The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kris Kiser as the Institute’s next President and CEO, succeeding retiring President and CEO Bill Harley.  Mr. Kiser formerly served as the Institute’s Executive Vice President and COO. 

Mr. Harley stated, “The last 12 years with OPEI have been a remarkable time.  I leave with great pride in our collective accomplishments and the certainty that my successor, Kris Kiser, will not only build on those accomplishments, but also lead the organization to new heights.  I look forward to new and interesting experiences and challenges ahead.”

Mr. Kiser, an attorney, is a long-time veteran of Capitol Hill having served as aide to international affairs expert and former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, and is a highly regarded fuels expert and strong voice in the ethanol fuel debate. Mr. Kiser has served as the chief advocate for the outdoor power equipment industry before the U.S. Congress and Administration on a range of issues related to fuels, emissions, manufacturing, environment and water. 

“Kris Kiser brings over 18 years of experience in working with associations, including four years with OPEI,” said Jean Hlay, OPEI Board Chair.  “Kris has a tremendous amount of passion for the outdoor products industry, including its challenges, and has earned a reputation as a trusted and respected leader.  Kris will continue to further enhance OPEI’s leadership position.”

“The Board of Directors would like to thank Bill Harley for his leadership over the past 12 years.  He has been instrumental in growing our international tradeshow, among his many other contributions.  Bill has added a tremendous amount of value to the association.  We wish Bill the very best in his retirement,” said Hlay.

A committed supporter of animal rescue and rehabilitation, Mr. Kiser spearheaded the development of the TurfMutt educational curriculum with Discovery Communications and OPEI’s Education and Research Foundation (  and The TurfMutt curriculum is aimed at promoting environmental stewardship of lawns, landscapes, parks and green spaces through a “spokesdog” named Lucky, a real rescue dog and the face of the program.

Prior to joining OPEI, Kris served for 14 years in senior management at two major, Washington, DC trade associations representing the automobile manufacturing and forest products industries. He was Vice President, State and International Affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Vice President, Governmental Affairs for the American Forest & Paper Association. 

About the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing 80 manufacturers worldwide in the engine, utility vehicle and landscape, lawn, garden, and forestry equipment industries. OPEI’s mission is to bring awareness to the importance of environmental stewardship, an appreciation of the outdoors and how to grow, restore and maintain our every day green spaces in a responsible way.  OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety standards.  OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual trade show and exposition ( For more information, visit