People on the move: Updates from The Herring Group, Briggs & Stratton, Volvo CE and more

September 11, 2023 -  By
Sara Gonzalez

Sara Gonzales

The Herring Group promotes Sara Gonzales

The Herring Group promoted Sara Gonzales to vice president of operations for path to 12 percent services. Gonzales, who has been leading clients to greater profit and life margin for the last three years with The Herring Group, brings a wealth of financial and operational experience to this new role.

She started her career in the oil and gas industry, working for both public and private companies. In her most recent position, she served as the chief financial officer of an oilfield equipment rental company. Over the course of five years, she established sound administrative and financial infrastructure, streamlined processes, led software conversions and supported all operational and sales teams. She assisted the company in its successful sale to a billion-dollar, publicly traded company.

After taking some time off for her own life margin, her passion for helping others succeed never waned. She joined The Herring Group in 2020 and has become a trusted financial leader – supporting owners and management teams of landscape businesses to achieve their goals.

In her new role as vice president of operations, The Herring Group said Gonzales will help clients install systems and processes that enable the company to handle its growth.

“I have always admired her passion for helping clients. Her intelligence, curiosity about software systems and processes, and work ethic made this decision an easy one. I am thrilled to have her help in leading our team,” said Greg Herring, founder and CEO of The Herring Group.

Briggs & Stratton appoints CEO

Briggs & Stratton appoints Joe Liotine as chief executive officer, effective Aug. 29.

Liotine joins Briggs & Stratton after serving 18 years in senior roles at Whirlpool Corp., most recently as president and chief operating officer where he led the Global KitchenAid business, had global responsibility for product development, R&D, sourcing, and IT, and was instrumental in building world-class operations and driving growth.

Prior to his role as CEO, Liotine served as president of Whirlpool’s North American business, senior vice president of product and brand marketing, general manager Canada operations, sales general manager and senior strategy director.

Matthew DeLucas

Matthew DeLucas

Davey names director of talent acquisition

The Davey Tree Expert Co., No. 2 on the 2023 LM150 list, appointed Matthew DeLucas to director of talent acquisition.

“Matt comes to Davey with a wealth of knowledge in the talent acquisition field, so his experience will be a big asset to our team as we continue to source talent for our offices across the country,” said Anna Davis, vice president of human resources. “I’m excited for our teams to learn from Matt and for Matt to learn more about our Davey teams so we can continue to elevate our recruitment efforts.”

As director of talent acquisition, DeLucas will support Davey’s expanding workforce by continuing to facilitate and improve efforts to source the best possible people for the company.

DeLucas earned a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from The Ohio State University. He has 15 years of talent acquisition experience in various industries recruiting for numerous skilled and professional roles, most recently with The Ohio State University.

Scott Young, Mats Sköldberg and Jay Parker join Volvo CE's executive management team. (Photo: Volvo CE)

Scott Young, Mats Sköldberg and Jay Parker join Volvo CE’s executive management team. (Photo: Volvo CE)

Volvo CE updates executive management team

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has announced a number of changes to its executive management team (EMT) with three senior appointments.

Volvo CE appoints Mats Sköldberg as the head of technology at Volvo CE. Most recently he served as head of technology for Volvo CE in China and has held a number of other senior technology roles in recent years. Sköldberg will replace Thomas Bitter, leading the development and delivery of Volvo CE’s global technology strategy and continuing the company’s journey into electromobility, connectivity and automation. Meanwhile, Thomas Bitter heads up the recently announced compact business unit.

The company appointed Scott Young as head of sales for the North America region. Most recently he was head of the Volvo CE Uptime Center of Expertise and has held a number of other roles in strategy, technology and other functions within Volvo CE. Young will continue to oversee the strategic direction of one of the largest markets for construction equipment and will be responsible for meeting its customers’ diverse needs. He has assumed the role from Stephen Roy who recently took on a new position within the Volvo Group executive board as president of mack trucks.

Volvo CE appoints Jay Parker to the newly created EMT role of head of digital and IT. The creation of this new role at EMT level reflects the importance of digital in the company’s overall transformation journey.

All three appointments will support the company’s leading cultural, sustainable and technological transformation while demonstrating the expertise and dynamism that is already embedded across all regions of Volvo CE.

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Brandt co-founder celebrates 100th birthday

Evelyn Brandt Thomas, co-founder of Brandt, a retailer of professional agronomic services and manufacturer of specialty input products, celebrates her 100th birthday. Her connection with the land began at an early age on the family farm where her father farmed with horses. Through the decades, she embraced innovations while never losing sight of the fundamental values that have shaped the agricultural landscape.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to witness firsthand the many evolutions in agriculture and other industries. It’s truly remarkable the advancements in the last 100 years,” said Brandt Thomas.

Yardnique adds COO

Yardnique, No. 25 on the 2023 LM150 list, added Blair Keeter as chief operating officer. He grew up in eastern, N.C., and graduated from East Carolina University. He led various operations, supply chain and service businesses for both General Electric and private-equity-backed companies.

President and CEO of Neighborly, Mike Bidwell dies

Mike Bidwell

Mike Bidwell

Neighborly, parent company of The Grounds Guys, said its president and CEO, Mike Bidwell died.

“We are fortunate to have worked for such an amazing leader who was smart, compassionate, and insightful. He put a strong team together — and in times like this, we stand together to honor him by carrying his vision for Neighborly forward,” said the company’s leadership in a team.

Bidwell, 65, has been a part of Neighborly for almost 40 years. He began his career in April 1984 when he opened a Rainbow International Carpet Cleaning and Restoration franchise in Tucson, Ariz. In 1987, Bidwell became the first multi-concept franchisee and area developer when he started the first Worldwide Refinishing Systems — now known as DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen. He later added a third franchise brand to his portfolio, Mr. Rooter Plumbing in 1992. Bidwell was named Franchisee of the Year for Rainbow International and Top Gun for each franchise brand he owned.

Neighborly recruited him to the world headquarters in Waco, Texas, in 1995. Before being appointed the president and CEO of Neighborly in January 2014, Bidwell’s tenure at Neighborly included being its chief operating officer and president for three different franchise brands.

Effective immediately, Jon Shell, chief financial officer since 2015, is appointed interim president and CEO of Neighborly; Mary Thompson, chief operating officer, will continue to lead Neighborly franchise owner relationships with the support of other Neighborly Corporate Leadership; current board member David Brandon, executive chairman and former CEO of Domino’s Pizza, is appointed executive chairman of the board of directors for Neighborly.

Linda Haensel

Linda Haensel

Yanmar CE North America adds director of human resources

Yanmar Compact Equipment North America (Yanmar CE North America), encompassing the Yanmar Compact Equipment and ASV brands, hires Linda Haensel as the organization’s newly created director of human resources role. Haensel is responsible for human resources training and development, the enhancement of organizational culture and employee recruitment and retention as the company prepares for significant expected growth.

Haensel draws from her more than 20 years of human resources experience with large manufacturing companies to oversee employee relations strategy, drive organizational effectiveness and champion talent acquisition and retention. She brings seasoned knowledge of best practices and an ability to look at processes and improve them.

The addition of Haensel to the team ties into Yanmar Compact Equipment North America’s other growth efforts, including a 32,000-square-foot expansion to its Grand Rapids, Minn., facility due for completion in Spring 2024. The company anticipates the addition of hundreds of jobs over the next five years.

Got news? Let us know!

Have promotions or updates about your team? Send it to Editor Christina Herrick at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net, and we’ll feature it in an upcoming People on the Move.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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