Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association
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Stanley Black and Decker Announces Planned Board Transition

NEW BRITAIN, Conn., Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) today announced that George W. Buckley, Lead Independent Director, has been named Chairman of the Board, effective January 1, 2017.  Dr. Buckley succeeds John F. Lundgren, who retired as Chief Executive Officer in July 2016 after more than 12 years with the Company and retained the Chairman role until year-end.  As previously announced, Mr. Lundgren will serve as a Special Advisor to the Company through April 30, 2017.

Dr. Buckley is a long-tenured director of Stanley Black & Decker, having joined the board in March 2010 after previously serving as a director of Black & Decker since 2006.  Dr. Buckley has been Stanley Black & Decker’s Lead Independent Director since April 2015.  He is a member of the Audit Committee, the Compensation and Organization Committee and the Executive Committee.  Dr. Buckley was the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of 3M Company from 2005 – 2012.  Prior to leading 3M, Dr. Buckley was Chairman and CEO of Brunswick Corporation.  Dr. Buckley serves as Chairman of Smiths Group plc, a director of Hitachi Ltd., and a director of PepsiCo, Inc.

For Dr. Buckley, this appointment reflects a return to his own heritage.  Dr. Buckley began his career as an electrician apprentice in Stanley Black & Decker’s Sheffield, UK plant, and the company also sponsored his undergraduate degree program.  His mother also worked at the same plant for close to 30 years, and his sister worked for the company for approximately a decade.

John Lundgren said, “George’s depth of experience leading multi-national industrial companies, along with his governance expertise and tenure on Stanley Black & Decker’s Board, make him a perfect fit to become Chairman.  On the heels of Jim Loree’s smooth transition to CEO this past summer, I know George, Jim and the remainder of the Board will continue to work closely and productively with the executive management team to create long-term value for shareholders as Stanley Black & Decker builds on its foundation as an innovative and high-performing industrial company.”

About Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 and FORTUNE 500 company, is the world’s leading provider of tools and storage, the world’s second-largest commercial electronic security company, and a leading engineered fastening systems provider, with unique growth platforms in the Oil & Gas and Infrastructure industries. Well-known brands include: STANLEY, BLACK+DECKER, DEWALT, Porter-Cable, Bostitch, Facom, Mac Tools, Proto, Vidmar, Lista, and more. Learn more at www.stanleyblackanddecker.com.


Generac to Acquire Motortech

WAUKESHA — Generac Holdings, Inc. will acquire Motortech Holding, a Germany- based manufacturer. Generac, which products generators and small engines, will acquire Motortech’s assets, which include gaseous-engine control systems.

Currently, Motortech has over 250 employees at its German facility. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, though it’s expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Motortech’s current management teach will continue to lead the business after the acquisition is finalized.

“By combining resources and technology, Generac and Motortech will lead the industry in innovative, spark-ignited engine generator offerings,” said Patrick Forsythe, the executive vice president of global engineering at Generac. “This acquisition allows Generac to expand its global market for gaseous products beyond standby generators and it aligns with our strategy of gas power-generation leadership.”


Stens Sold to Minnesota-based Company

Ariens Company of Jasper has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its aftermarket parts business to Arrowhead Engineered Products Inc. of Blaine, Minnesota.

Ariens Company acquired Stens in 1995 and JThomas in 2008. While Stens sells directly to independent power equipment dealers, JThomas Parts brand sells directly to professional landscape contractors. The sale is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. Both companies are privately held and terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.

“This is a strategic decision that allows the company to continue to re-invest in the original equipment manufacturing business,” said Dan Ariens, chairman and CEO of Ariens Company. “We have been enhancing our manufacturing plants with automation technology and, at the same time, we will continue to invest in R&D capabilities to accelerate the rate of new product introductions.”
The company will also invest in a robust e-commerce platform for its niche outdoor supply brands Gempler’s, AW Direct and Ben Meadows.

“The combination of Arrowhead with the Stens and JThomas organization creates a unique and powerful platform in support of our mission to always be our customers’ first choice for critical replacement parts,” said Arrowhead CEO Jim Wisnoski. “We are excited for the combination of our two organizations, and the shared focus of our combined employees to continue providing exceptional service to our worldwide customers.”

The priority for both companies is ensuring that customers experience a seamless transition, according to Wisnoski and Ariens. “The Ariens Company and the Ariens family gave this a lot of thought and consideration, and feel that the owners of Arrowhead are a close match with Ariens in that we share numerous cultural values and have a high regard for customer relationships.”
Customers of both companies will benefit from the combination, as Stens and Arrowhead share a common culture, goals, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Together, they can offer more products and services to a larger combined customer base.

“Stens’ large and sophisticated field salesforce will help Arrowhead reach more customers and prospects, while Arrowhead’s ongoing investments in new product development will help boost sales across the platform,” Stubitz said.

The company began when Jim and Charles Stenftenagel opened a one-room garage servicing outdoor power equipment in the 1979s.  By 1983, Stens shifted its focus to the replacement parts market. After the Ariens Company purchased Stens, they grew it to eight distribution centers across the U.S.
In 2013, Stens completed a move to a new distribution center and corporate headquarters in the former Columbus Container building in Jasper. They renovated the 208,000-square-foot facility on Hospitality Drive.

Stens is expected to stay in Jasper.


Ocean Bio-Chem Reports Third Quarter Results

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBCI) announced its third quarter 2016 financial results.

For the three months ended September 30, 2016, net income was approximately $1.5 million, compared to approximately $296,000 for the third quarter of 2015, an increase of $1.2 million.  Earnings per share for the third quarter of 2016 were $0.17, compared to $0.03 for the same period in 2015.  The third quarter of 2016 net income and earnings per share amounts constitute quarterly records for the Company.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, net income was approximately $1.6 million, compared to $393,000 for the third quarter of 2015, an increase of approximately $1.3 million.  Earnings per share for the nine month period in 2016 were $0.18 compared to $0.04 for the same period in 2015.

The Company also reported record net sales for both the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016.  For the third quarter of 2016, net sales were $12.2 million, compared to approximately $10.8 million for the third quarter of 2015, an increase of $1.4 million or 13%.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, net sales were $27.7 million, compared to $25.6 million for the same period in 2015, an increase of $2.1 million or 8%.

(In thousands, except per share data)

(In thousands except per share data)
Three Months Ended September 30 Nine Months Ended September 30
2016 2015 2016 2015
Net Sales $12,207 $10,837 $27,682 $25,578
Pre-Tax Income $2,203 $439 $2,379 $583
Net Income $1,528 $296 $1,644 $393
EPS Basic and Diluted $0.17 $0.03 $0.18 $0.04
Dividend Declared Per Common Share  –  – $0.06  –

Peter Dornau, President and CEO commented: “We have just achieved the best quarterly financial results in the Company’s 43 year history.  Our third quarter financial results reflect our strong sales growth during the quarter, as well as our solid profit margin percent and dollars.  During the third quarter of 2016, our gross margin increased to 40% from 33% for the third quarter of 2015.  The combination of increased sales volume along with our increase in gross margin resulted in record gross profit of $4.9 million, a $1.3 million increase over the third quarter of 2015.”

Mr. Dornau continued: “The Company also benefited from lower operating costs, due principally to lower legal expenses as a result of the termination of the Company’s advertising litigation against a competitor.  The combination of higher sales volume, higher gross margin and lower operating expenses resulted in record operating income of approximately $2.2 million for the quarter.”
The sales and gross margin improvements were primarily attributable to increased sales of the Company’s more profitable Star brite® and Star Tron® branded products to both its retail customers and wholesale distributors.

Mr. Dornau concluded, “Our marketing and sales strategies are producing solid financial results.  We are cautiously optimistic that we can continue to achieve favorable results in future quarters.”
Jeffrey Barocas, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, commented: “The financial condition of the Company continues to be very strong.  At September 30, 2016, the Company had approximately $1.1 million in cash, $10.2 million in customer accounts receivable and $9.0 million in inventory. Despite our increased working capital requirements in the first nine months of the year, we did not need to incur any borrowings during the period under our revolving line of credit.  Moreover, the Company’s scheduled payments under its term loan related to its manufacturing operations will be completed in July 2017, at which time all of the Company’s debt service obligations under the term loan will be satisfied. Therefore, the remaining balance on the term loan is classified as current on our balance sheet, and only capital leases are classified as long term debt at this time.  Our current ratio is 4.4:1 at September 30, 2016.”

About Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc.:
Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. manufactures, markets and distributes a broad line of appearance and maintenance products for the marine, automotive, power sports, recreational vehicle and outdoor power equipment markets under the Star brite®, Star Tron®, Odor Star®, Outdoor Collection and other brand names within the United States of America and Canada. In addition, the Company produces private label formulations of many of its products for various customers and provides custom blending and packaging services for these and other products. The Company also manufactures, markets and distributes a line of disinfectant, sanitizing and deodorizing products under the Star brite® and Performacide® brand names.

The Company trades publicly under NASDAQ Capital Markets, Ticker Symbol: OBCI.
The Company’s web sites are: www.oceanbiochem.com, www.starbrite.com; www.startron.com; www.nos-guard.com, www.performacide.com

Forward-looking Statements:
Certain statements contained in this Press Release, including without limitation, our ability to continue to achieve favorable results in future quarters and the completion of our scheduled payments under the term loan related to our manufacturing operations constitute forward-looking statements. For this purpose, any statements contained in this report that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” or “could,” including the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may affect these results include, but are not limited to, the highly competitive nature of our industry; reliance on certain key customers; changes in consumer demand for marine, recreational vehicle and automotive products; advertising and promotional efforts; unanticipated litigation developments; exposure to market risks relating to changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates, prices for raw materials that are petroleum or chemical based and other factors addressed in Part I, Item 1A (“Risk Factors”) in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015.


Remington Brand Chainsaws Recalled by MTD Southwest Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2016

Recall Summary
Name of Product: Remington gasoline chainsaws
Hazard: The chainsaws can leak fuel, posing a fire hazard.
Remedy: Replace
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chainsaws and contact MTD Southwest’s Remington recall line for instructions on obtaining a free replacement chainsaw.
Consumer Contact: MTD Southwest’s Remington recall line toll-free at 888-848-6038 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online www.remingtonpowertools.com and click on the Product Recall tab at the bottom of the main page.

Recall Details – Units: About 8,000
Description: This recall involves Remington-branded chainsaws powered by a two-cycle gasoline engine ranging in size from 42cc to 46cc and with either a 14 inch, 18-inch or 20-inch bar. The chainsaw’s housing is orange and black and Remington is printed on the side of the unit and on the bar. Chainsaws included in this recall have model numbers RM4214, RM4218 and RM4620 and serial numbers 1K155XQ0198 through 1F076XQ0200; and were manufactured between November 15, 2015 and June 7, 2016. Model and serial numbers and the manufacture date are located on a white label above the rear handle. The second through fifth characters of the serial number identify the manufacturing date. The second character is the month with A= January, B= February, C = March, etc. The third and fourth characters are the day of the month.  The fifth character is the last digit of the year of manufacture (e.g. C286= March 28, 2016).

Incidents/Injuries: None reported
Sold at: Bi-Mart, Farmer’s Furniture, Lowe’s and Mid-States Distributing Co. and other retailers nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Lowes.com from February 2016 through July 2016 for between $160 and $280.
Importer/Distributor: MTD Southwest Inc, of Tempe, Ariz.
Manufacturer: Zhejiang Pioneer Machinery & Electron Co., Ltd., of China
Manufactured in: China
This recall was conducted, voluntarily by the company, under CPSC’s Fast Track Recall process. Fast Track recalls are initiated by firms, who commit to work with CPSC to quickly announce the recall and remedy to protect consumers.

About U.S. CPSC:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.  Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.


ARI Network Services Released Quarterly Earnings

ARI Network Services Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIS) released its quarterly earnings data on December 21, 2017. The company reported $0.02 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.02. ARI Network Services had a return on equity of 6.13% and a net margin of 3.65%. The firm had revenue of $12.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.46 million.

ARI Network Services (NASDAQ:ARIS) opened at 5.48 on Friday. ARI Network Services has a one year low of $3.33 and a one year high of $5.55. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $5.19 and its 200 day moving average price is $4.74. The firm has a market cap of $95.60 million, a P/E ratio of 54.80 and a beta of 0.95.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded ARI Network Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 8th.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in ARI Network Services stock. LPL Financial LLC raised its stake in shares of ARI Network Services Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIS) by 0.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 24,792 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 68 shares during the period. LPL Financial LLC owned about 0.14% of ARI Network Services worth $111,000 at the end of the most recent quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 32.06% of the company’s stock.

About ARI Network Services
ARI Network Services, Inc (ARI) provides Website, software and data solutions. The Company’s solutions include Lead Generation and eCommerce Websites, eCatalogs, Business Management Software, Digital Marketing Services. It offers a menu of Website add-ons, including a mobile inventory management application, third-party inventory integrations and business management integrations.


Kohler Expands Its Distribution Network

KOHLER, Wis. – Kohler Engines has expanded the distribution network for its KDI diesel engines by formalizing partnerships with five experienced sales organizations. These companies include: Superior Diesel, Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Northstar Power, Ankeny, Iowa; Engines Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas; Flint Power, Albany, Georgia; and CK Power, St. Louis.

“We’re pleased to extend our distribution network as part of our ongoing commitment to broadening and enhancing our relationships with leading equipment manufactures across the country,” said Kyle Brandemuhl, director of diesel engines for Kohler Engines. “Our new distributors all have proven track records and understand the unique value proposition that Kohler’s KDI technology brings to manufacturers seeking powerful and compact diesel engines.”

The Kohler Direct Injection (KDI) diesel engine line now includes eight models, all of which meet the latest emissions standards without a bulky and inefficient diesel particulate filter, or DPF. The impressively compact engines are designed to deliver optimal power and torque for the toughest jobs while also maximizing fuel consumption and limiting emissions.

“We’re proud to represent KOHLER Engines,” said Brian Wendt, president of Superior Diesel. “Kohler’s diesel engines are really well crafted and fit perfectly within our existing product portfolio. Even more importantly, we’ve seen high demand for this technology in the market, so we believe there’s very strong opportunities for continued growth.”


Yamaha Motor Corp. Acquires Subaru Industrial Power Products

December 2016 – Yamaha Motor Corp., USA’s, (YMUS) Outdoor Power Equipment division, Kennesaw, Ga., has acquired Subaru Industrial Power Products, Lake Zurich, Ill. The acquisition is a result of an agreement between parent companies Yamaha Motor Co., and Fuji Heavy Industries and is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, 2017. Fuji Heavy Industries is ceasing the production and sale of multi-purpose engines at the end of September 2017.

“Yamaha has made the multi-purpose engine market a priority,” said Jim McPherson, Yamaha’s Outdoor Power Equipment division manager. “Yamaha entered the popular lawn and garden industry earlier this year with the introduction of the all-new MXV-EFI Vertical V-twin series. The Subaru Industrial Power Products acquisition further solidifies Yamaha’s commitment to continuing our recent expansion into this important segment of our business.”

As part of the acquisition, Fuji Heavy Industries will transfer to Yamaha Motor Powered Products Co. technology relating to three products: EH65, EH72, and EH65V of the EH Series V-Twin overhead valve multi-purpose engine range, which are used in large generators and large lawn mowing machinery. The acquisition of this technology will enable YMPC to sell the EH Series V-Twin overhead valve multi-purpose engines both within Japan and overseas, including through YMUS in the United States.

Through the acquisition, YMUS will continue after-sales service for Fuji Heavy Industries’ multi-purpose engine business in North America — excluding Mexico.


Douglas Dynamics to Issue Quarterly Dividend

Douglas Dynamics Inc. (NYSE:PLOW) declared a quarterly dividend on Friday, December 9th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 20th will be paid a dividend of 0.235 per share on Friday, December 30th. This represents a $0.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.87%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 16th.

Douglas Dynamics (NYSE:PLOW) opened at 32.80 on Thursday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $31.00 and a 200-day moving average price of $29.34. The company has a market capitalization of $738.03 million, a PE ratio of 17.00 and a beta of 1.12. Douglas Dynamics has a one year low of $16.89 and a one year high of $33.85.

Douglas Dynamics (NYSE:PLOW) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.09. The company earned $123.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $131.90 million. Douglas Dynamics had a return on equity of 19.72% and a net margin of 10.73%. Douglas Dynamics’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Douglas Dynamics will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Chairman James L. Janik purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $25.95 per share, for a total transaction of $259,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 323,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,397,653.55. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Robert J. Young purchased 1,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 4th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $26.70 per share, for a total transaction of $45,390.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 22,332 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $596,264.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD purchased a new stake in Douglas Dynamics during the third quarter valued at $224,000. LPL Financial LLC bought a new stake in Douglas Dynamics during the third quarter valued at approximately $227,000. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Douglas Dynamics during the third quarter valued at approximately $237,000. Barclays PLC increased its stake in Douglas Dynamics by 135.2% in the second quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 8,193 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 4,710 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in Douglas Dynamics by 5.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 9,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $293,000 after buying an additional 483 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.86% of the company’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut Douglas Dynamics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.33.

Douglas Dynamics Company Profile
Douglas Dynamics, Inc is a manufacturer of vehicle attachments and equipment. The Company’s portfolio includes snow and ice management attachments sold under the BLIZZARD, FISHER, SNOWEX and WESTERN brands; turf care equipment under the TURFEX brand, and industrial maintenance equipment under the SWEEPEX brand.


Enhance Your Company’s Offense and Defense – OPEESA Annual Meeting

OPEESA’s Annual Meeting provides value for your business with high quality speakers and the chance to network with friends and associates. Attending the Annual Meeting is a great value. Most webinars cost about $125 for a single hour. At our meeting,  you can participate in seven educational sessions, an optional breakout session and the roundtable discussion. This is a value of more than $1,500 for the of $875.

That’s $625 in savings on education alone! And, remember with all of that knowledge, you also get multiple in person networking opportunities, and access to the industry’s top suppliers. The speakers include:

  • Bjoern Fischer, President, STIHL Incorporated, with an industry update.
  • Jade West, Senior VP – Government Relations, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors discussing what may happen now after the election.
  • John Sileo, CSP, President and CEO, Sileo Group, will discuss The Cyber Blacklist: Top Threats and Countermeasures for Data Security. This applies to every company, even if you aren’t managing an e-Commerce platform.
  • Jack Ampuja, MBA, President and CEO, Supply Chain Optimizers will focus on optimizing packaging to reduce ahipping/parcel costs. He has saved some companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Nancye Combs, AEP*SPHR President and CEO, HR Enterprise Inc. will highlight HR challenges and some of benefits that may occur with the new Trump administration.
  • Alan Beaulieu, Economist, ITR Economics will provide an economic update and will also discuss his book “Prosperity in the Age of Decline”, in the following session. Attendees will receive the book prior to the meeting.

For more information, and forms to register, click here.

We are also very grateful to our sponsors, who allow us to engage such high-caliber speakers.


Thoughts for Day

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”
– Steven Spielberg

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.
– Benjamin Franklin

“I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”
– Michelle Obama

Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.
– Dale Carnegie

Manufacturers, Dealers Bring Home Awards as 2016 Closes

David Rountree | December 22, 2016 -www.totallandscapecare.com
Briggs & Stratton has been recognized for the redesign of the cylinder head die cast for the company’s 125cc and 140cc E-series engines – work done at its manufacturing plant in Murray, Kentucky – winning the Productivity award at the recent North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) International Die Casting Design Competition. For each entry category, there are four equally weighted criteria: ingenuity of casting and/or product design, overall quality, cost savings as compared with other manufacturing processes, and the part’s contribution to expanding the market for die castings.

“NADCA’s competition recognizes some of the most forward-thinking work in our industry,” said Dave DeBaets, vice president of global engine operations at Briggs & Stratton, “making this a special achievement for our team …” DeBaets noted it’s the second such award Briggs & Stratton has received in as many years. Briggs & Stratton’s casting, product engineering and die engineering teams created the engine Overhead Valve (OHV) more efficiently by developing a new die cast cell that decreased the pull directions, reduced debris and eliminated the need for exhaust gaskets and machining assets. The changes resulted in a scrap rate of 1 percent or less and a 300 percent increase in OHVs made per 12-hour shift, according to Briggs & Stratton.

NRHA honors STIHL with Channel Partnership Award

STIHL’s corporate communications manager, Roger Phelps, accepts award from NRHA Vice President of Publishing Dan Tratensek. As part of its annual State of Independents Conference, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) honored STIHL Inc. as one of its 2016 Channel Partnership Award winners. This is the second straight year STIHL has been chosen for the award.

The Channel Partnership Awards were presented to four home improvement industry manufacturers. Winners were chosen by independent home improvement retailers as representing “best-in-class partners in supporting their success,” an NRHA news release says.

“The relationship between manufacturers and independent retailers is so vital to the health of this channel that we want to honor companies who engage in practices that strengthen these ties,” says Dan Tratensek, NRHA vice president of publishing. “We view these awards as a real compliment to the manufacturers who receive them because the winners are selected directly by the industry’s independent retailers.”

Wright Manufacturing wins Dealer’s Choice Award

Wright Manufacturing has received a 2016 gold level Dealers Choice Award from the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA). The St. Louis-based Equipment Dealers Association recognized Wright for the high score it achieved in the EDA’s annual manufacturer-dealer survey. The association’s 4,600 member dealers were asked to rate manufacturers in 12 categories ranging from product quality to customer service.
Gold level service awards are presented to manufacturers that receive exemplary ratings from their dealers.
Headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, Wright is best known for inventing the stand-on mower. The company now produces a full line of mowers, including zero turns, walk behinds and combination stand/sit mowers, as well as its line of “Stander” stand-on mowers.


Husqvarna “PINK” Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness

Newton Aycliffe, England based manufacturer, Husqvarna, presented a cheque of over £2,000 to breast cancer support charity, Breast Cancer Care following a successful awareness campaign last month. The world’s leading outdoor power tool brand gave its Facebook followers the chance to win a money can’t buy PINK Husqvarna 450 Rancher chainsaw, the only one in the UK, in exchange for donations. The giveaway, which took place on the day of Breast Cancer Care’s Big Pink (Friday 14th October) invited Husqvarna customers and Facebook fans to get involved to help raise awareness of breast cancer in the UK by entering the name of their most inspirational woman.

For every Facebook ‘Like’ the competition received, Husqvarna donated £1. The post reached 1,700 ‘Likes’ by the end of the day which the company turned into £1,700. This, combined with the efforts of the Husqvarna team in Newton Aycliffe dressing in pink for the day, baking cakes and raising money, took the final total up to £2,052. Ken Brewster, UK Sales and Marketing Director for Husqvarna said: “We had a great time raising money for such a wonderful cause. We celebrate strong inspirational women here at Husqvarna and the day had a certain buzz about it in the office. We’re happy we can help as a company and look forward to more charity events in 2017.”

Laura English-Rose, Community Fundraising Executive at Breast Cancer Care added: “We are so grateful to Husqvarna staff and customers for choosing to donate to Breast Cancer Care. The funds raised will go towards ensuring that Breast Cancer Care can continue to offer vital care, support and information to women with breast cancer, their families and friends.” Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist UK-wide charity providing support to people with breast cancer. Their free services include; support over the phone with a nurse or someone who’s been there, welcoming online forums, reliable information and support groups. For more information about Breast Cancer Care, visit www. breastcancercare.org.uk


STIHL Board Chairman Fred Whyte Recognized by Virginia Lawmakers

STIHL Inc. Board Chairman Fred Whyte was honored by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates recently with a joint resolution outlining his successful tenure with the company. State Sen. Bill DeSteph presented the joint resolution to Whyte at a luncheon in Virginia Beach. The resolution outlines Whyte’s career at the helm of STIHL Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the STIHL Group – from his start as one of the company’s first 50 employees to his community leadership across southeast Virginia as a member of the boards for Old Dominion University and the Children’s Health Foundation of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

The resolution also honors Whyte’s work as a leader in the outdoor power equipment industry and his service to several national industry trade associations. Whyte currently serves as the sole director and chairman of the STIHL Inc. board of directors, following his retirement as president in December 2015. During his tenure, STIHL saw record growth and became the No. 1 selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America.

“Fred Whyte has been a friend, constituent and most importantly, a leader, for over 30 years,” said DeSteph. “As the president of STIHL Inc., he contributed to the city of Virginia Beach in ways few can claim – overseeing the growth of this top corporation, which resulted in tremendous economic benefit to our great city; employing hundreds of residents in high-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs; mentoring local students as they consider future employment paths.

“Fred is to be commended for his character, his drive and his willingness to contribute. He is truly an inspiration to those who know him. We are indeed fortunate to have a man of his caliber living in our community.”

Meanwhile, STIHL Inc.’s general counsel, Scott Tilley, has been elected chairman of the board of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. “I am honored to serve a second term as chairman,” Tilley said after the recent board election. “Manufacturing is growing across the Commonwealth and we take pride in our work that has helped foster that growth. “Over the next five years the VMA is going to aggressively implement workforce solutions, member benefits programs and legislative solutions to make the Commonwealth the most competitive place in the U.S. to manufacture world-class products.”

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