ALEXANDRIA, Va. —The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announces its 2016-2017 officers and board of directors. The officers and new board members were elected during the OPEI annual meeting, which was recently held in Asheville, N.C.

Officers for the 2016-2017 year are:

  • OPEI chair: Tim Merrett, vice president, global platform turf & utility, Deere & Co.
  • OPEI vice chair: Daniel Ariens, chairman & CEO, Ariens Co.
  • OPEI secretary/treasurer: Tom Cromwell, group president – power, Kohler Co.
  • Immediate past chair: Lee Sowell, president – outdoor products, Techtronic Industries, N.A., Inc.

“I am honored to be selected as chair. We are addressing new challenges as our industry grows,” says 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 Inc.; Tom Duncan, president & CEO, Positec USA Inc.; Edward B. Cohen, vice president – Government & Industry Relations, American Honda Motor Co. Inc.; Marc J. Dufour, president & CEO, Club Car – LLC; Peter Hampton, president, Active Exhaust Corp.; Jean Hlay, president & chief operating officer, MTD Products Inc.; Paul Mullet, President & CEO, Excel Industries Inc.; Rick Olson, president & chief operating officer, The Toro Co.; Todd Teske, chairman, president & CEO,  Briggs and Stratton Corp.; David Withers, president, Jacobsen, A Textron Co.

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