Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Private Equity Firm Invests in Two of the Nation’s Largest Landscape Contractors
Central Valley Fund (CVF) announced it has invested $7.2M in growth capital financing in two of the region’s largest landscape contractors. The transaction includes equity investments in Coast Landscape Management, based in Napa, California, and Signature Landscapes, based in Reno/Tahoe, Nevada. The two companies will be merged into a single entity during the 4th quarter of 2017.

IA Reduces Number of Exams Required for Landscape Certification
The Irrigation Association’s Certification Board is reducing the number of required exams for the landscape track of the certified irrigation designer program. The revised general landscape/turf exam will launch at the 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference Nov. 6-10, in Orlando, Florida. The revised program will require candidates to take only two exams: a general landscape/turf exam and one specialty exam.

Scotts Nets Another $87 Million from Scotts LawnService Sale
ScottsMiracle-Gro said it has received an $87 million dividend payment from TruGreen associated with its minority interest in the lawn service company. In 2016, ScottsMiracle-Gro contributed its Scotts LawnService business into a joint venture with TruGreen in exchange for a 30 percent interest in the combined business. To date, ScottsMiracle-Gro has received nearly $290 million in cash as a result of its ownership stake.

Ariens Names Larry Weyers Group President
Ariens Company has named Larry Weyers Group President – Ariens Power Equipment. Weyers will lead product development, manufacturing, supply chain, and sales and marketing for the business unit. Weyers joins Ariens Company from an 18-year tenure at The Manitowoc Company where he most recently served as Executive Vice President – Tower Crane Division. Earlier in his career Weyers held engineering positions with Kubota Tractor Corporation and sales and marketing roles with Woods Equipment.

Kawasaki Engines Expands Four-Cycle Engine Warranty
The Engines Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. announced it is instituting a new warranty program for Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, and USA Territories. All four-cycle engine sales occurring in those markets from this date onward will be covered by a three-year limited warranty. The company will repair or replace, free of charge, any engine parts found to be defective, under normal use and proper maintenance for 36 months from the date of purchase, effective September 1, 2017.  This offer is contingent on meeting standard usage and maintenance conditions, as delineated in the warranty document.

NALP, the Harvest Group Offer the People Academy Live
The National Association of Landscape Professionals is partnering with the Harvest Group to bring the People Academy Live, a human resources workshop, to Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 14-16. The two-day course and facility tour focuses on creating a great company culture and compliance structure and provides strategies to recruit, onboard and develop your staff. Harvest Group members Ed Laflamme, Bill Arman and Steve Cesare, Ph.D. will direct the workshop. For more information or to register, visit the NALP website.

AmericanHort Cultivate ’17 Breaks Attendance Record
AmericanHort’s Cultivate’17 featured a record number of attendees at its event this past July. The event featured 10,016 attendees from 35 countries and across all industry segments. Cultivate’17 is an annual trade show hosted at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Nearly 700 exhibitors showcased products and services, and they utilized the increased trade show space to its full advantage. AmericanHort’s Cultivate’18 will take place July 14-17, 2018, in Columbus.

SIMA Launches Purchasing Snow & Ice Management: Quality RFP Creation and Best Practices
Based on discussion with and feedback from industry stakeholders from FMs/PMs, snow contractors, insurance, industry consultants, and equipment manufacturers, the Snow & Ice Management Association has developed best practices designed to better align all stakeholders for success when purchasing snow services. The Purchasing Snow & Ice Management: Quality RFP Creation and Best Practices organizes the snow and ice management service procurement process to aid in the creation of RFPs, contracts, and monitoring procedures.

Massey Services Has Helped Collect Items for Homeless Student Program
Massey Services has partnered with the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA) over the last five years for their Cares Collection for Homeless Students to help collect over 289,000 personal hygiene and food items for the program. Massey Services team members volunteered their time and vehicles to assist with the collection of supplies for homeless students throughout Central Florida. In this past year’s collection, the volunteers brought in over 66,000 items of the overall CFHLA collection of 90,000 items. Massey Services collects the items once a year and they cover four counties, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake, in Central Florida.

Hoffman Retires from Toro Board; Olson Elected Board Chairman
The Toro Company announced on Sept. 6 that Michael J. Hoffman, chairman of the board, will retire from the company’s board of directors, effective November 3, 2017. The company’s president and CEO, Richard M. Olson, has been elected chairman, effective upon Hoffman’s retirement. In connection with Hoffman’s retirement, the board size will be reduced from 11 to 10 directors, effective November 3, 2017. Hoffman joined The Toro Company in 1977 and spent several years in service, sales, and marketing roles for the professional and residential businesses. He was elected president in October 2004 and served as chief executive officer from March 2005 through October 2016. Olson joined Toro in 1986 and served in various positions before being named general manager of Exmark in 2010.

Read last week’s industry news roundup: Ditch Witch Partners with Utilicor Technologies