ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 28, 2023) — The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of outdoor power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, held its 70th Annual Meeting last week at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Nearly 150 attendees gathered for the event, where the association announced three new board members and named a new board chair.

“This year’s event has been a great example of the power of an association. For 70 years, OPEI has given our members a forum to address the challenges and opportunities facing the industry,” said Kris Kiser, OPEI president. “This year’s Annual Meeting was one of our most successful and an opportunity to share the positive state of the association and trade show. On the heels of our largest Equip Expo ever, we were able to report the 2023 show is seeing record levels of exhibitor and sponsor support, and looks to be another record-setter for attendance.”

The meeting featured a slate of keynotes addressing practical topics of leadership, the economy and business trends, including Economist Alan Beaulieu, Ford Motor Co. Chief Futurist Sheryl Connelly, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Presidential Historian and Author Jon Meacham. Members also heard updates on OPEI’s regulatory engagement, expansions at Equip Exposition and new programming at the TurfMutt Foundation.


The OPEI board of directors met concurrently with the Annual Meeting, approving the association's budget, the transition of the board’s executive committee and work plans for the coming year. The association announced three new members at the meeting:

  • Klaus Hahn, president North America, Greenworks
  • Harold Redman, president and CEO, Echo Incorporated
  • Nelson Wilner, senior vice president and general manager, engines, Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA

The association’s executive committee for 2023-2024 comprises:

  • Chair: Mike Clancy, CEO, Chervon North America
  • Vice chair: David Thorne, vice president, Turf & Compact Utility Business Unit, Deere & Company
  • Secretary/treasurer: John Wyatt, senior vice president and president of outdoor, Stanley Black and Decker
  • Immediate past chair: Brian Melka, group president, Kohler Energy
  • Equip Exposition show chair: Dan Ariens, chairman and CEO, Ariens Company

Rounding out the board of directors are:

  • Steve Andrews, president and CEO, Briggs & Stratton
  • Peter Hampton, president and CEO, Active Dynamics
  • Terry Horan, president and CEO, STIHL Inc.
  • Matt Nuijens, president — Residential NA, Husqvarna Forest & Garden Division
  • Rick Olson, chairman and CEO, The Toro Company
  • Lee Sowell, Techtronic Industries Power Equipment

OPEI’s 2024 Annual Meeting will be held June 24-26 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.