OPEI announces 2016-17 officers and directors

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announced its 2016-2017 officers and board of directors. The officers and new board members were elected during the OPEI Annual Meeting, which was held June 21-23 in Asheville, N.C.

Officers for the 2016-2017 year are:

OPEI Chair: Tim Merrett, Vice President, Global Platform Turf & Utility, Deere & Company

OPEI Vice Chair: Daniel Ariens, Chairman & CEO, Ariens Company

OPEI Secretary/Treasurer: Tom Cromwell, Group President–Power, Kohler Company

Immediate Past Chair: Lee Sowell, President – Outdoor Products, Techtronic Industries, N.A., Incorporated

“I am honored to be selected as chair. We are addressing new challenges as our industry grows,” said Tim Merrett. “We continue to build appreciation for the value and benefits of living landscapes and work to represent our members and their interests. We are also looking forward to our largest GIE+EXPO ever.”


New directors this year include: Bjoern Fischer, President, Stihl and Jeff Hohler, President, Consumer Brands Division, Husqvarna Professional Products.

Continuing their service on the OPEI Board of Directors are Tim Dorsey, President, Echo Incorporated; Tom Duncan, President & CEO, Positec USA, Inc.; Edward B. Cohen, Vice President – Government & Industry Relations, American Honda Motor Company Inc.; Marc J. Dufour, President & CEO, Club Car – LLC; Peter Hampton, President, Active Exhaust Corporation; Jean Hlay, President & Chief Operating Officer, MTD Products Inc.; Paul Mullet, President & CEO, Excel Industries, Inc.; Rick Olson, President & Chief Operating Officer, The Toro Company; Todd Teske, Chairman, President & CEO, Briggs and Stratton Corporation; David Withers, President, Jacobsen, A Textron Company.

“Many new developments are happening throughout the outdoor power equipment industry. Our board officers and directors will provide steady leadership as our association evolves,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “The industry is undergoing many changes. It’s an exciting time for our industry and members.”