Green Industry Roll Call: Updates from Yanmar, Empower Brands and more.

The latest news and updates from the people and companies around the green industry, including Yanmar, Empower Brands and more.

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Hundreds of new jobs available with Yanmar's expansion

Yanmar Compact Equipment plans to expand its Minnesota facility by 32,000 square feet. It will also be hiring hundreds of new workers in the future. Yanmar's new expansionYanmar's new expansionYanmar 

“We received a lot of support through the investment of Yanmar Co. Ltd, and several city, county and state grants and loans to help make this expansion happen,” said Tate Johnson, president of Yanmar CE NA. “The expansion will improve efficiency, allowing us to better serve our customers as we continue to grow as a leader in compact equipment.”

The Grand Rapids, Minn., expansion and a subsequent paint system will increase paint capacity by up to three times with maximum automation and allow a parts manufacturing capacity increase of up to two times in the previously occupied space. This project sets an example for future capacity increases with company officials projecting the addition of hundreds of full-time positions over the next five years.


Empower Brands hires a new chief development officer 

Empower Brands has appointed franchise development expert R. Scott Sutton as its new chief development officer. 

“Empower’s ‘Franchisee First’ culture and mission to champion the success of its owners is inspiring to me and aligns perfectly with the way I think about growth,” said Sutton. “Last year, the company saw record-breaking success across its roster, and the unification of Empower Brands creates opportunities for unparalleled growth in 2023. I am thrilled to be joining the team at this pivotal moment in the brand’s history, and I’m looking forward to the developments to come.”

Sutton has more than two decades of franchising experience and will play a critical role in capitalizing on each brand’s growth potential through the expansion and execution of franchise development strategies across Empower Brands’ portfolio. Sutton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and is both a certified franchise executive and a certified merger and acquisition adviser. He also serves as an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Foundation and is a member of the IFA’s Legislative Action Group. He is a former chairman of the Emerging Franchisor Conference and served on the Board of the International Institute of Franchise Education at the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. In 2019, Sutton was named by the M&A Adviser organization as the Corporate Development Professional of the Year.

The Integra Group welcomes new executive sales consutant

In his new role as an executive sales consultant for the Boss team, Simon Prine will work with companies in the landscape and snow removal industries.

A photo of Simon Prine.A photo of Simon Prine.BOSS

"I'm thrilled to join the Boss team and bring my experience and expertise to the table," said Simon. "My experience selling and using business management software in the field has given me a great understanding of its capabilities. I can't wait to help Boss  clients improve their operations and increase their profitability while giving them more time in their day."

With more than 30 years of experience in the landscape and snow industry, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role. Simon started his own one-man lawn operation called Simon Says Lawn Maintenance with just a pickup truck and a lawn mower. Prine worked his way up through the ranks at Clintar, eventually managing six branches. In addition to his extensive operations experience, he also has 15 years of sales experience in the landscape industry.

Project EverGreen 2023 Officers and Board of Directors

Project EverGreen appointed its 2023 officers and board of directors. The appointments were made at their annual meeting.

Project EverGreen is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group of professionals serving on our nationwide board,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Our collaborative work reflects the importance of healthy parks and public green spaces that contribute to the overall environmental and well-being of our neighborhoods and communities and serve as the lungs of our cities.”

Kevin Laycock of SiteOne Landscape Supply will mark his second year as president of the national nonprofit. Other members continuing to serve on the Executive Board are Scott A. Bills, CSFM of Sports Field Solutions as vice president/president-elect, and Fred Haskett of TrueWinds Consulting returns as secretary/treasurer. 

RC grows with new hires

RC Mowers hired several new employees to its development and production teams as it continues its push into innovative product lines.Picture of Matt Burton (top left), Adela Kadiasi (top right), Megan Rakow (bottom left), and Becca Hovell (bottom right).Picture of Matt Burton (top left), Adela Kadiasi (top right), Megan Rakow (bottom left), and Becca Hovell (bottom right).RC Mowers

“These positions are a result of the adventurous year we had in 2022 and plan to have again in 2023,” said Michael Brandt, CEO for RC Mowers. “Not only did we introduce our new Autonomous Mowing Robot last fall, but we will soon be moving into a new $4.8 million facility. These hires not only showcase our growth but also demonstrate our commitment to innovation.”

Some of the new employees include:

  • Matt Burton, senior electrical engineer. Burton is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering. He is working on hardware design and software development for the Autonomous Mowing Robot.
  • Adela Kadiasi, software developer/project manager. Kadiasi has two master’s degrees in computer engineering from Albania and from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. She is the project manager for the technology team and is leading the software development sprints and various technical documentation projects.
  • Megan Rakow, software developer. Rakow is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in arts and communication with an emphasis on media arts and game development. She is working on graphic design and developing skills to provide back-end writing for RC Mowers.
  • Becca Hovell, human resources manager. Hovell is a graduate from Rasmussen College with a bachelor’s degree in HR management and organizational development. She’s spent more than seven years in HR and is the president elect of the Fox Valley Society for Human Resource Management.

RightLine hires new Florida sales manager 

Rich McCrary joined RightLine with more than 25 years of experience in turf and ornamental markets. He has worked in turf maintenance as a golf course superintendent and most recently as Southeast territory manager of Phospholutions.

 “The state of Florida is already a strong market for RightLine, and it has the potential to grow exponentially. Rich will immediately help support our distributor partners grow their businesses with several new product launches,” RightLine CEO Tim Zech said.

McCrary will represent the existing RightLine product line which includes EPA-registered herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, nematicides and nutritional products. He will also help launch a series of new RightLine branded products as the company expands into the professional lawn care markets.