Green Industry Roll Call: TruGreen, Ruppert Landscape, Project Evergreen and More

The latest news and updates from the people and companies around the green industry, featuring TruGreen, Ruppert Landscape, Project Evergreen, Rotolo Consultants and Empower Brands.

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TruGreen Chief Financial Officer Role Change

TruGreen Chief Financial Officer, Michael Sims, announces retirement from the organization at the end of 2022. He will move into a Senior Advisor role, amid the transition to TruGreen’s newly appointed CFO, Ben Dunham.

“Over the last several years, Mike has navigated unforeseen challenges with cross-functional collaboration and strategic guidance,” says John Cowles, president and chief executive officer of TruGreen. “His depth of experience – coupled with his strong leadership style – has benefitted not just our team, but the TruGreen experience for our customers. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Mike and I thank him for his commitment to TruGreen.”

With Sims’ retirement, TruGreen has appointed Ben Dunham as Chief Financial Officer, effective January 9, 2023. Dunham most recently served as the CFO of WeWork, where he helped a company in rapid growth transition into a time of rebuilding. Prior to WeWork, he was U.S. CFO for Pizza Hut, part of Yum Brands Inc. Dunham holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.A. in Finance and Economics from the University of Miami.

Ruppert Lanscape Partners with Knox Lane

Ruppert Landscape announces partnership with Knox Lane. The company’s management team, led by CEO Craig Ruppert, will continue to lead Ruppert Landscape and remain significant minority owners in the business.

“We are excited to partner with Knox Lane, a strategic move that will enable us to accelerate our growth and provide further opportunity for our team,” says Craig Ruppert. “Their capital, experience, and strong track record of partnering with leading companies will enable us to continue our focus on helping our team achieve their professional and personal goals, delivering high-quality commercial landscaping services to our customers, and giving back to our community.”

The partnership with Knox Lane supports Ruppert Landscape’s long-term vision to continue to grow the company’s footprint within current and adjacent markets and expand organically and through strategic acquisitions. “We are very proud of our team and the successful business we have established together,” said Phil Key, President. “We look forward to leveraging Knox Lane’s extensive operational expertise and experience building and scaling high-quality businesses as we continue to focus on growing our team, serving our customers, and innovating across all facets of our organization.”

Crowdfunding Launches to Support Gmeiner Park Project

Project EverGreen partners with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on a crowdfunding effort to revitalize Detroit’s Gmeiner Park. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

The 10-acre park located in Northwest Detroit, will receive a new picnic area, walking path, inclusive playground, green space including mature trees and an improved baseball diamond. This is the fourth GreenCare for Communities Park renovation project the national non-profit has done in Detroit since 2017.

Rotolo Consultants, Inc. Announces Promotions

Rotolo Consultants, Inc. (RCI) announces several promotions within executive and management teams to accommodate continued growth and expansion of the company. Keith Rotolo, company President & CEO, states, “Despite a challenging economic environment, RCI has continued to experience significant growth in revenue as well as in our geographic footprint in 2022. This is a very exciting indication of the strength of our overall RCI team, the value we bring our clients, and the investments we are making in the company. We expect this growth trend to continue into next year as well.”

Following a recent buyout of their private equity partners by the executive team, RCI is committed to a long-term strategy of organic growth in established markets along with expansion into larger regional markets including Houston and Nashville. RCI also continues to explore acquisitions throughout the southeastern United States.

To support RCI’s growth, the following changes will be made within the executive and management teams in 2023:

  • Current COO Michael Rotolo will retain his role as COO while also assuming the position of President.
  • Current Senior VP of Maintenance Brandt Martin will be promoted to COO of Maintenance.
  • Current VP of Operations - Construction Jodi Corey will be promoted to Senior VP of Construction.
  • Current Business Development Director Kasey Dorr will be promoted to Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Current Division Manager David Wells will be promoted to Regional VP of Maintenance.
  • Current Division Manager Bryan Martin will be promoted to Regional VP of Maintenance.
  • Keith Rotolo will remain RCI’s CEO with a continued focus on the strategic vision and expansion of the company.

Empower Brands Introduces New President

Empower Brands appoints Thomas Welter as group president of residential services. Welter, who was previously COO of Lift Brands, replaces Scott Zide who recently transitioned to CEO of Empower Brands. 

Welter’s addition to the team follows the recent announcement of the company’s rebrand which united the world-class organizations formerly known as Lynx Franchising and Outdoor Living Brands to form Empower Brands. The launch of Empower Brands’ new namesake came amid rapid growth experienced across its portfolio which contributed to the company surpassing $1 billion in combined system sales this year alone. 

“With more than 30 years of leadership experience in franchise operations, Tom is poised to further accelerate our growth as we continue into this new chapter as Empower Brands,” says Scott Zide, CEO of Empower Brands. “He has a reputation for building and growing some of the most successful organizations in the franchising space and has deep experience with team development and strategy management. We can’t wait to see how he elevates our expanding business.”