Banner Named Supplier of the Year

Banner Sales & Consulting, Inc., Union Lake, Mich., was honored with the Michigan Green Industry Association 2009 Supplier Partner Award in recognition of the supplier’s exemplary service and support for the green industry. Banner is involved in industry education through training seminars and participation in trade shows. The company was founded in 2000.

VAST Expands Distribution

VAST Enterprises, LLC announced that Illinois Brick Co. now supplies VAST composite masonry products to builders and contractors in the Chicago area. The expanding line of VAST products includes composite landscape pavers, composite permeable pavers for stormwater management, composite deck pavers and composite thin brick.

Mid-Am Sees Increase in Buyers

The Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show realized a 2.3 percent increase in buyer registrations at the 2010 show, held at McCormick Place West, Chicago, Ill. Total registration was 7,931, with 5,972 buyers, 1,546 exhibitors and 413 others. The Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and Illinois Green Industry Association presented educational conferences, and the event also featured IGIA Irrigation Education sessions, Chicago Trees Initiative panel discussion, on-the-show-floor education in the Sustainability Zone and the Student Career Center. The 2011 show is scheduled for January 19-21 and will move to Navy Pier in Chicago.

Kioti Hires Baer, Promotes Tractors on YouTube

Kioti Tractor appointed Brent Baer to the position of territory manager in Ontario. Baer has over 20 years’ experience in mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and sales and marketing. Previously, he worked for Echo Power Equipment.

Kioti has begun utilizing YouTube to showcase its line of 22 to 90 hp tractors in action. Short videos have been uploaded to www.youtube.com in response to increasing requests by both customers and dealers to see Kioti tractors equipped with various implements successfully completing a variety of work.

From left, Leif Ringstad, Lynn Pesson, Jack Ball, Glenda Pesson, Steve Purdy, Robert Smith and Suzanne Smith.

Maruyama Hosts Trips

Maruyama U.S., Inc. hosted a trip for members of the company’s distributor panel and a new Maruyama dealer to visit its manufacturing and business headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Panel members included Jack Ball, sales manager, Tru-Power, Inc.; Steve Purdy, president, Oscar Wilson Engines & Parts; and Robert Smith, vice president, Smiths South-Central Sales Co. The dealer was Lynn Pesson Jr., president, Southland Engine Co., Inc.

Maruyama co-sponsored a dealer incentive trip to the Paradisus Playa Conchal Resort on Costa Rica’s North Pacific Riviera. Tru-Power, based in Corona, Calif., organized the event for its Maruyama dealer base located in southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

Top Ditch Witch Dealers Announced

Charles Machine Works, Inc., manufacturer of Ditch Witch products, honored 10 dealerships as members of the 2009 Crescent Club. Criteria include measurable goals for all segments of the dealership, such as sales and marketing, financial performance, personnel training, and superior parts and service departments. Members of the 2009 club are Ditch Witch of West Texas, Inc., Amarillo, Texas; Ditch Witch France, Ablis, France; Ditch Witch of Minnesota, Inc., Shakopee, Minn.; Ditch Witch Sales of Mississippi, Pearl, Miss.; Ditch Witch of South Dakota, Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D.; Ditch Witch of Virginia, Glen Allen, Va.; Ditch Witch of North Dakota, Mandan, N.D.; Ditch Witch of Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla.; Ditch Witch of Michigan, Howell, Mich.; and Ditch Witch of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Western New York, Columbus, Ohio.

Redexim Celebrates Anniversary, Enters Agreement with Blec Global

Redexim Charterhouse, Inc. announced the 30th anniversary of its parent company, Redexim BV, and of its Verti-Drain deep-tine aerator. In recognition of the milestone, Redexim Charterhouse has changed its name to Redexim North America.

The company also announced a joint marketing and manufacturing venture between Redexim BV and Blec Global Ltd. As part of the agreement, Redexim BV has acquired the rights to manufacture and market a range of machines, including the Sandmaster and other specialty products.

Ariens Acquires Kee Brand

Ariens Co. has acquired the intellectual assets of the Kee Mower brand of products. The company plans to sell Kee Mowers under the Gravely brand. Ariens will produce the Kee products at its manufacturing facility in Opp, Ala. The company did not acquire any product inventory as part of the sale and will not be able to fill any outstanding orders that may exist.

Wick Announces Plans to Emerge from Bankruptcy

The Wick Buildings division of Wick Building Systems, Inc. plans to emerge from bankruptcy under the new ownership of its original founder, John F. Wick. Wick Building Systems filed for Chapter 11 in late November after four years of declining market conditions and performance in its housing units. John Wick made an offer to purchase the assets and intellectual property of Wick Buildings, including the operations and production campus in Mazomanie, Wis.

From left, Fernando Duran, American Abatement; Kyle Smith, ASCO Texana Machinery; and Ion Warner, Case senior director of marketing.

Case Awards New Skid Steers

Case Construction Equipment has awarded new Case 430 skid steer loaders to the three winners of its Rockin’ Block Party sweepstakes: American Abatement, San Antonio, Texas; WWF Construction, Winnipeg, Man.; and R-Crow Construction, Terrell, Texas. Case also announced winners of its Rockin’ Block Party skid steer story contest. Grand prize winners, who received a $1,000 CNH Capital card, were Douglas Bullerman, Adrian, Minn.; Doug Eastwood, Medina, Ohio; Roger Betland, Dayton, Minn.; and William Jackson, DeMotte, Ind. Another 20 winners were drawn for first through fifth place and received prizes including jackets, T-shirts and hats. A complete list of story winners is available at www.CaseRocks.com.

News from Toro

Toro partnered with the Rose Bowl to help prepare the game field for the 2010 Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship games. A longtime partner of the Rose Bowl, Toro is the exclusive provider of turf maintenance equipment and precision irrigation systems.

In response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Toro donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross International Response Fund to aid in the relief efforts. Additionally, the company committed to matching all employee contributions to the Red Cross through March 1, 2010.

GIE+EXPO News

Online registration is now open for the 2010 GIE+EXPO, which will be held in Louisville, Ky., October 28-30. Go to www.gie-expo.com for updates on events planned for the trade show.

Hardscape North America will move to Louisville in 2010 to coincide with GIE. HNA is sponsored by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and is an event for those who manufacture, specify and install segmental pavement systems, segmental retaining walls, water features, outdoor kitchens and landscape environments.