People on the Move: Signature names partners, Stihl hires vp of operations, PBI/Gordon names vp, and more

From left to right: Signature Landscapes’ Tim Scott, Justin Trimble, Lebo Newman, Sal Perez and Tim Laskowski. Laskowski, Scott and Perez were named partners of the company. Photo: Signature Landscapes

Signature Landscapes in Reno, Nev., named Tim Laskowski, Tim Scott and Sal Perez as partners of the company. Laskowski is the installation division manager and senior estimator. He’s held several leadership positions in the industry and helped to create the training certificate program for Landscape Industry Certified professionals administered by the Nevada Landscape Association. He joined Signature in 2007.

Scott is the residential maintenance division manager and oversees the company’s Carson City, Nev., branch, tree services and holiday lighting. Prior to joining Signature, he served as the head of the enhancement division of Reno Lawn and Landscape, which Signature acquired. He brings 31 years of industry experience.

Perez is the head of production and is the outside operations manager for the installation division. He is certified in paver patios, water features and irrigation. Starting as an irrigation technician, he was the company’s second employee. He worked through the ranks and became a foreman, before being promoted to manager/partner.

Stihl hired Stephen Ballenger as its new vice president of operations in the U.S. With 30 years of experience, Ballenger most recently served as president of Light Vehicles USA for Metalsa in Elizabethtown, Ky. Ballenger has a master’s in industrial management and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Clemson University.

PBI/Gordon promoted Doug Obermann to vice president of professional and agricultural sales. Obermann began his career at PBI/Gordon in 1988 after completing his master’s in agronomy at Iowa State University. Most recently, he served as director of sales for the professional and agricultural product group.

Mariani Landscape, based in Lake Bluff, Ill., added P. Clifford “Cliff” Miller to its design team. Miller is a licensed landscape architect and had owned a design and gardening company in Lake Forest, Ill., since 1984. His portfolio includes garden projects throughout Illinois’ Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and the North Shore.

Kawasaki Motors promoted Bryant Huyser to a regional sales manager of the company’s dealer sales team. Huyser has been with Kawasaki for nine years, most recently serving as OEM sales manager at the company’s Grand Rapids, Mich., headquarters, where he’ll remain in his new position.

The company’s dealer sales team also added Shawn Blatt and Mike Miller as dealer sales managers. Blatt has more than 20 years of experience in the outdoor power equipment industry, having owned and operated a Kansas City, Mo.-based dealership and service center, among other related positions. Miller, who is a six-year U.S. Navy veteran, has a background in territorial sales in environmental services, medical devise manufacturing and precision tool and gauge industries. He also holds an associate in applied science degree in business administration from Heald Business College.

Heads Up Landscape Contractors in Albuquerque, N.M., promoted five employees and hired two new employees for its Santa Fe, N.M., branch. Josue Leon was promoted to project technician. Austin Smith was promoted to senior landscape technician. Jesus Rosales was promoted to crew leader trainee. Trinidad Diaz was promoted to crew leader, and Adan Gomez was promoted to senior landscape tech. Feliza Shields was hired for business development and previously spent 16 years in various property management positions in the area. Jorge Mata was hired as an account manager and previously worked at an adult disability support center in the area.

Morbark President James Shoemaker Jr. was named the 2016 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year in the large tier company category by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). In its 35th year, the award recognizes manufacturers for their dedication to community service, issue advocacy and role as a symbol of positive work being done by the manufacturing industry. The large tier category award is presented to a company with 200 or more employees. Shoemaker is being honored as a founder of the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association, partner to both the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and MMA, and an advocate for promoting a positive image of manufacturing careers. Award recipients will be honored at the 2016 Manufacturing Forum on May 10 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich.

Ruppert Landscape hired Joe Yasek as estimator. He brings two years of estimating experience in the landscape industry and 14 years of experience in map production for flood insurance studies and more. He holds a bachelor’s in geography from West Virginia University and a master’s in geography from Ohio University.

The company also promoted Mike Ryan to operations manager. Ryan has more than 18 years of industry experience, having held positions in commercial landscape maintenance, commercial irrigation installation and residential design build. He joined the company in 2015 as production manager. He holds a bachelor’s in horticulture from Virginia Tech.

The Davey Tree Expert Co.  in Kent, Ohio, appointed Ed Gallagher to national operations manager of strategic business relationships. With more than 30 years of industry experience, including 10 years at Davey, Gallagher has extensive experience in sales, client relations and account/project management, the company said. He is also affiliated with the Building Owners and Managers Association, the National Association of Landscape Professionals and other associations. He holds a bachelor’s in horticulture from the Ohio State University.

The company also appointed Gary Schermerhorn to district manager of its King of Prussia, Pa., residential/commercial office. Beginning as a sales and service technician in 1991 and eventually becoming a foremen and then sales and service coordinator, Schermerhorn has worked at Davey for 25 years. Most recently, he served as district manager of Davey’s Albany, N.Y., residential/commercial office. Schermerhorn is a Tree Care Industry Association Certified Treecare Safety Professional, an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist and has completed ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.

The company replaced Schermerhorn with Ed Kollar as district manager of the Albany, N.Y., residential/commercial office. Kollar joined Davey in 2003 and has since worked as a plant health care technician, sales and service technician, and assistant district manager. Additionally, Kollar is an ISA Certified Arborist, a certified pesticide applicator in New York and a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Certified Treecare Safety Professional.

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