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People on the Move: Promotions and hirings from The Greenery, Grunder Landscaping Co. and more

May 4, 2021 -  By
Rick Sotiropoulos (Headshot courtesy of The Greenery)

Rick Sotiropoulos (Headshot courtesy of The Greenery)

The Greenery promoted Rick Sotiropoulos to construction business development director. In this new role, he will focus on helping The Greenery strengthen current market impact and further develop into new and expanding markets with its Construction Services.

Sotiropoulos has been with The Greenery since 2015 as the preconstruction manager. His new role as construction business development director will mainly consist of seeking business opportunities, market research, maintaining and expanding client relationships throughout the various markets that The Greenery serves. These markets include the South Carolina low country; coastal Georgia; Jacksonville/Daytona, Fla.; and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.

“Rick has demonstrated tremendous leadership and business skills throughout his tenure with The Greenery,” said Lee Edwards, CEO of The Greenery. “We are confident in his ability to continue to develop and grow The Greenery’s construction services for our existing and future markets.”

Grunder Landscaping Co. (GLC) hired Alan Whitt to the position of Group Leader for our organization.

In this role, he provides leadership and direction to crews, schedules and coordinates jobs and teaches team members on important skills and safety procedures.

Alan has more than 30 years of professional experience managing operations, installing landscapes and maintaining properties. His extensive managerial experience and positive attitude make him a perfect fit for the organization. He attended The Ohio State University where he studied agriculture.

Munro, a manufacturer of pumps, pump controls and pump stations for the turf irrigation market, has named Jay Linville as its new central regional account manager.

Linville will work closely with the company’s network of professional distributors as well as with irrigation specifiers, landscape architects and landscape contractors, to provide support and further develop and enhance Munro’s current market presence.

With more than 30 years in sales and account management, Linville brings experience working with distributors, municipalities, school districts, developers, contractors and specifiers. He is excited to once again have the opportunity to contribute to the exciting growth of a premier brand. Linville graduated from the University of North Texas.

Prime Source, a division of Albaugh, hired April Allenbrand as its new marketing director.

Allenbrand will also work on the U.S. Ag and Seed Treatment side with marketing and communication-related activities for the U.S business.

She brings a wealth of experience from the turf and ornamental industry from her eight years at PBI-Gordon in marketing and communications as well as more than 10 years in the agency side of the business where she was involved in the FMC ag account for more than five years. She will be based out of Shawnee, Kan.

Eric Smith has been promoted to T&O sales manager of BioSafe Systems.

In this new role he will be in charge of implementing the sales activities, identifying new market opportunities and defining the actions required to continue T&O’s growth initiatives. Smith and his team will continue to develop opportunities and partnerships within ornamentals, grounds maintenance, cannabis/hemp, turf, greenhouse vegetables and CEA markets.

Smith joined BioSafe Systems in August of 2016 and has played a critical role in the development of the T&O division. For the past two years, he has also managed the East Coast T&O team and was recently voted into FNGLA’s Executive Leadership track.

The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) board of directors appointed Tracy Schiefferle to fill the role of executive director.

Its current executive director, Ken Fisher, stepped down from the position to more fully dedicate his time to serve as president and CEO of AmericanHort.

Schiefferle has more than 20 years of experience in the association sector and a strong reputation of skilled nonprofit management leading to profitable growth. Her past experience includes leadership roles at the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio, Ohio Ophthalmological Society and the Columbus Medical Association & Foundation.

Schiefferle is enthusiastic about bringing her extensive association management knowledge to ONLA’s membership community and the Ohio nursery and landscape industry at large. Schiefferle’s primary goals as she transitions to the new role are to assess ONLA’s current member offerings and spend time observing and participating in conversations with members about what ONLA does well and what areas need improvement.

In addition to Schiefferle’s appointment, three new board members were appointed in January to serve for two-year terms. The new board members include Patrick Greeson of W. A. Natorp Corporation, Fred Higginbotham of Millcreek Gardens and Genevieve Reiner Mills, Esq. of Oakland Nursery.

Jobber, a provider of home service management software for small businesses, named Gail Goodman to its board of directors.

Goodman previously served for 16 years as CEO of Constant Contact, one of the first large-scale SaaS companies to serve the small business segment. Today, she is a board director at Shopify, a global commerce company committed to supporting entrepreneurship. Her previous board roles include Mindbody, a provider of cloud-based business management software for the wellness services industry, and Hubspot, a marketing, sales and customer service platform.

In 1999, Goodman became the CEO of Constant Contact until 2016 when it was acquired by Endurance International Group Holdings. Goodman who was named “Executive of the Year” at the American Business Awards and the New England Regional winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She was inducted into the MITX Innovation Hall of Fame and the Boston Globe named her among the city’s Top 30 Innovators. Gail holds a B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In addition to serving on the Shopify board of directors, Goodman currently serves as board chair and mentor at Entrepreneur For All, is a co-founder and board member at Pepperlane, and is board chair at She previously served as board member at MassChallenge, a startup accelerator based in Boston.

The Davey Tree Expert Co. promoted Christopher Ellwood to district manager of Davey’s West Columbus residential/commercial (R/C) services office.

Ellwood joined Davey in 2012 while attending The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. He worked for OSU as an arborist, for the City of Dublin’s Forestry Department as a forestry assistant and for the City of New Albany, Ohio, as the city forester. In 2019, he found his way back to Davey and was appointed to sales arborist.

Ellwood is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Municipal Specialist and holds an Ohio Department of Agriculture commercial pesticide license.

Davey also promoted Anna Davis to vice president of human resources.

In addition to maintaining accountability for the overall administration, coordination and execution of our human resources functions, Davis will assume leadership for the corporate recruiting and employee development group. Davis is also a project sponsor on Davey’s SuccessFactors Employee Central program. The program is designed to improve the ‘recruiting through retirement’ employee experience and empower employees through information accessibility.

Davis began her career at Davey in 2002 as an employee records specialist. Since then, she has worked in or led every element of Davey’s Human Resources Department. In 2018, she was promoted to director of human resources administration.

Davis earned her bachelor’s degree in business and organizational communications from the University of Akron, and in 2008, she earned a master’s degree in business administration from Kent State University. Davis is a current member of Davey’s President’s Council, which brainstorms and researches new ideas related to the company’s operations and presents them to management for review and consideration for implementation.

Additionally, Davey promoted Kris Bruestle to market manager, Ohio River Valley operations, R/C services.

Bruestle joined Davey in 2006 as a project manager for Davey Resource Group (DRG) in natural resources. In 2009, he joined R/C in the Columbus office and worked his way through a series of leadership promotions in tree care, plant health care and landscaping. In 2016, Bruestle was promoted to sales arborist and in 2017, was promoted to district manager of Davey’s West Columbus R/C office.

In 2012, Bruestle graduated from the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences, which is Davey’s flagship training program in biological sciences, safety, tree and plant care and management techniques. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and holds a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from the University of Idaho.

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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