OPEI celebrates 60th anniversary with pedal to the metal
Small off-road engines, or SORE for short. That simple term belies the sheer enormity of the equipment that the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) represents. As a matter of fact, at its 60-year anniversary mark, OPEI has become the international voice for a multibillion-dollar engine (SORE), utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturing industry and its suppliers.
Today, OPEI’s membership is diverse to say the least. Although largely associated with lawn and landscape, the OPEI membership makes equipment that takes care of lawns, forests, public spaces and medians; is critical to fire and rescue operations; provides a portable power source behind construction, building, farming, ranching, to name a few; and is vital during and after severe weather and other emergencies.
In fact, OPEI’s new president and CEO, Kris Kiser, does not shy away from emphasizing the importance of the SORE industry. “Oftentimes, people just don’t realize how pervasive and critical our machines are in the economy and everyday life,” Kiser said. “Utility vehicles and outdoor power equipment with small, but powerful engines empower everyone from the landscaper, forester and construction crew to fire and rescue and farmers, allowing them to perform the kind of jobs that protect us, serve our communities, and make our economy grow.”
All this from an organization founded by 11 mower manufacturers in 1952.