People on the Move: Davey appoints Daniel Herms to vp position; NCNLA selects 2 industry pros for its board of directors; and more from Aspire, LandCare, Massey Services and Spring-Green Lawn Care

February 7, 2018 -  By

Daniel Herms

The Davey Tree Expert Co. appointed Daniel Herms to vice president of research and development.

Herms joins the Davey company with more than 30 years of experience and leadership in arboreta and academia. In 1984, he started his career as the director of pest management at Dow Gardens in Midland, Mich. In his time at Dow Gardens, he designed its research program, laboratory facilities and managed all integrated pest management programs. Most recently, Herms served as a professor and chair in the department of entomology at The Ohio State University.

In 2014, Herms was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor received by few scientists nationwide. He was chosen for “his distinguished research, teaching and outreach contributions to the science and application of tree-insect interactions, including ecology, impact and management.”

Some projects he plans to tackle include mainstreaming the biological calendar and phenological indicators into applied pest management tools; the incorporation by the tree care industry of work on tree resource allocation patterns and their management implications; practical treatment options for significant pests such as the emerald ash borer; and adaptation of the green industry to climate change, from worker safety during heat events in the southern U.S. to changing pest and plant zones.

“Dan is well known in the green industry for his expertise and ability to translate technical concepts into practical applications. His research on the emerald ash borer led to the development of numerous industry practices that are still being utilized today,” said Greg Ina, executive vice president of the Davey Institute and employee development. “Dan’s decades-long research on how plants allocate and balance their resources between growth and defense has enormous implications on pest management and nutrition programs, central to Davey’s plant health care approach.”

In addition to the AAAS election, Herms also received major recognition for his work, including the Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology from the Entomological Society of America and the Richard W. Harris Author’s Citation Award from the International Society of Arboriculture.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from Ohio State University, a master’s degree in horticulture and entomology from Ohio State and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in entomology with a specialization in ecology and evolutionary biology.

In other Davey news, the company promoted Manny Nassar to branch manager of Davey’s Southeast Florida Commercial Landscape Services (CLS) branch in Southwest Ranches, Fla.

Nassar started his career with Davey in 2004 in Orlando, Fla. Prior to Davey, Nassar worked 20 years in the green industry. He is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist, a certified Pest Control Operator in lawn and ornamental and a 2009 graduate of the Davey Institute of Grounds Management.

“With 31 years of experience in this industry, and having served our clients in this area for many years now, Manny is well suited for success in this position,” said Jason Bassler, southern regional manager for Davey Tree.

The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) elected two industry professionals—Leslie Herndon, vice president of operations at Greenscape, and Jeff Allegood, general manager at Old Courthouse Nursery—to serve three-year terms on the NCNLA Board of Directors

Herndon is a 16-year employee of Greenscape in Holly Springs, N.C., where she began her career as a floriculture technician. She currently manages the operations and customer service/sales teams as vice president of operations. A North Carolina native, Herndon joined the Greenscape team after graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture and minors in business management and botany. Holding professional designations as both a North Carolina Certified Plant Professional and NALP Landscape Industry Certified Manager, she previously worked for Turtle Creek Nursery and as a retail garden center employee part time while in high school and college

Allegood is the general manager of Old Courthouse Nursery, a 40-acre container nursery in Warsaw, N.C. Allegood did landscaping and retail nursery work throughout high school and college, later graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s in forest management. A recipient of both NCNLA’s Bill Wilder Outstanding Young Nursery Professional Award (2013) and the Southern Nursery Association’s David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award (2015), he is also a former president of the Johnston County Nursery Marketing Association.

Herndon and Allegood will join the following returning members of NCNLA’s Board:

  • President Shanon Spivey, Spivey’s Nursery, Inc., Kernersville, N.C.;
  • Vice President/Secretary/Treasurer Jamie Thomas, Swift Creek Nursery, Clayton, N.C.;
  • Former President Chad Gragg, Buffalo Creek Nurseries, Inc., Lenoir, N.C.;
  • Director Hugh Crump, Greenline Designs, Charlotte, N.C.;
  • Director Chris Mitchell, Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, Garner, N.C.;
  • Director Richard Gant, Gant’s Nursery, Marion, N.C.; and
  • Director Willie Bass, Hawksridge Farms, Hickory, N.C.

The Aspire Software Co. added Bill Simpson to the company as an account manager.

Simpson comes to Aspire with more than 36 years of green industry experience, including vice president of a landscaping company for nearly 30 years. Most recently, he was the maintenance operations manager for a landscape company in west Florida.

His job responsibilities will include training and supporting Aspire clients in all areas of the software during their deployment, go-live and ongoing use.

“Aspire continues to grow and expand its presence in the marketplace. This presents an ongoing need for qualified account managers in our deployment team as well as other new employment opportunities companywide,” said Aspire Director of Client Services Bryan Mours. “Bill is more than qualified to assist landscaping, snow and contracting companies take the next big step in their development with Aspire Software.”

LandCare promoted Brian Newman to branch manager in LandCare’s Raleigh location. He joined LandCare in May of 2016 as an account manager.

Newman began his career in the green industry at a young age, first working alongside his father and then his father-in-law. He went back to school, graduating from NC State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management and a minor in soil science.

Massey Services hired Sid Funk as senior director of business development. In his new role, Funk will be involved in all facets of business development, including new construction, acquisitions, partnerships and alliances. In addition, he will be involved in sales, market development and sales training.

Funk was a senior sales specialist in the pest management division at Dow AgroSciences for 27 years. In 2012, he moved to the agronomy division of Dow and served as an account manager for five years before retiring in 2017.

Funk earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and crop science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He grew up in Kenosha, Wis., and currently lives in the Tampa, Fla., area.

Spring-Green Lawn Care, a provider of residential and commercial lawn fertilization and weed control, added Aaron Knepp of AK Irrigation in Columbus, Ohio, as a new franchise owner

Knepp will be offering customers a seven-application fertilization and weed control program and will expand his mosquito services, aeration and seeding and tree care programs.

Knepp started AK Irrigation in 2006. Knepp cares for more 4,000 lawns while performing irrigation and sprinkler system maintenance, new system installation and other related services.

“We need to be able to grow faster and larger than the average mom and pop business, but we don’t want to sacrifice our high level of service,” Knepp said. “Working with a franchise system allows us to do both while also growing the irrigation side of our business.”

Kelly Limpert

About the Author:

Kelly Limpert is a graduate of Ohio University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Her background in online journalism and advertising aids LM in developing a strong online presence.

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