Dealers Sound Off: “How are you improving your retail spaces?”

“We recently completed a 10,000 sq. ft. showroom addition and refreshed the old showroom so the spaces were cohesive. In addition, since we recently rebranded, the old showroom needed to match the look and feel of our new logo and brand. As new owners, we wanted to give a fresh look to the place to help draw attention to the fact that we are new,” says Mandy Witty of Power Pac Equipment, Marshfield, Wis.

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Cleo Franklin on Retirement, the State of the Industry & What’s Ahead


A recent episode of the Rural Lifestyle Dealer podcast series features an interview with Cleo Franklin, who is retiring after 8 years with Mahindra North America. Franklin has more than 30 years in the industry, previously working for John Deere and New Holland. He is the founder of Franklin Strategic Solutions,, a new business strategy and brand management consulting company.

Franklin’s retirement offered a chance for a more candid conversation to gain his perspective on changes in the rural equipment segment.

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Acres Power Equipment Celebrates Milestone


Acres Power Equipment of East Longmeadow, Mass., is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Connie Wiezebicki opened the dealership with just 1 employee, and, today, the family-owned and operated dealership employs 10-15 people depending on the season. Wiezebicki’s daughter, Dawn Starks, is general manager.

“Businesses that offer customer service will continue to grow; businesses that do not will fail,” Wiezebicki said. Read more,

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Safety Resources Series Launches

This year, Rural Lifestyle Dealer is placing a special emphasis on helping dealers keep their employees safe. Our goal is to provide real-world tools that you can implement immediately, regardless of your dealership’s size. Go to to learn more. In this issue, starting on page 34, RDO Equipment shares details about their safety program. Erin Heimbecker, safety manager at Pattison Agriculture, will be covering the topic in the upcoming Dealer Success Academy (, an online event set for Sept. 11-12. Heimbecker includes this motto in her contact information, “Tomorrow — your reward for working safely today.” 

What’s Coming for Zero-Turn Mower Technology

Alyn Brown, vice president of connected devices for Level Up Development, is working to bring an enhanced user experience to zero-turn mowers through new electronic controls and smart connection technology. 

In a discussion with Rural Lifestyle Dealer, Brown addresses his technology-friendly philosophy and the new developments he is working on right now. Brown also wants to educate the industry on why new technology is necessary; how it enhances the effectiveness and efficiency of the machine; and how dealers and operators benefit.

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