WEST FARGO, N.D. – Doosan Bobcat announced the appointment of regional presidents and a new global organization and leadership structure. In this organizational structure, the newly created global groups – engineering, procurement and strategy – will work across all regions to fully integrate and leverage the power and scale of the company.
Consistent with this change, Doosan Bobcat announced the following leadership appointments, effective immediately.
- Mike Ballweber has been appointed president, Doosan Bobcat North America. Ballweber previously served as senior vice president, commercial business, Doosan Bobcat North America. Ballweber will be based out of Doosan Bobcat’s North American headquarters in West Fargo, North Dakota.
- Gustavo Otero has been appointed president, Doosan Bobcat Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Gustavo previously served as vice president of compact & telehandlers, Doosan Bobcat EMEA. Otero will be based out of Doosan Bobcat’s Czech Republic office in Dobris.
- Troy Kraft has been named senior vice president, global engineering, Doosan Bobcat. Kraft has been leading the engineering function about 12 years at Doosan Bobcat. Kraft will be based out of Doosan Bobcat’s North American Acceleration Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.
- Alvaro Pacini has been named senior vice president, global procurement, Doosan Bobcat. Alvaro previously served as EMEA region president. Otero will be based out of Doosan Bobcat’s Czech Republic office in Dobris.
- Youngmin Kwon, as senior vice president, global strategy & operational excellence, total quality management, will also be a member of the global leadership team. Youngmin will be based out of Doosan Bobcat’s office in Seoul, South Korea.
All the leaders named above will report directly to Doosan Bobcat CEO Scott Park.
“As a global company, we are taking these steps to become even more collaborative by sharing the best ideas and innovations around the world,” said Park. “I have great confidence in each of these leaders as they take on new and expanded roles and look forward to working with them to ensure our continued growth in the global marketplace.”
Project EverGreen, a national nonprofit devoted to creating a greener Earth, the New York City Parks GreenThumb, landscape professionals, local businesses and residents teamed up on June 12-13 to help make New York City’s Clinton Community Garden a green oasis amid a concrete jungle.
Volunteers including landscape contractors, industry suppliers and neighborhood residents from the Lower East Side came together to complete a two-phase renovation project valued in excess of $10,000.
The Clinton Community Garden, one of more than 550 community gardens across the city’s five boroughs, serves a connection point for new and old residents as they bond over gardening and other social activities, while promoting the health and environmental benefits that come with green spaces.
“Neighborhoods deserve a healthy community garden and green space that they can call their own,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Thriving gardens create a community hub for neighbors – young and old – to meet and connect in a healthy, cool environment. Vibrant gardens also help instill community pride, create confidence, and establish a learning environment to grow fruits, vegetables and shade plants.”
Specific elements of the project included:
- Installation of new planting beds and adding new soil to new and existing beds
- Raise existing beds and regrade site to eliminate standing water
- Installation of pavers to create a patio for residents to use
- Installation of pea gravel path
- Installation of shade garden
- Transplant existing plants into new soil
- New plantings including ornamental shrubs, flowers and vegetable plants
“Community gardens are labors of love. Having highly skilled volunteers build paths and patios makes a huge difference in helping these valuable public spaces become accessible to all New Yorkers,” says Bill LoSasso, director of GreenThumb. “We are happy Project EverGreen supported the vision of the gardeners at Clinton Community Garden who have worked hard for years to transform this site into a place for the entire community.”
For the first time, Green Lawn Fertilizing and Green Pest Solutions were featured on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2019 Best Places to Work list. The award goes to companies in the greater Philadelphia area who are dedicated to creating a positive work environment for employees.
“It’s a great honor to be named a Best Place to Work by the Philadelphia Business Journal," said President and Owner Matt Jesson. "Our team members are essential to delivering our customers a superior experience, and we take great pride in cultivating an environment and culture for employees to thrive."
In order to qualify for the Best Place to Work award, Green Lawn Fertilizing needed to get over 80 team members to complete the survey, over half the company. Winners were picked for four different staff sizes: 10-50 employees, 51-100 employees, 101-1000 employees and 1001+ employees. Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions was one of the select 101-1000 employee winners.
“We believe this honor reflects our unwavering commitment to Servant Leadership as well as our core value of treating our team members with kindness, dignity and respect," said Michael Heiner, director of human resources. "We truly appreciate your vote of confidence and please know that we remain open to your feedback on how we can continue to be a Best Place to Work."
Philadelphia Business Journal is a division of American City Business Journals, one of the country's largest publisher of business publications. Every year, the Philadelphia Business Journal seeks out the top places to work across the entire greater Philadelphia region. For 2019, they accepted a record number of nominations from businesses located in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties. They later conducted a survey from April 22 until May 24. The survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, was sent to all employees from the nominated companies. Each nominee had to have at least half of their workforce complete the survey to be eligible. Employees were asked to rate their company on the following categories:
- Work environment
- Personal growth
- Professional development
- Embracing change/new ideas
Green Pest Solutions and Green Lawn Fertilizing is an independent lawn and pest control company that was founded in 2004. Under Jesson's leadership, the company has grown to over 170 team members and over 100 service vehicles in its fleet.
By Tom Wood
Editor’s note: Belchim sent this to Lawn & Landscape to give a non-vendor opinion on the growing attention being paid to glyphosate in the media, its impact on the industry and what chemical manufacturer’s can do to address the issues. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lawn & Landscape.
It’s no secret that glyphosate has come under considerable public scrutiny lately. While some distributors and retailers have suspended the sale of products containing this active ingredient, glyphosate is often recognized as among the most effective of weed mitigation agents – and, when used properly, among the safest.
Nonetheless, controversy in the industry is leading landscapers and their providers to turn toward more “natural” alternatives to not only avoid criticism but to reduce financial exposure from potential lawsuits.
The same interest in natural alternatives is also creating a ripple effect in the agribusiness market. Many companies in the marketplace offer products containing glyphosate, but now also are creating more natural-based solutions.
EPA works to calm consumer concerns
As is generally known, the concern about glyphosate stems from some high-profile jury awards to individuals who maintained in court trials that the chemical was responsible for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The media also reported findings from public interest research groups that trace amounts of the chemical were detected in certain foods or beverages, including beer and wine.
The furor has caused a greater apprehension about glyphosate in general, despite government efforts to calm the public. At the end of May, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement noting, “there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label” and that “glyphosate is not a carcinogen.” EPA acknowledged ecological risks from the chemical, saying it would propose “management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays and reduce glyphosate resistance in weeds.”
Nonetheless, some distributors have had little choice but to pull their products. The big box retailer Costco announced in March that it would remove glyphosate-based products from its shelves, and would look for options to stock instead.
Harrell’s, the Florida-based producer and distributor of agronomic solutions for the turf and landscape markets, also discontinued distribution of products containing glyphosate earlier this year. In an open letter in March, Harrell’s CEO Jack Harrell, Jr. clarified the decision, noting that it was not based on health concerns, but insurance issues. He explained that “our insurance company was no longer willing to provide coverage for claims related to glyphosate,” and that the company “could not buy adequate coverage for the risk we would be incurring.”
Concern about legal ramifications has become the elephant in the room when it comes to glyphosate. Distributors in particular have become particularly cautious about legal liability, and insurance companies are backing away from coverage. From a business perspective, it can be a difficult decision: Do we self-insure, and carry a cost multiple times greater than we currently pay, or do we take the path of least resistance and stop carrying the product?
Despite the EPA’s assurances of the safety of the product, media scrutiny has led to concerns, especially in the landscaping community, to find “safer” alternatives to glyphosate. That’s completely understandable. When consumers become apprehensive, it directly affects the bottom line for landscapers, because consumers are their customers.
The move to “softer” chemistry
Among manufacturers, strategies to diversify offerings beyond glyphosate have been developed for years. The trend toward “softer” chemistries, or naturally occurring herbicide treatments, has been extremely popular – driven in most cases by consumer demand.
Among the useful alternatives are so-called C9s, nine-carbon fatty acids such as pelargonic acid. This is a naturally-occurring substance – synthesized from chemicals or made from animal fat or plants such as sunflowers – that degrades into water and CO2. Pelargonic acid has been found to be safe for livestock and humans. Crop protection and pest mitigation products using pelargonic acid are also part of the USDA’s “BioPreferred Program," which looks at ways to increase the use of biobased renewable materials derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials.
Lowering the chemical footprint for landscaping products has been a goal among manufacturers even when using more conventional chemistry. Industry experts are always on the hunt for chemicals with fewer residues, or ones that can be used in tank mixing, reducing chemical concentrations and thereby creating a safer environment for landscapers and the general public.
Mixing these chemicals may create an effective treatment regimen for pest control and mitigation in the landscaping community. Utilizing different modes of actions or translocation features may make these solutions comparably effective to glyphosate.
The media has focused on glyphosate as the current villain, which has created consumer backlash. To address the popular concern, we in the industry are creating alternatives that are more natural.
Meanwhile, industry observers have to shake their head at the glyphosate crisis. They know that there are still products such as organophosphates in the market that have considerable market share, with considerably greater possible risks in their use.
Perception is reality
But perception is reality. Consumer perception, guided more and more by the media, has focused on glyphosate as dangerous, and landscapers are right to respond to that public perception. It will be interesting to see where things will head in the next 12-18 months, and whether any other retailers will announce a position regarding products with this active ingredient.
From my perspective leading an agricultural distribution company, I have to agree with the EPA's assessment that glyphosate poses no health risks when used properly, and when following directions. For a significant segment of the population, who understand the safety precautions required when using any herbicide, this chemical works well and will continue to be the preferred choice.
We have to follow the lead of the EPA, while still recognizing the market phenomenon that is looking for safer alternatives. We can’t deny that conversations about glyphosate are being had at all levels in the agribusiness community. The companies that listen, and promote alternatives, will be the ones that weather the storm.
Tom Wood is GM of Belchim Crop Protection USA. He can be reached at email@example.com