graduate of Mendoza’s Executive MBA Program.

The “Grow the Good in Business Award” recognizes an alumnus/alumna who owns or leads a company that is successful in their industry that also are making positive social and environmental impacts within their community and beyond. During the presentation of the award, the audience was told that Kurtz Bros., has diverted and recycled more than 10,000,000 tons of material away from landfills over the course of the last several decades. It was noted that the volume the company has recycled would fill Notre Dame Stadium from the field to the top row of stands over 5 times.

Kurtz is an active member of the Notre Dame Club of Cleveland, serving as a board member and past president.

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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