Upfront: Industry well wishes

By Steve Noe

I would like to take this opportunity to hand out well wishes to some well-deserving individuals who have played prominent roles in making this such a great industry.

For starters, I would like to wish a happy 60th anniversary to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which plans to celebrate this remarkable milestone in grand fashion at its annual meeting in June and is the subject of the cover story in this issue, beginning on page 14.

Without giving away too much of the cover story, OPEI was founded by 11 mower manufacturers as the Lawn Mower Institute in 1952, adopted its current name in 1962, and has steadily grown to approximately 80 members. In its rich 60-year history, OPEI has accomplished a tremendous amount on behalf of our industry — for which all of us should be eternally grateful — and has big plans to continue to do so during these challenging times under the guidance and leadership of its president and CEO, Kris Kiser.

I highly encourage you to read this issue’s cover story to learn more about this fine organization and its significant achievements and contributions.

I would also like to wish a happy 100th birthday on May 15 to Bill Quinn, founder of this magazine. He established Lawn Equipment Journal in September 1959, switched the name of the magazine to Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) in September 1969, and served as publisher and editor of the magazine for nearly 30 years.

In February 2001, I had the great honor and pleasure of meeting Bill, his wife Lynn (“Lennie”) and their son Rix as they were gracious enough to drive to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where I had flown in from Chicago on my way to the Outdoor Power Equipment Distributors Association’s annual meeting in Cancun, Mexico. During the time I scheduled between flights, the four of us sat down for a very nice meal, and we talked about OPE and the industry’s past, present and future. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them reminisce about the good old days when they ran the magazine and traveled to various industry events. (But that’s another column for another issue.) Since then, I’ve developed a great friendship with the Quinns, and Rix still writes occasionally for OPE. According to Rix, his father is in excellent health and looking forward to celebrating his 100th birthday with about 80 of his closest friends and family members at a country club in Fort Worth.

Once again, I would like to congratulate OPEI and Bill Quinn on turning 60 and 100 years young, respectively!

OPE Editor Steve Noe


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