New Bandit Management Board

Bandit CEO, Craig Davis, announces the formation of an expanded and diverse management board to lead the company.

Craig had this to say when making the announcement “the formation of this group will give better representation for all areas throughout the company. With these additions, the management board expands significantly, which I believe is a good thing and something that has been needed.” This board will lead a dedicated group of employees that strive to engineer, manufacture, and support the multiple tree care and recycling products manufactured and distributed worldwide.

Meet the Bandit Management Board:

Bill Zehnder:

Bill is an existing Bandit management board member and the current CFO of Bandit. Bill has considerable experience in various accounting roles, and has been the Bandit CFO since September of 2018. Prior to joining Bandit, Bill held multiple positions for forty-seven years in a variety of CPA firms. Bill has a BA degree with a major in accounting from Michigan State University, graduating in 1977. Bill also received his Certified Management Accountant Certification in 1997. His current roles include; maintaining banking relationships, working with various insurances for the company, ESOP administrator, overseeing financial statements, and all accounting, purchasing, IT, credit, and cost accounting personnel.

Brian Kelsey:

Brian joins the Bandit management board as a new member, and has held a variety of positions since becoming a Bandit employee in 2006. Before Bandit, Brian worked for ten years as an on-road service technician. Brian’s Bandit employment started in the rebuild department, then transitioning to welding on the whole tree chipper line. Brian’s experience continued to expand when he joined the hydraulics department. Brian is always willing to tackle new challenges and responsibilities and accepted the role of the whole tree chipper product line manager in 2016. In 2023, Brain evolved into his current role as Industrial Plant Manager overseeing all production processes and personnel for whole tree chippers, horizontal grinders, and slow speed shredders.

Carol Taylor:

Since joining the Bandit accounting team in February of 2020, Carol has played an integral role in managing the costing department. This role includes analyzing multiple reports and manufacturing costs across all product lines, ensuring Bandit costs are accurate. Prior to Carol’s employment at Bandit, she worked fifteen years at Rogers Group in Clare, Michigan. Carol started as a general accountant, and then the Senior Cost Accountant before leaving. Carol’s education includes a BA in Business with a major in accounting from Central Michigan University in 2004. Additionally, Carol received an MBA from Saginaw Valley State University in 2016, and received her certificate as a Certified Managerial Accountant in 2023. Carol will be joining the Bandit management board as a new member.

Craig Davis:

Craig became a Bandit employee in 2018 as the Sales Director, and has a tireless passion for the company, customers, dealers, and employees. Craig has also been an integral part of the Bandit management board since starting his Bandit employment. In January of 2024, Craig accepted the role as President and CEO. Prior to joining Bandit, Craig was employed at Power Solutions International holding various roles ranging from parts and sales to executive VP of sales. While working at PSI, Craig supplied Bandit engines for over twenty years, and was able to form a variety of relationships with Bandit customers, dealers, and employees. Craig is a 1995 graduate of the University of Illinois with a major in economics and a minor in marketing.

Ed Casper:

Ed has been a Bandit employee from almost the beginning starting his employment in 1985. Over his thirty-nine years of employment, Ed has been part of a variety of changes and processes. Ed is an existing Bandit management board member, and  part of the board since 2015. Ed started out manufacturing hand-fed chippers, and has held various roles throughout the company. Ed’s current position consists of Tree Care Plant Manager, overseeing all production processes and personnel for the hand-fed chipper and stump grinder product lines. Ed’s experience and knowledge about various areas within the company is a huge asset for the management group. Ed has participated in a variety of leadership courses, and has served on other business boards.

Eddie Gruss:

Eddie joined the Bandit team in July 2018 working in the International Department and will be a new member of the Bandit management board. Eddie has an associate degree in business from Mid-Michigan Community College. Soon after joining Bandit, the team knew Eddie’s drive and enthusiastic energy would be a good fit. Eddie has worked with a variety of international dealers playing a significant role in each dealer’s success. When COVID hit in 2020, and international travel was shutdown, Eddie assisted select domestic dealers with extra help. Eddie was recently promoted to International Sales Manager, and will collaborate with the international team to develop emerging markets while supporting and strengthening the international dealer network.

Jason Morey:

Jason has been employed at Bandit since June of 2000, starting out in the maintenance department part time while attending Central Michigan University. After graduating in 2004, with a BA business degree with a major in marketing, Jason began his full-time employment within the marketing department. Jason has an in-depth understanding of all Bandit equipment and has held a variety of roles within the company from sales to marketing. He has a good thumb on things going on in the marketplace through the vast network of relationships he has forged with key customers over the years. Jason’s current role is the Corporate Marketing Manager overseeing all corporate marketing initiatives. Jason also assists the sales department as needed and has prior experience on the Bandit management team and will be joining the team as a new member.

Jody Thompson:

Jody is the director of the Bandit Human Resources Department and began her employment at Bandit in November 2017 as an HR Generalist. In May of 2019, Jody was promoted to assistant HR Director and became the HR Director in January of 2020. Jody is a company first person and is truly dedicated to looking after and protecting Bandit’s best interests. In her role, Jody has the voice for all the employees, so it is a natural fit that she is a member of the management team. Jody has participated in past management board meetings as the secretary and has experience of how the meetings are operated. Prior to working at Bandit, Jody worked at JCPenney for over eighteen years. Starting out cleaning fitting rooms, Jody continued to grow and develop within the company, taking on separate roles and responsibilities and learning all aspects of the business. Before leaving JCPenney, Jody held multiple management positions including Sales, Merchandise Execution Leader, and Store Manager.

Justin Robinson:

Justin is another long time Bandit employee as he began his Bandit employment in April of 2005. Justin started out in the engineering department and worked his way up to lead engineer for the hand-fed product line. Justin was promoted to hand-fed production manager in October of 2019. This product line is the largest product division at Bandit, and his ability to lead this area makes Justin a great fit for the management team. Justin’s experience includes graduating from Mid-Michigan Community College with studies in automotive technology, heating and cooling, and computer aided drafting and design. Justin has various achievements including; an EPA Technician Certification, Universal Certificate of Achievement, Solid Edge Fundamentals Course Certificate, Solid Edge Assemblies Course Certificate, and a Hydraulics Training Certificate. Prior to joining Bandit, Justin worked as a heating and cooling technician, and was also an automotive technician at the Krapohl Ford dealership.

Matt Kooyer:

Matt currently manages the electrical and hydraulic departments. Matt’s ability to lead an integral part of the production process makes him a good addition to the management board. Matt has eighteen years of designing electro-hydraulic control systems for off-road equipment in construction, agricultural, forestry, and mining equipment. Matt has multiple industry certifications as a specialist in controls and hydraulics. In addition to his experience in electrical and hydraulics, Matt was a six-year member of the Marines and did three tours overseas. He has a BA degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and studied Naval history and engineering, graduating in 2000.

Will Smith:

Starting his employment in 2014 in the engineering department, Will became a lead engineer in 2018, then the senior industrial product line engineer in 2020. This role includes leading and directing his team to complete product improvements on existing equipment as well as new product development. Will is also part of Bandit’s safety oversight committee and is one of Bandit’s representatives on the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) council. Additionally, Will participates in the CADD Advisory board at Mid-Michigan College. Will’s education includes an Associate of Applied Science, Computer Aided Drafting and Design Technology from Mid-Michigan College, and a Business Administration Management degree from Western Governors University. Before his employment at Bandit, Will worked as a welder for three years at a local manufacturing company and was a machinist for three years for a company that served the defense and aerospace industries. Will joins the Bandit management group as a new member.


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