Blount International announced today that Jerry Johnson has been promoted to president of its Farm, Ranch and Agriculture (FRAG) division. Paul Valas, who has been president of the FRAG division since 2011, will transition to a new position as senior advisor, providing Blount with insight and assistance on strategic planning, customer relationships and international expansion. Since joining the company in 2010 when Blount acquired SpeeCo, Valas has led the development and integration of the FRAG businesses, including SpeeCo, Woods Equipment and TISCO. Prior to the acquisition of SpeeCo, Valas was chief executive officer of SpeeCo and, as part of the acquisition, agreed to a two-year transition role at Blount.

"Paul has been instrumental in creating and leading the FRAG businesses over the past three years, and it has been helpful that he has stayed beyond our original timeframe," stated Josh Collins, Blount's chairman and CEO. "Paul developed and pulled together a cohesive senior management team of FRAG from a disparate group of acquired businesses. Those managers have come together as a team, developed and started executing on a plan, and are now prepared to expand internationally. From the outset, Paul communicated a desire to pursue other opportunities at the appropriate time. Now is the right time for Paul and the company to make this transition." 

Collins continued, "We are delighted that Jerry Johnson has accepted this new role. While significant work has been accomplished in integrating and developing our acquired businesses, Jerry's capabilities, industry knowledge and relationships, and strong commitment to our mission and strategy will continue the momentum we've built over the past couple of years."

Prior to his new position, Johnson was president of Woods Equipment Company, which was acquired by Blount in 2011 and is a business unit of FRAG. He will retain direct oversight of Woods Equipment Company in his new role. Johnson joined Woods Equipment Company in 1995 after 10 years with General Electric Company and has significant experience in managing manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, and sales and marketing operations. He served on the board of directors for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and currently serves on the AEM ag sector board. Johnson will join Blount's senior leadership team and will continue to be based at the company's Oregon, Ill., location.

Blount is a global manufacturer and marketer of replacement parts, equipment, and accessories for consumers and professionals operating primarily in two market segments: Forestry, Lawn, and Garden (FLAG); and Farm, Ranch, and Agriculture (FRAG). Blount also sells products in the construction markets and is the market leader in manufacturing saw chain and guide bars for chain saws.  Blount has a global manufacturing and distribution footprint and sells its products in more than 115 countries around the world. Blount markets its products primarily under the OREGON, Carlton, Woods, TISCO, SpeeCo and ICS brands. For more information about Blount, please visit our website at