OPEI Hosts 66th Annual Meeting

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The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) held its 66th Annual Meeting in mid-June in Florida, focusing on messages of innovation and industry advancement. Chief among industry updates heard at the meeting, the trade association introduced its new statistics vendor, Vault Consulting, which showcased updates to the members-only program’s capabilities and categories. OPEI staff also shared the latest forecast update for key categories of equipment.

OPEI also rolled out a preview of a new television program sponsored by TurfMutt and produced in partnership with Hearst Television and Litton Entertainment. The show, which highlights the importance of lawns and outdoor space to families and pets, will debut this fall on the CW.

The OPEI Board of Directors met in conjunction with the Annual Meeting, installing its 2019-2019 leadership. The board bid outgoing chairman Dan Ariens, Chairman & CEO, Ariens Co., a fond farewell and welcomed incoming Chairman Tom Cromwell, Group President, Kohler Power, Kohler Co.

The Board also has appointed Earl Bennett, President, Husqvarna Professional Products, to the Board.

The 2018-2019 OPEI Board of Directors comprises Chair Tom Cromwell, Group President, Kohler Power, Kohler Co.; Vice Chair Bjoern Fischer, President, Stihl; Secretary/Treasurer Rick Olson, Chairman, President and CEO, The Toro Co.; Immediate Past Chair Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO, Ariens Co.

Additional directors include Earl Bennett, President, Professional Products, Husqvarna; Edward B. Cohen, Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; Tim Dorsey, President, Echo Inc.; Tom Duncan, President and CEO, Positec USA, Inc.; Peter Hampton, President and CEO, Active Exhaust Corp.; Jean Hlay, President and COO, MTD Products, Inc.; Tim Merrett, Vice President, Global Platform Turf & Utility, Deere and Co.; Lee Sowell, President, Outdoor Products, Techtronic Industries; Todd Teske, Chairman, President and CEO, Briggs and Stratton Corp.; Mark Wagner, President and CEO, Club Car, LLC; and Joe Wright, President and CEO, Excel Industries.