Stuart Yarwood MG takes the reins

Stuart Yarwood MG takes the reins: DLF Seeds are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Stuart Yarwood MG. Stuarts role as Regional Technical Sales Manager will see him working closely with both customers and distributors across the North West of the UK, providing advice and support on the Masterline and Johnsons Sports Seed ranges.    

After completing his HND in Golf Course Management at Reaseheath College, Stuart spent two years in Golf Course construction before taking up his first greenkeeping role as Deputy Course Manager at Delamere Forest Golf Club. Following this, he spent 17 years as Course Manager at Lymm Golf Club where he specialised in traditional and sustainable turf management. Along with practical experience, Stuart also achieved his Master Greenkeeper certificate in 2010 and is one of only seven people in the world to have gained the R&A Gold Scholar Award for his role in the facilitation of the R&A Scholars programme.

Stuart Yarwood MG takes the reins

Stuart Yarwood MG takes the reins

Stuart’s years of practical experience and technical know-how then went on to set him up for a role in sales, where he provided agronomic support to customers across all sporting disciplines, before further developing this with some time spent in sports turf contracting & consulting. He joined DLF in February 2021. Commenting on his appointment, Stuart said, “Joining DLF was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. My late father always said, ‘If I was to be a car mechanic, be a car mechanic for Rolls Royce’. DLF are the Rolls Royce of the seed world, providing the very best range for natural playing surfaces. I am very passionate about sharing my knowledge and am looking forward to being able to do that in my new role, helping others to deliver the best surfaces possible.”

Amenity Sales & Marketing Manager Derek Smith added, “We are very excited to have someone with Stuart’s level of knowledge, experience and passion joining the technical team. Stuart spent the first few weeks in his role working closely with John Hughes to get a thorough understanding of both the product range and the specific needs of accounts in his territory.”

Stuart lives in Cheshire with his fiancée and three children. In his spare time he enjoys DIY, practicing some admittedly hit and miss magic tricks and exploring nature – which he’s hoping to do with a four-legged companion very soon.

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Soil Scout appoint Richie Stephens

Soil Scout appoint Richie Stephens: Richie Stephens has been appointed to the position of Sales Executive for Soil Scout, effective from 4 January 2021. In his new role Richie will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities and generating sales, whilst also developing existing customer and reseller relationships.

Richie will be working alongside Soil Scout’s VP of International Sales, Adam Sedgwick.

Soil Scout appoint Richie Stephens

Soil Scout appoint Richie Stephens

Prior to his new position, Richie was Course Manager at Ringway Golf Club in Cheshire and previously Head Greenkeeper at Flixton Golf Club. Richie has spent much of his career in management roles building fantastic relationships with fellow greenkeepers, groundsmen and contractors from across all sports. He has also been commended for demonstrating a forward thinking approach to his work and embracing new technologies and better working practices.

Richie commented: “I am delighted to be joining Soil Scout at a really exciting time for the company. I’m looking forward to working with a great team promoting the huge benefits of such an innovative product. It’s a change of direction for me, but I hope to bring my 20-years experience in the sports turf industry to help Soil Scout’s customers achieve their soil monitoring goals.”

Commenting upon the appointment, Soil Scout CEO Jalmari Talola said: “We are delighted to welcome Richie to the Soil Scout team. He joins us with a wealth of industry knowledge and will be a huge asset to our relatively small but fast-growing operation.”

Adam Sedgwick commented: “We are really pleased to be able to appoint someone with Richie’s understanding and enthusiasm for the industry. He demonstrated a real passion for our remote real-time soil monitoring products and he’s a highly driven individual who will bring a new dynamic to the sales team.”

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New Infinicut Territory Sales Manager

New Infinicut Territory Sales Manager: Stephen Shaw has been announced as the new Territory Sales Manager for the INFINICUT® and TMSystem™ product ranges.

A well-known industry face, Stephen returns to the UK after spending the last 10 years of his career in Qatar, to support the continued growth of the collections, in use at leading golf venues and sports stadia worldwide.

New Infinicut Territory Sales Manager

New Infinicut Territory Sales Manager

In Qatar, Stephen worked at a main Toro dealership and Doha Golf Club, before taking on the role of Machinery Division Manager at Nakheel Landscapes which is where, over the last three years, he worked alongside John Coleman of INFINICUT® to spec machinery for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. When travel restrictions came into force earlier in the year, Stephen returned to his roots in Northumberland and the opportunity arose to use his acquired knowledge to support to dealers and customers across the North of England, Scotland and Ireland – along with spearheading exports and the construction of a worldwide dealer network.

“Joining the INFINICUT® team is hugely exciting” comments Stephen. “It is a quality British-built product, driven by technology that demonstrates a real understanding of what is required by today’s turf care professionals. It quickly became evident to me, working together with John and the INFINICUT® product, that this range is very much the future of the mower industry. Their engineering prowess continues across the multi-functional TMSystem™ collection, which delivers versatility, durability and precision to a wide variety of turf maintenance activities.”

Although Stephen only joined in the middle of September, he has already utilised his many international connections to remotely establish dealers in India, Thailand and South Korea and he looks forward to supporting these, and others, with product and sales training as and when travel restrictions ease.

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STIHL’s Robin Lennie retires

STIHL’s Robin Lennie retires: STIHL Great Britain today announces the retirement of long-standing Managing Director Robin Lennie at the end of the year.

Robin joined the company in 1990 as Finance Director and Company Secretary and was promoted to Managing Director in 2008. Having studied Accountancy, Law & Economics at The University of Glasgow, Robin qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1978 and as an IOD Chartered Director in 2006.

STIHL's Robin Lennie retires

STIHL’s Robin Lennie retires

Robin leaves STIHL Great Britain in excellent financial health and during his tenure as Managing Director, the company has increased turnover from £57m in 2008 to over £109m in 2019.

Robin retires with many exciting plans including exploring even more of the world with his wife and travel companion Liz.

STIHL Great Britain is delighted to announce the appointment of new Managing Director Kay Green. Kay has a successful track record in sales and marketing and joins STIHL from Hasbro UK Ltd where she is Country Manager for UK and Ireland.

Kay Green will join STIHL on 1 March until which point Financial Director, Nick Burroughs will act as Interim Managing Director.

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Former SISIS Sales Director Arthur Harrison passes away

Former SISIS Sales Director Arthur Harrison passes away: Former SISIS sales director Arthur Harrison has sadly passed away earlier this month, aged 88.

His career at SISIS spanned over 30 years, beginning in 1960 initially as assistant sales office manager when the company was based at Cheadle, Stockport, before being appointed sales director in 1979 until his retirement in 1996.

Former SISIS Sales Director Arthur Harrison passes away

Former SISIS Sales Director Arthur Harrison passes away

Arthur was renowned as being one of the turfcare industry’s true gentlemen and largely responsible for building a strong SISIS dealer network throughout Western Europe in the 1970’s and expanding export into Asia, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

Arthur had since enjoyed the 24 years since his retirement caravanning, cruising and spending time with family and friends before passing away peacefully on 2nd November 2020.

Everyone at SISIS wish to extend our condolences to his family at this sad time.

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Bayer ES appoints new digital marketing specialist

Bayer ES appoints new digital marketing specialist: Bayer Environmental Science has appointed a new digital marketing specialist to support the business as they move towards more digital offerings.

Formerly working for a Cambridge-based B2B marketing agency, Freddie Bendall-Brown has an extensive background in digital marketing and experience of building digital and brand strategies.

Bayer ES appoints new digital marketing specialist

Bayer ES appoints new digital marketing specialist

“I’ve worked in digital marketing for many years with expertise in several areas from social media to website development,” says Freddie.

“My previous roles have allowed me to gain experience with a wide range of audiences and has given me valuable background in the digital sphere,” he explains.

The new appointment coincides with the roll out of Bayer’s new Digital Pest Management system. This new service has been developed to help revolutionise large scale pest control.

“It’s exciting to work for a company that wants to make a positive impact, invest in innovation and that’s driven to keep moving the turf and pest control sectors forward,” says Freddie.

“The sector is incredibly active on digital platforms, especially social media, which highlights significant opportunities for the company. I’m keen to engage with the industry and with those working at operational level to help stimulate a two-way dialogue and showcase the breadth of Bayer’s expertise.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at Bayer to introduce a greater range of digital offerings,” adds Freddie.

Alan Morris, Bayer head of environmental science, says the team are thrilled to have Freddie on board.

“Freddie’s expertise in digital marketing will support the delivery of Bayer’s high-quality solutions to customers and will be invaluable in the future with our continued commitment to develop new innovative solutions,” concludes Alan.

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Bernhard’s new Director of Finance and Operations

Bernhard’s new Director of Finance and Operations: Bernhard Company has appointed Patrick Collins as its new director of finance and operations.

Patrick Collins, who joined Bernhard in September, will oversee finance and operations at Bernhard Company’s manufacturing plant, based in Haverhill.

Bernhard's new Director of Finance and Operations

Bernhard’s new Director of Finance and Operations

He has worked in a variety of industries, and his financial experience in manufacturing companies such as Telefonica UK Ltd, BWI UK Limited and   Honda UK will bring valuable experience to the team. Patrick is a keen golfer, and he also coaches Rugby and Cricket; his interest in sports will be a great asset to Bernhard Company in him understanding our industry.

Bernhard and Company Chairman, Stephen Bernhard, said: “Patrick joins us at a challenging time, we are all very excited to welcome him into the business, his skills and experience will reinforce our ambitious strategy.”

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A spotlight on Siân Workman

From Agrovista Amenity

A spotlight on Siân Workman: Siân had not initially envisioned herself in a marketing role. As a child she dreamt of being a veterinarian and an affinity for nature and animals led her to embark on a Zoology and Conservation degree at university. A notoriously difficult industry to land a career in, Siân had to reassess her career path. Little did she know that a fulfilling opportunity was around the corner – one which would allow her natural skills to flourish.

“While it may seem unrelated having a Zoology and Conservation degree and be working in the amenity sector, it has actually been very beneficial,” said Siân. “Just having that background and interest in science and biology translates for a greater understanding of my role.

A spotlight on Siân Workman

A spotlight on Siân Workman

“My degree underpins my natural scientific interests, being fascinated by biology and the chemistry behind a lot of the products we encounter. I’m always talking to the technical team to try and understand how everything works better.”

This inquisitive interest in biology has resulted in an oasis of plants being grown around her desk.

At the time, Siân was undertaking various roles at a local sports centre and when the opportunity arose to join Agrovista Amenity, she did not think twice about applying for an interview. This was, in part, fuelled by her love for Welsh rugby.

“I am a big Welsh rugby fan and I had heard that some people within the company had been involved with the Principality Stadium pitch – which is what my dad calls The Cathedral! There was a lot going on at the time and they were starting to do the synthetic threading into the natural pitches. It just so happened that we were talking a lot about that process in my circles and amongst our family. It sounded like a good company to work for, so I applied and fortunately was offered the role.

“Yes, it was different to what I originally set out to do, but it turned out that I really enjoyed doing something with so much variety. I felt that I was good at the role so I invested all my efforts into doing the best job I could.”

Siân quickly discovered that the company culture and its values would enable her to thrive. It was the perfect fit and with the support of the company she set about obtaining some esteemed qualifications – something which she pinpoints as a proud moment in her career history.

“From the moment I walked in, I could tell that they were incredibly supportive and would work with you to help progress your career. They want their staff to learn and develop and, for me, being science-based, it suits the way I work – I am always eager to learn.

“I’ve received fantastic on-the-job learning; I’ve completed a number of online seminars, learnt basic HTML, completed a CSS course and I also achieved all of my Google qualifications.  I’m particularly proud of my Google qualifications because they were very intense and trying to juggle those with my workload wasn’t easy.”

Siân uses these qualifications to the company’s advantage. She manages e-commerce activity for the amenity side of the business including pay-per-click campaigns, online adverts, integral analytics and gets involved in various projects that are related to e-commerce.

“My role involves disseminating content from the technical team to our product pages, social channels and other marketing literature and keeping in mind the audiences and restrictions of those. My interests and science background helps me fully understand what I am trying to communicate better.

“It’s also about recognising any trends or issues in the marketplace and catching them early. The technical team play a big part in this respect and can predict when certain products will be of interest. This corresponds with what I am seeing through the online statistics or searches, and what customers are saying on reviews or comments on social media.

“We ping ideas back and forth in our marketing meetings and I’ll present them with monthly reports. If we notice a drop in something, then we will investigate the reasons behind it. We make a good team and it helps us to produce marketing that is transparent, valid for the relevant platform and relatable to online content.”

The importance of teamwork and collaboration is an essential ingredient of any business, and furthermore, Siân believes that Agrovista Amenity boasts an environment which promotes an atmosphere that fosters friendship and loyalty.

“There was a friendly atmosphere as soon as I arrived, and now some of my closest friends are people I’ve met here. Everyone is extremely easy to work with and I would struggle to leave for anywhere else.”

Perhaps it is this environment which has enabled Siân to thrive – in her five years at Agrovista Amenity she has received two promotions. She has found purpose, fulfilment, and happiness in her role. Outside of work, Siân has a keen interest in strength and fitness for gymnastic discipline and she still has a love for animals – as she explains.

“I have a snake and a Snow Bengal cat at home which resembles a leopard, so he needs a lot of exercise. He comes out on walks with us and we get horrendous looks from neighbours – which my partner is absolutely mortified about!”

Let’s just hope Agrovista never has a bring-your-pets-to-work day.

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Hayter & Toro appoints new LCE & Siteworks Sales Manager

Hayter & Toro appoints new LCE & Siteworks Sales Manager: Toro, a global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, has welcomed Matthew Coleman to the team. Joining the business as a Sales Manager, Matthew will be responsible for growing the LCE and Siteworks side of the business for the UK, reporting into Craig Hoare, Sales & Marketing Manager – UK Direct Markets.

Matthew joins the Toro team from his previous role at Fuchsia Exhibition Services, a family run business of 40 years, dedicated to events and exhibitions services within the grounds care and construction markets. Fuchsia specialises in the design and construction of exhibition spaces for several top companies in the grounds care industry, including Toro.

Hayter & Toro appoints new LCE & Siteworks Sales Manager

Hayter & Toro appoints new LCE & Siteworks Sales Manager

Matthew has over 12 years of experience in the grounds care market, importing and distributing zero-turn, stand-on and remote-control mowers around the UK for brands such as Ferris, Wright, Spider and Avant. Combining his technical knowledge and sales management experience, Matthew built a successful dealer network that has allowed him to enhance his knowledge of the grounds care industry whilst establishing successful industry relationships.

Now taking on his new role with Toro, Matthew will be a fresh pair of eyes for the LCE and Siteworks side of the business. His main responsibilities in this role will be to educate the UK market on the Toro LCE and Siteworks ranges and how Toro’s equipment in those areas can be a huge asset in successful sales growth.

Matthew said: “I am incredibly excited to be embarking on this challenging journey with Toro, helping to grow the LCE and Siteworks business for the UK.”

“On a day-to-day basis, I’m looking forward to visiting dealers all around the country and becoming a product specialist for the LCE and Siteworks product lines. I’ve joined Toro at a really exciting and poignant time, where products such as the Dingo have huge potential in the UK. It’ll be great to start talking about these products more with dealers.”

Welcoming Matthew to his team, Craig Hoare, Sales and Marketing Manager said, “I am really pleased Matthew has joined the team and this signifies Toro’s intent to grow within the UK Landscaper, Arboricultural and Construction markets.  Matthew has a wealth of experience and is respected within the industry and will be well placed to manage and support our dealer network, ensuring Toro builds meaningful and successful partnerships in the Professional Landscaper market.”

In his personal life, Matthew enjoys sports, having studied Sports Science at Loughborough University. He enjoys rugby and has been taking part in offshore water ski racing for the last five years.

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Reesink’s Richard Harris retires

Reesink’s Richard Harris retires: Richard Harris, managing director of Reesink Turfcare IRE, has announced his retirement from the company. Richard was instrumental in the development of the Lely, Reesink and Toro brands in Ireland and leaves a career which spans 31 years in the turfcare industry.

Richard started his career in 1974 working with a leading supplier to the petrochemical industry, followed by a move to a major distributor within the electrical industry. He started working with the then Toro distributor for Ireland, J C Distribution, in 1989.

Reesink's Richard Harris retires

Reesink’s Richard Harris retires

In 1994 Richard took on the management and development of Lely Ireland (as a sister company of Lely UK) into a combined agriculture and turfcare machinery business. He has played a leading role in helping develop the Toro brand and reputation for quality products that today sees it as a market leader in golf. A past president of the Farm Tractor Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) in 2014, when the agriculture and turfcare divisions separated within Lely, Richard moved with the turfcare side of the business which then joined the Royal Reesink Group in 2016.

The last few years have seen Richard spearhead considerable investment by the Royal Reesink group in both Toro and other brands (such as Trilo and TYM) in Ireland through their base in Nurney, Co Kildare. Focusing on establishing a stand-alone business, the industry-respected Reesink Turfcare sales team has been together for many years moving along with the company changes. This allowed Richard to focus on building up the customer service, parts and technical support areas to enhance Reesink’s support for Toro and Trilo fine turf and grounds customers in Ireland. Richard hands the business over in a strong state to maintain and build customer satisfaction levels on a par with all Toro European distributor operations.

Roon Hylkema, managing director of Reesink Turfcare BV and a colleague of Richard’s since 1991, says: “Richard and I have worked together for a great many years. We were originally from different companies, I was with Jean Heybroek BV and he was with Lely UK, but we had the Toro brand in common. Then in the last four years when Reesink acquired Lely, as Reesink had acquired Jean Heybroek in 2010, much more closely as we worked together to raise the Reesink profile in Ireland. He’s the type of colleague, employee and friend you’d want in your professional life, honest, straight-forward, loyal and reliable, and he’ll be greatly missed for the contribution he has made to the development of the business in that time and throughout his career.”

Richard says: “During my career I have had the privilege of working with so many great teams of people both within our own companies in Ireland, the UK, The Netherlands and Denmark, as well as within The Toro Company and more recently Vanmac/Trilo. I have shared some great experiences and relationships with many colleagues and contacts within these companies and the turfcare and agricultural machinery industry at large over the years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working within this industry.

“While looking forward to now having time to focus on other interests, I will certainly miss it all and will keep an eye with interest on the future development of the business and the turfcare industry. While COVID-19 has affected the whole industry and will bring many challenges and changes to the way we do business in the future, I have no doubt that Reesink, Toro and the turfcare industry will bounce back over the next couple of years and grasp the opportunities that will present themselves.”

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