OPEI Announces Three New Board Members

The board of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute will be in attendance at GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America.

September 29, 2015 – On July 7 the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute announced that three additional board members will be joining the current Board of Directors as of October 21 at the opening of the joint trade show, GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America, the largest gathering of green industry professionals in the country. The new board members include:

  • Tom Duncan, President & CEO, Positec USA, Inc.; 
  • David Withers, President, Jacobsen, A Textron Company; and
  • Bjoern Fischer, Incoming President, Stihl

“OPEI represents the depth and breadth of the outdoor power equipment, utility vehicle, and small engine manufacturing industries. Board members play a vital role in overseeing our work, ensuring we continue to be the voice of this diverse industry. The additional board members will lend their unique vision and expertise to our already-strong board,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI.

More than 18,000 people are expected to converge on the Kentucky Exposition Center for the ground-breaking Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) and Hardscape North America, October 21-23, 2015. OPEI, a majority shareholder of GIE+EXPO.


 July 7, 2015 - The OPEI announced its 2015-2016 Officers and Board of Directors during the OPEI Annual Meeting, which was held June 23-25 in Santa Fe, NM.

Officers for the 2015-2016 year are:

  • OPEI Chair: Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products at Techtronic Industries Power Equipment
  • OPEI Vice Chair: Tim Merrett, Vice President of A & T Global Platform and Turf & Utility, Deere & Company
  • OPEI Secretary/Treasurer: Daniel Ariens, President, Ariens Company
  • Immediate Past Chair: Paul Mullet, President, Excel Industries

“I am proud to be part of the outdoor power equipment industry, a member of OPEI, on the board of directors for OPEI, and especially to be chairman for the 2015-16 year,” said Lee Sowell. “I look forward to a productive year in this role – serving our industry and the OPEI member companies.”

“OPEI is the voice of outdoor power equipment, utility vehicle, and small engine manufacturers. Our board of directors plays a key role in overseeing, inspiring, and leading our work,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “We represent our members and their interests in Washington, DC, educate the public about proper fueling for outdoor power equipment through our ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign, and share safety standards and best practices. Our TurfMutt environmental stewardship and education program, created in partnership with Scholastic, teaches children how to take care of green spaces while learning and having fun.”

Continuing their service on the OPEI Board of Directors are: Daniel Ariens, President, Ariens Company; Earl Bennett, General Counsel N.A. & L.A., Husqvarna Group; Edward Cohen, Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, Honda North America, Inc.; Tim Merrett, John Deere; Vice President of A & T Global Platform and Turf & Utility, Deere & Company; Tom Cromwell, Group President - Power, Kohler Company; Tim Dorsey, President, Echo Incorporated; Marc Dufour, President, Club Car; Peter Hampton, President, Active Exhaust Corporation; Jean Hlay, President and Chief Operating Officer, MTD Products Inc.; Michael Hoffman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, The Toro Company; Paul Mullet, President, Excel Industries; Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products at Techtronic Industries Power Equipment; Todd Teske, Chairman, President & CEO, Briggs & Stratton Corp.; and Fred Whyte, President, Stihl Incorporated.

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