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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recently visited Vermeer Corporation as part of a nationwide listening tour, during which time she is meeting with businesses and thought leaders to hear about their priorities, concerns and ideas on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create American jobs.
  “We welcome the opportunity to represent the voice of business as the Secretary acclimates herself to the opportunities and challenges industry faces to grow domestically and abroad,” said Vermeer President and CEO Mary Andringa. “We thank the Secretary for making the commitment to listen to those who are working every day to grow American jobs and American business opportunities.”
  While visiting, Secretary Pritzker saw examples of the Vermeer  global footprint by touring manufacturing facilities where the company’s largest machine to date – the 200-ton T1655 Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine – is built and then exported around the world; the Vermeer Parts Center where more than 65,000 active parts are stocked and shipments are made domestically and internationally daily; and lastly, the lean brush chipper assembly line where the number of days from raw steel to finished product has been reduced from 52 days to 2 days as part of a Lean journey that began in 1997.
  Vermeer Corporation of Pella, Iowa, manufactures a full line of tub and horizontal grinders, brush chippers, stump cutters, as well as horizontal directional drilling systems, mini skid steers, utility and track trenchers and agricultural products. Vermeer offers worldwide sales, support, service and parts through an independent, authorized dealer network.

Willbros Group, Inc. announced the promotion of Mike Futch from vice president and general manager of Willbros Construction to senior vice president, Regional and Integrity Construction. Futch will be responsible for providing leadership and direction to the Northeast and Southeast Regional business units coupled with strategic planning and execution of a fully integrated service line targeting Integrity Construction. Integrity Construction efforts will be broadcast  across North America and geared primarily toward  assisting customers in the pipeline industry as they develop compliance solutions for the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.

Tiffany Sewell-Howard, CEO of Charles Machine Works, Perry, OK, has been elected as a director of the CE Sector Board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Henkels & McCoy, Inc. has named Carmine Battafarano vice president of Corporate Development. Battafarano will be based in the corporate office in Blue Bell, PA and will be responsible for the identification and development of strategies and opportunities in the markets the company serves.

Thomas Loiacano has joined STV as vice president and client service leader for the petroleum pipeline transportation market in the company’s Energy Services Division. He will be based in Houston.

Bill May has been named vice president of Atlas Pipeline Partners’ Commercial and Business Development activities in South Texas.  His responsibilities will include the SouthTexas gathering and processing system.

William P. Coleman
has joined the JJ Tech team of artificial lift sales, He will be responsible primarily for business development in East Central Louisiana and West Central Mississippi.

Chet Morrison Contractors has hired industry veteran Michael Brown as general manager of Marine Construction. Brown has 35 years of experience in the commercial diving industry, most recently an eight-year tenure as vice president and general manager for EPIC, the commercial diving business unit of TETRA.

Tim Brown has joined Universal Pegasus International as senior vice president, Business Development. Brown has more than 30 years of experience in the engineering and construction sectors.

Derrick Deakins has been appointed president of Bishop Lifting Products, Inc. Deakins joined the company in 2007 as CFO and was appointed COO earlier this year.

Hill International
has received a contract from Benteler Steel/Tube GmbH, a subsidiary of Benteler International AG, to provide construction management services in connection with a new $900 million steel pipe and tube manufacturing plant to be located in Shreveport, LA. The plant includes a seamless steel tube mill and will be built on 330 acres at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Northwest Louisiana.

Thompson Pump & Manufacturing Co., Inc. headquartered in Port Orange, FL, recently moved its southern Mississippi branch from Pass Christian to a larger facility at 9257 West Oaklawn Rd. in Biloxi. Under the direction of Branch Manager, John Thornton, and Salesman, Todd Cedotal, the fully staffed branch provides a full line of Thompson Pump products for sale and rental and 24/7 service.
In other news, Bobby Zitzka was promoted to sales manager.

Independent Risk Management Systems B.V.
is expanding its range of services to offer:  risk assessment and integrity management planning; emergency response preparedness; inspection, cleaning, monitoring and testing; integrity assessment; and mitigation, intervention and repair. New employees joining the firm include : Dennis Zaal, project manager; Marco Noorlander, also project manager, Sander Everstein, engineering manager; and engineers, Kate Fath and Marie Goddard.

Line Moisan has joined Topcon Positioning Systems as manager for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) product marketing.

The recent Louisiana Gas Association’s annual Pipeline Safety Conference brought together individuals in the natural gas and pipeline industry. The event  featured presenters from both national and state levels and suppliers that spoke on enhancing  performance, promoting safety and broadening public awareness about the industry. The conference took place from July 22-26 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans, LA. More the 550 attended the event . For information, visit