Release Date: January 14, 2021
This is to advise you that Ken Ross, Group President of MacDon, has decided to retire effective March 31, 2021. Ken joined MacDon 14 years ago as Vice President of Operations and has been instrumental in the successful development and growth of MacDon through these years. Most recently, Ken has also played a key role in leading MacDon after the acquisition by Linamar. MacDon thanks Ken for his years of service and wish him all the best in his retirement.
In MacDon's never-ending quest to provide the ultimate agricultural product and service experience to dealers and customers worldwide, MacDon announces the following management changes. Effective January 1, 2021, these changes will reorganize and align MacDon's functional areas to meet dealer and customer needs and expectations.
Kurt Buehler – Group President
Reporting to Jim Jarrell, President and COO of Linamar, Kurt will assume the position of Group President of the MacDon Group of Companies. Kurt brings extensive leadership, management and operations experience to this position, joining MacDon Industries in 2008 as Director of Manufacturing and then moving to Vice President of Operations. In these roles, Kurt has been immersed in leading all facets of operations activities, including production scheduling, procurement, material management, production engineering and product integrity. In this capacity, Kurt has worked closely with Human Resources and been instrumental in directing our lean waste elimination and safety initiatives.
Kiera Young - Senior Vice President, Customers, Products and Services
As Senior Vice President reporting to Kurt Buehler, Kiera has overall responsibility for growth strategies, global sales & marketing, after-market parts & service, new product development and engineering. Kiera brings a wealth of experience to this position joining MacDon in 2015 as the Director of Design Engineering. In 2018, she became Vice President of Product Development, where she has been responsible for growth strategies as they relate to product, partnership, and acquisitions. Having been involved in farming and the agricultural community throughout her life, Kiera also actively contributes to the operation of her husbands' family farm in Southern Manitoba.
Gene Fraser– Vice President, Business Development
Working closely with Kurt and Kiera in this new role, Gene brings his many years of extensive agriculture knowledge and experience to this position, having worked in many areas of the Company since 1981. Gene joined the marketing group in 1983 and has been Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing since 2014. During his tenure in the Marketing Department, Gene has been instrumental in developing MacDon's brand, as well as dealer distribution and customer relations around the globe. Gene's extensive experience working with industry and trade associations has enabled him to develop a broad network of agribusiness contacts around the world.
Artem Smelovskii – Vice President, Operations
Reporting to Kurt, Artem brings significant manufacturing, international, and senior leadership experience to his new role. Prior to joining MacDon, Artem was responsible for multiple agricultural equipment manufacturing plants in Canada and the USA with overall accountability for people, quality management systems, delivery, profitability, and improvement. Artem's experience also includes the overall management of an automotive components plant and distribution center. Artem began his career as a Manufacturing Engineer before transitioning into engineering leadership and operations senior leadership. He has been Director of Manufacturing at MacDon since July of 2019.
Alan Ballantyne – Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing
In this position, Alan will report directly to Kiera Young and brings extensive experience and knowledge to this role beginning his career with MacDon in 2002 as a marketing student and joining the Company in a permanent position as Dealer Account Manager in 2004. In 2012 he moved into the Marketing Manager position and then became Director of Marketing in 2014. Alan has extensive experience working with our dealers, customers and partners worldwide to promote the growth of our business.
Neil Barnett – Vice President, Product Development
In this capacity, Neil will continue to report to Kiera Young. He brings a wealth of experience to this position, having joined MacDon in January 1999 as a design engineer where he was initially focused in the area of hay and forage – particularly the development of the rotary mower conditioner. Neil became a Product Engineering Manager in 2007, and the additional responsibility of the Self-Propelled Windrower Tractors in 2013. In 2016, Neil moved to Wisconsin to start the MacDon Enterprises Engineering office, subsequently promoted to the position of Director of Design Engineering. In addition to his responsibilities inside MacDon, Neil is also responsible for the engineering group at Oros in Hungary.
Doug Meister – Vice President, Global Parts and Service
Doug brings 22 years of experience to this role having joined MacDon in 1998 and held leadership roles in Field Test, Product Management, and Marketing. In 2012, Doug led the implementation of a New Product Development process engaging the entire organization in bringing new products to market. Throughout his career, Doug has had an active role in developing long-term strategies and continues to serve on various leadership teams steering the company’s growth and diversification efforts. Raised on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan Doug developed a passion for our industry at an early age through work at a family farm equipment dealership.