OPEI announces new president and CEO

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) announced August 31 the appointment of Kris Kiser as its next president and CEO, effective immediately, succeeding retiring Bill Harley in both positions. Kiser formerly served as OPEI’s executive vice president and COO.

“The last 12 years with OPEI have been a remarkable time,” said Harley. “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.”

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. 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.

A committed supporter of animal rescue and rehabilitation, Kiser spearheaded the development of the TurfMutt educational curriculum with Discovery Communications and OPEI’s Education and Research Foundation (turfmutt.discoveryeducation.com and www.TurfMutt.com). 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-based 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.

“Kris Kiser brings over 18 years of experience in working with associations, including four years with OPEI,” said OPEI Board Chair Jean Hlay. “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.”