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People on the Move: Promotions and hirings from Primera, PBI-Gordon Corp. and more

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People on the Move: Promotions and hirings from green industry companies, including Primera, PBI-Gordon Corp., Bartlett Tree Experts and more.
Jeff Braun (Photo: Primera)
Jeff Braun (Photo: Primera)

Primera has hired Jeff Braun as the company’s new CEO.

Braun spent the past 22-plus year of his career with DeWalt Industrial Power Tool team, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, where he originally interned as an undergrad and stayed with the company after graduation. He is a graduate of Towson University.

In his time with DeWalt, Braun held 11 different positions. He became one of the youngest vice presidents at Stanley Black & Decker in May 2014 and became the youngest vice president of sales for the company’s U.S. commercial division in 2017.

In his last role as the vice president of sales for DeWalt’s U.S. commercial division, Braun led a team of more than 300 people and was responsible for over $1 billion in sales. By focusing on a transformation in culture and developing and executing a new go-to-market strategy, his team produced back-to-back years of record growth and sales.

PBI-Gordon’s pest management business unit added Jason Manz as director of national accounts.

Manz joined PBI-Gordon in February and leads the key account sales team’s efforts as it develops and executes customer business plans for the company’s national accounts.

Manz has more than 20 years of experience in the professional turf and agriculture industries, most recently as seed treatment global product manager for BASF. He also had a lengthy career with Bayer Crop Science, where he developed strong customer relationships in sales and product management leadership positions.

Manz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural studies from Iowa State University and an MBA from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.

Bartlett Tree Experts named Assistant Division Manger Erik Johnson as division manager for the Connecticut region.

Additionally, three local managers have been promoted to the role of assistant division manager: Mike Gorham (Metropolitan West Region), Steve Austin (Southwest Region) and Craig Southwell (Canadian Region). Johnson, Gorham, Austin and Southwell are all ISA Certified Arborists with extensive experience in the tree care industry.

Bartlett’s six offices in Connecticut and one in western Massachusetts will now be managed by Erik Johnson. Most recently, Johnson worked with Vice President and Division Manager David McMaster to oversee operations in this geography, utilizing his strong background in safe and efficient work practices to support the region’s sales and business efforts.

Gorham previously served as the local manager of Bartlett’s office in Syracuse, N.Y., where he worked for 24 years. His aptitude for sales as well as ability to lead a team provide a strong foundation as he steps into his new role assisting Vice President and Division Manager Wayne Dubin in management of eight offices in New York and New Jersey.

In the Southwest, Austin will be working closely with Vice President and Division Manager Patrick Brewer to manage ten offices in Texas, Arizona and Louisiana as well as assisting in the development of two offices in Colorado, a relatively new service area for the company.

While running Bartlett’s San Marcos, Texas, location, Austin established a strong culture that translated into profitability and expansion of the office’s geographic footprint.

Internationally, Southwell has transitioned to assistant division manager for the Canadian region. As local manager of Bartlett’s Toronto office, he increased revenue and profitability by embracing the company’s scientific approach to tree care and sharing that vision with both colleagues and clients.

Blount International appointed Paul Tonnesen as its CEO, effective immediately.

Tonnesen succeeds Josh Collins, who has served as CEO since 2009. David Willmott, Blount’s president and COO, will also be leaving the company. Tonnesen is a seasoned leader in the global branded goods and durables space, with more than 30 years of industry experience.

Before joining Blount, Tonnesen served as a global president of Fiskars Group, a global supplier of home, garden and outdoor products, where he oversaw 10 years of strong top- and bottom-line growth. Tonnesen bolstered Fiskars’ R&D department, enhanced brand visibility and grew market share in its key categories.

Before Fiskars, Tonnesen served in several leadership roles with Elmer’s Products and KraftHeinz. He received his MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School and his bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College, where he serves on the advisory board for the Madden School of Business. Tonnesen is also a vice chairman and trustee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the Midwest and a member of the board of advisors of Saris Cycling Group.

Harvest Landscape Enterprises hired Juan Espitia as senior account manager for South Orange County, Calif. He’s a seasoned account manager with more than 10 years of experience in the landscape management industry.

Espitia is highly recognized in the landscape industry having previously received awards for “most improved” and his “work ethic” from communities such as Beacon Hill, San Joaquin Hills and Ocean Ranch. Eager to work with the team, Juan looks forward to providing leadership and structure for the best possible landscape services available. Juan will manage his portfolio with the integrity and determination exhibited previously in his career.

Clay Eubanks, current president of Takeuchi U.S., will be relocating to the company’s headquarters in Japan to assume the role of director of global sales and will have responsibility for overseeing global machine and parts sales. In addition, Eubanks has also been appointed vice chairman of the board of Takeuchi U.S.

Jeff Stewart has been named as the next president of Takeuchi U.S. with the departure of Clay Eubanks.

Stewart is currently vice president of operations at Takeuchi U.S. and has served in numerous roles in his extensive career with the company, including regional business manager and product support manager.

Takeuchi also designated Hiroshi Yokoyama as a member of the global board of directors. He currently serves as an executive officer and as general manager of the company’s research and development department. The addition of Yokoyama brings the experience of machinery and the product development cycle to the board to assist in strategic decision making at the top levels of the company.

Takeuchi also announced plans to establish a European parts center in the Netherlands. In conjunction with the new parts center, a European Support office will be established in Germany to support parts customers throughout Europe. There are plans to expand the technical support roles of this office in the future. Both facilities should be operational early in 2021.

Deere & Co. (DE) announced that its board of directors elected John Stone to the position of president, worldwide construction & forestry and power systems, effective July 1.

He will be responsible for the overall management and performance of the company’s construction and forestry operations throughout the world and for the continued success of the Wirtgen organization. Stone also will have responsibility for the engine, drivetrain and electronic-component businesses.

Stone, who joined the company in 2002, has managed the company’s global utility tractor product line and headed corporate strategy. Since 2016, he has been senior vice president, Intelligent Solutions Group. In that role, he has led the company’s highly successful efforts to develop precision technologies that are bringing value and productivity to customers. Stone was instrumental in the opening of John Deere Labs, a San Francisco-based research unit focused on breakthrough technologies such as machine learning and robotics.

Stone succeeds James M. Field, who will assume a new role as senior adviser, Office of the Chairman, effective July 1. In this position, Field will provide counsel to company leadership on various financial and operating matters. Since joining Deere in 1994, he has held a number of key leadership assignments. He was president of the former commercial and consumer equipment and agriculture and turf divisions and also served as a senior vice president and chief financial officer. In 2018, Field was named president, worldwide construction & forestry and power systems.

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