Career Track: Companies Make Changes in Management, Sales and Marketing


career track
(Photo: ©iStockphoto/studiovision)

New president named, sales manager retires, team transformations highlight changes


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Equipment manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. Commercial Laundry recently restructured its management team to deliver “unrivaled knowledge and expertise,” the company says.

Whirlpool says its “newly transformed … all-star team” is serving up innovative solutions and services that aim to exceed the industry’s varied needs.

“Enhancing our team’s talent is one of the many steps we are taking to deliver on our long-term vision, which includes continuous improvement projects that drive our renewed commitment to operational excellence and standout customer experience,” says Trey Northrup, the team’s leader and general manager.


Steve Hietpas

Steve Hietpas


Randy Karn

Randy Karn


Nick Koukourakis

Nick Koukourakis


Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross

“Steve Hietpas, Randy Karn, Nick Koukourakis and Rebecca Ross not only bring fresh out-of-the-box ideas to their new roles, they help us examine our efforts and the industry in a refreshing new light.”

Described by Whirlpool as an “intercontinental expert and savvy leader,” Hietpas is the team’s new international sales manager. A commercial laundry industry veteran of nearly 20 years, Hietpas has spent nearly two-thirds of his career in the field working closely with key distributor contacts. This experience, along with his team approach, makes him an ideal fit for this role and the perfect team member to unearth untapped opportunities abroad, Whirlpool says.

Hietpas will have full profit-and-loss ownership and “own” the long-range strategic plan for international business.

Helping deliver the corporation’s customer experience is Karn, who has transitioned to global service manager. He will coordinate internal and external initiatives and programs to support the company’s long-range plan. His Iowa State education, 35 years in the industry and positive attitude will serve him well in his new role, Whirlpool says, and Karn’s “voice of customer” work will provide a strong foundation. His strategic leadership will help guide the product development process.

Building on his mechanical engineering degree, extensive technical background and more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience, Koukourakis is the ideal person for the multi-load product management job, according to Whirlpool. With a deep-rooted passion, Koukourakis will help bridge market gaps and engineer multi-load products that continue to exceed customer expectations, efficiency standards and industry needs, the corporation says.

Whirlpool calls Ross strategic and resourceful with a desire to drive brand loyalty, which fits perfectly in her latest corporate role: commercial laundry brand manager.

Driven by working closely with trade team members, she thrives in cross-functional team settings, Whirlpool says. Since joining the corporation in 2002, she has held various roles with increasing responsibility in brand marketing, co-marketing and channel marketing.

In addition to these appointments, Whirlpool believes that recent investments in product, research and development, testing and training will drive a “robust, holistic 360-degree customer experience” that will make it the preferred industry partner.   



Tom Vanden Heuvel

Tom Vanden Heuvel

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Tom Vanden Heuvel has been named the new president of Kemco Systems, the company reports.

Vanden Heuvel will be responsible for the overall organization and operations of Kemco, with a focus on profitable sales growth and process improvement, the company says. Carroll Gorrell will continue his role as chief executive officer and support Vanden Heuvel in all areas of Kemco’s operation.

Kemco says Vanden Heuvel’s natural leadership and nearly two decades of progressive management experience merges seamlessly with the company’s model. 

Prior to joining the Kemco team, Vanden Heuvel held both vice president and business unit president positions at Crane Water, a division of Crane Co.—a $2 billion publicly traded, diversified industrial company. He had full P&L responsibility and transitioned the Crane Water team through the integration to private equity-backed Newterra Ltd. Vanden Heuvel led the combined business with $35 million in sales and an employee base across four sites.

Prior to Crane Water, Vanden Heuvel served as general manager of C’treat Offshore in Texas, a global ISO 9001 manufacturer of custom water treatment equipment servicing the offshore oil and gas markets, according to Kemco. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.



John Rasimas

John Rasimas

KENNER, La. — Pellerin Milnor Corp. Regional Sales Manager John Rasimas is retiring after 25 years as a regional sales manager and 41 years in the industry, the company reports.

Rasimas began his career in the laundry industry after returning from the Vietnam War, where he served active duty in the Army as a captain and helicopter pilot, according to Pellerin Milnor. In the fall of 1975, he followed in his father’s footsteps and took over the eastern New York State territory for Statewide Machinery.

Rasimas attended the very first Clean Show of 1975 to get a taste of the industry and turned his experience into an impressive 41-year career.

After establishing himself in the New York territory, Rasimas then built the foundation of Metroland Industrial Equipment Co. (MIECO), a Milnor dealer that formally started with the 1981 Clean Show.

In 1991, he was hired by Pellerin Milnor to serve as a regional sales manager and spent 25 years managing the company’s northeastern United States coast and eastern half of Canada, according to the company.

Rasimas says he is most looking forward to spending time with his family (including his five grandchildren), playing golf, learning to weld and traveling upon retiring.

However, before he ends his 25 years spent on the road, the company says Rasimas will make one last visit as a regional sales manager to Synergy 2016 to personally shake hands and say goodbye to his Milnor and dealer family.

“John is truly a professional and worked tirelessly for our customers and dealers,” says Rick Kelly, Pellerin Milnor vice president of sales and marketing. “We are grateful for his service to Milnor and we wish John and his family all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”



Aaron Zollinger

Aaron Zollinger

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — Laundry product supplier Tingue has named Aaron Zollinger sales representative, the company reports.

Serving laundries in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and southeastern Nebraska, Tingue says Zollinger is responsible for helping laundry owners and on-premises laundry (OPL) managers achieve the fastest production rates and finest finish quality in the safest, most efficient manner possible.

Zollinger offers a wide range of premium-quality laundry supplies, hands-on product installation services and laundry machine maintenance support, according to the company. Formerly with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) as conductor responsible for mechanical maintenance and repairs and for the overall safe, on-time arrival of freight at its destination, Zollinger brings seven years of experience preventing and solving difficult mechanical issues, often working around the clock, as needed.

“As Tingue representatives, we’re committed to serving the customer in a variety of tough situations, including at all hours,” says Jared Addis, regional sales manager. “Aaron comes to Tingue with this customer-first mindset, and we’re very happy to welcome him aboard.”

Zollinger serves a territory where many of the laundries rely on tourism, Tingue says. “For these hotel and resort laundries, it's all about high quality and on-time arrival with no downtime, regardless of the distance or the weather,” says Zollinger. “I'm used to working in these conditions and am grateful to find that Tingue operates like this as standard procedure.”

Zollinger is a graduate of Spokane (Wash.) Community College. He resides with his wife and two children in Denver.



Drian Lin

Drian Lin

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Thermopatch, which specializes in supplying garment/textile identification labeling systems, has appointed Drian Lin to the position of marketing associate, the company reports.

Lin’s responsibilities will include monitoring social media campaigns, e-mail marketing, website development, and the expansion/enhancement and development of marketing material, says Thermopatch.  

Lin has a bachelor’s degree in communications-public relations from Le Moyne College in Syracuse. The company says that Lin also spent one summer interning at Syracuse Media Group as a creative consultant. 

As a recent college graduate, Thermopatch says Lin can provide new, innovative ideas and strategies to tackle the new digital-media landscape along with the company's current marketing needs.


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