OPEI announces 2011-2012 officers and directors

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announced August 4 its 2011-2012 officers and board of directors, with a historic appointment as Jean Hlay, president and chief operating officer, MTD Products, Inc., became the first woman elected to serve as OPEI’s chair of the board.

Joining Hlay as officers will be Richard Fotsch, president of the Global Power Group, Kohler Company, as vice chair, as well as Dan Wilkinson, president, Jacobsen, A Textron Company, as secretary/treasurer.

“This coming year will be a challenging, yet exciting time for our industry as we confront many regulatory and business issues,” said Kris Kiser, executive vice president and COO at OPEI. “Our new officers have the depth and breadth of experience to make sure we pull together as an industry and meet these challenges head on and come out stronger and more competitive than ever before.”

Hlay added, “OPEI will continue to focus on providing our members with outstanding services. Our leadership in product standards development is imperative to ensure safe products and high customer satisfaction for our industry. Additionally, OPEI is a key source for timely, accurate market data used by members in their day-to-day business. Finally, we will continue to take an active role advocating for our industry in regulatory matters that impact our members. Uncertainty is abundant these days, but our objectives are clear.”

Continuing their service on the board will be as follows: Daniel Ariens, president, Ariens Company; Steven Bly, executive vice president, Echo Inc; Edward Cohen, vice president-government & industry relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; Michael Hoffman, chief executive officer, The Toro Company; Michael Jones, president, Husqvarna Professional Products; John May, senior vice president, AT&T Global Platform, Turf & Ag division, John Deere Company; Gary Michel, president & CEO, Club Car, Inc; Paul Mullet, president, Excel Industries; Todd Teske, president & CEO, Briggs & Stratton Corporation; and Fred Whyte, president, Stihl Inc., immediate past chairman.

About the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

OPEI is an international trade association, representing manufacturers worldwide in the utility, forestry, landscape, and lawn and garden industry, whose mission is to bring awareness to the importance of environmental stewardship; an appreciation of the outdoors; and how to grow, restore, and maintain our everyday 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. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org.