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People on the Move: Promotions and hirings from Ryan Lawn & Tree, SePro and more

July 13, 2021 -  By

Ryan Lawn & Tree appointed Phillip Fisher to the newly created role of COO.

Phillip Fisher has served as the Wichita branch manager for the past nine years. Before taking the helm in Wichita, Kan., Fisher moved to Wichita as turf department manager when the branch totaled four employees in 2007. He had previously worked in both Kansas City locations prior to moving to Wichita with Ryan. He started at Ryan out of college when Larry and Kathy Ryan recruited him out of Oklahoma State University.

As COO, Fisher will oversee Ryan business operations, including the Kansas City Metro and regional areas. Ryan Lawn & Tree came in at No. 45 on the 2021 LM150 list, with $46,153,570 in 2020 revenue. Fisher will continue to report to Larry Ryan, founder and president.

Drew Wilson will succeed Fisher as Wichita branch manager and will be assisted by Josh Murray, assistant branch manager.

SePro added Casey Zeller as portfolio leader for turf and ornamental and Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D., as technical development leader for ornamentals.

“Zeller has spent many years in his career focusing on finding new technical solutions and making them available to customers and helping well-known brands improve their go-to-market strategies to better serve their clientele. He brings to our team a fresh perspective, and I’m quite confident he will contribute valuable insights to our division,” said John Wendorf, director of SePro’s T+O division

Zeller, an Indiana native, grew up on a grain and livestock operation where his family continues to farm and raise registered Angus cattle. Zeller received a degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Palmateer is well known throughout the industry due, in large part, to his expertise in plant pathology.

“Palmateer is a great friend to the industry. He has helped so many growers solve their disease issues. It is hard not to know him, through his many speaking engagements, articles and in-person visits,” Wendorf said. “He is an authoritative voice in this arena, and we are thrilled to have him join SePro.”

Palmateer received his doctorate in plant pathology from Auburn University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

The Bill Nelson Scholarship Endowment (BNSE) has awarded four scholarships totaling $8,000 to its 2021 class of recipients.

Recipients for the 2021 awards include Abigail Wehler of Mount Morris, Ill.; Karly Kruse of Litchfield, Ill.; Leslie Lingo of Nashville, Ark.; and Varsha Karthikeyan of Tualatin, Ore.

The BNSE is an educational charity designed to advance the academic pursuits of employees and the children of employees who work for member companies of the Outdoor Power Equipment Aftermarket Association. Since 2000, the endowment has awarded 65 scholarships totaling more than $137,000 to high school and college students.

Scholarship recipients for this year represent Blount International, Husqvarna and Dometic Marine, and were chosen from among 19 applications received.

The BNSE is governed by five trustees: Sue Chaney, K-C Sales; Britton Harrold, Husqvarna; Ed Nelson, Rotary Corporation; and Jim Paugh, NGK Spark Plugs.

The BNSE Trustees would like to extend their appreciation to all the outstanding scholarship applicants, and their affiliated OPEAA member companies.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's 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. She can be reached at swebb@northcoastmedia.net.

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