• Ariens Company Awarded New Government Contracts - Government Purchasers Gain Direct Access to Equipment

    Ariens Company has received awards for several new state government and cooperate government purchasing contracts recently. The contracts cover Ariens® equipment for snow removal and grounds care, and Gravely® mowing products and utility vehicles. Purchasing agents can view the products or schedule a demo through a national network of Ariens and Gravely dealers located via the brand websites.

    The new contracts, which were awarded in either late 2014 or early 2015, include:

    • Arkansas Statewide Contract
    • Georgia Statewide Contract
    • Kansas Statewide Contract
    • Massachusetts Statewide Contract
    • Tennessee Statewide Contract
    • BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative Contract

    BuyBoard is a national purchasing cooperative formed between the National School Boards Association and several state school boards associations.

    • HGAC Buy National Purchasing Cooperative

    HGAC is a national purchasing cooperative formed between local and regional government entities nationwide.

    Ariens Company has also been awarded a 5-year extension on its current GSA (Government Services Administration) contract (Number: GS-21F-0080V).

    "Our focus on understanding the private sector is paying off," says David Ramirez, Manager Government Sales for Ariens Company. "We're finding great reception to our equipment. The versatility and durability of our products is appealing to purchasing agents who want to maximize their budgets."

    The company also holds state purchasing contracts in Florida, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington. All contracts for both Ariens and Gravely-branded equipment are listed under the term "Ariens Company" when searching the purchasing databases.

    Gravely® Sponsors PLANET Student Career Days - Event Provides Insight into Green Industry Jobs

    Gravely® is supporting 2015 Student Career Days as a Silver Sponsor for the ninth consecutive year. The annual competition and networking event for students enrolled in green industry programs from colleges and universities across the country is organized by PLANET, the Professional Landscape Network. More than 850 students are expected to participate in this year's event which will be held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. from March 12 to 15.

    "Student Career days provides a fantastic environment for mentoring and an exchange of ideas between students and green industry professionals, said Ariens Company Director of Commercial Sales Bill Engler. "The event is intense and fast-paced, leaving you feeling energized about the future of the business. We're happy to have the opportunity to get to know the next generation that will be leading our industry."

    Students will compete in more than 20 different events that include tree climbing, paver/hardscape installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, personnel management, and small engine repair.

    Gravely will sponsor the truck and trailer event, as well as the sales event.  In the truck and trailer event, a team of students are given the opportunity to load a Gravely mower on a trailer and then drive an obstacle with the loaded vehicle. For the sales event, students must sell a landscape design project to clients. Both events provide a simulation of what it might be like to work in the green industry.

    Michael S. Ariens: 1931-2015: A STEADY FORCE THROUGH DECADES OF CHANGE

    Mike Ariens loved the Ariens Company and the power equipment industry over the course of a career that spanned more than 55 years. He created a legacy of personal integrity that was the basis for his relationships with employee family members, power equipment dealers and distributors around the world. Manufacturing suppliers, and even competitors, considered Mike's standards for personal integrity, ethical character, and confident humility to be his greatest qualities. His career and his character exemplified the industry from its origins, when family businesses were at the heart and soul of so many power equipment companies. For all of his accomplishments, he never asked if you knew who he was because he always felt like he was privileged to know you.

    Growing a Family Business

    Mike Ariens was Chairman Emeritus of the Ariens Company Board of Directors, past-President of Ariens Company and grandson of Company founder Henry Ariens. Mike joined the company in 1959, when the industry and Ariens Company was exploding as a generation of young American families began the greatest expansion in households ever recorded. He served as Ariens Company President from 1969-1992 and was Chairman of the Board from 1992-2014.

    Mike graduated from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 1954 with a B.S. in Business and Engineering Administration. He spent two years serving in the Army Corps of Engineers before earning his Master's Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University. He joined Cummins Engine Company working for Chairman of the Board, J. Irwin Miller in Columbus, Indiana. It was just then his father called and asked for help. Skeptical of joining the family business run by his father and three uncles, Mike left an emerging career at Cummins to join the family business. Underlying his hesitation was a vivid memory of his father and grandfather having lost another family business during the depression in 1931. It was from the ashes of that company, the Brillion Iron Works, that Ariens Company was established in 1933.

    When Mike joined his father in 1959, Ariens Company had revenue of just beyond $1 million in sales. The company experienced significant growth and expansion under Mike's direction. He managed the business through several acquisitions, hundreds of product launches, tremendous maturing market shifts and, of course, the un-predictability of the weather. One of the most successful and enduring product introductions under his direction was that of the Ariens Sno-Thro®. Of course, he loved nothing more than a great big snow storm – especially in Boston.

    The most significant acquisition for the company came in 1982 when Mike led the acquisition of the Gravely® brand with its two-wheeled and four-wheeled tractor product. The strategy was to enter the emerging commercial grounds care business which ultimately proved insightful and tremendously successful decades later.

    As a leader, his most endearing quality was the one-on-one relationship he had with each member of Ariens Company. Many remember his personal visits on the day of their company work anniversary. Mike spent part of each day thanking employees for their years of commitment to the company. In 2013, when asked why he spends so much time to say thank you to employees, Mike responded, "From my point of view, it's a requirement. You take the lives of a lot of people, we invite them into work, and they work every day … the least we can do is thank them for the commitment made to the company. And try to make it comfortable, make it worthy and recognize that it takes work on everybody's part. And that's just the way I think."

    In November of 2014, he was recognized for his 55th year with the company by the people he considered his second family. Employees honored him with a fitting tribute to all his years of thankless appreciation.

    Passion for the OPE Industry

    One of OPEI's (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) longest-serving board members, Mike took on every leadership role possible, including Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. He also chaired a number of committees and task forces for the organization. Over that time, he took the lead on several high profile initiatives.

    In the early 1980s, Mike made presentations to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and tried to initiate a more orderly conversion to new safety standards. He led the fight on behalf of manufacturers and dealers for a rational transition. He was also a pioneer in blending rational business compromise among the engine manufacturers and consumers through several landmark emissions standards initiatives. And he was a strong advocate for the creation of EXPO event, forming the OPEI's own exposition to showcase products and the industry.

    Family and Community First

    Mike, Mimi and their family are inherently linked to his business persona. Mike and his wife Mimi raised nine children with 23 grandchildren. As the third-generation family leader of the company, Mike also provided guidance for a smooth succession to his children, so the company could remain a family business.

    As only Mike would say in his self-deprecating manner at his 40th anniversary, "A career of forty years doesn't pass with either a continuous flow of success or a series of failures but rather is a variable travel of luck, vision, pain, hope and sacrifice … I've had a great trip, much as a result of choices that were made for me as the choices I've made for myself."

    Throughout his career, Mike dedicated time to serve on the boards of many business, civic and philanthropic organizations. Some of these include WPS Resources Corporation; Schneider National, Inc.; U.S. Oil Company; Calumet County Bank; Interstate Corporation; L.M. Becker Company; Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Education Counselor); St. Norbert College (Board of Trustees); St. Mary of the Woods College; Catholic Diocese of Green Bay; Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Green Bay.

    As a lifelong runner, Mike was a role model for fitness and an advocate of preventive health measures. In 2008, as part of the company's 75th anniversary celebration, the company dedicated the "Trail for Life" in Mike's honor. The Trail, which is open to the public, winds through an undeveloped portion of the Ariens property in Brillion, Wis. forming a total walking trail distance of 5.3 miles.

    Mike is survived by his wife, Mimi, of 58 years; children Michael II (Renee), Daniel (Julie), Margaret (Marty) Denten, Kathryn (Mike) Martell, Peter (Didi), Mary (Emo) Dellanina, Christopher (Israel), and Andrew (Brooke); and 23 grandchildren.

    Mike leaves with us a legacy of his personal leadership style… a strength of character that people who work with him want to emulate. As a leader he was thoughtful, and insightful with a great sense of humor. As a businessman he was pointedly committed to the company's purpose: to care for our customers like they were part of the family. He was a diplomatic and fair negotiator and respectful of everyone he worked with. His combination of integrity, professionalism, and courage of conviction are examples for all of us that will be remembered for a long time to come.

    Click here to read Mike's obituary.

    Team Ariens is the 2015 600 Combined World Champion!

    Wide-banked oval turns and exciting races proved no match for Ariens employee and snowmobiler, Josh Wilson, as he and the Ariens Arrow Team brought home the 2015 600 Combined World Championship.

    With a fully decaled trailer, Ariens flags flying overhead, and snow blowers on display for the crowds, Josh proudly represented Ariens Company at the AMSOIL INC. Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby this weekend.

    Here's a quick recap of the weekend's activities:

    'Friday Night Thunder' was a packed house with warm temperatures, and the team spent the evening talking with Ariens fans and watching a few races under the lights followed by a fireworks display.

    Saturday was race day! The final combined class pitted the best-modified 500 cc machines against the fastest production based 600 sleds. Typically the 600 cc's, like Josh's, are fast but often do not win because of the lightweight and better handling of the 500 cc sled - which makes this win extra sweet for Josh and his team.

    "The whole team is so happy with two big wins at Eagle River," said Josh. "It's really wonderful to have backing from a great American company like Ariens.  It was great to talk to all the customers and fans who came out to support us."

    Having raced on the professional level for the past 9 years, Josh's carrier has focused mainly on the 600 class. However, he is starting to venture out into the faster, more exotic machines.

    The weekend ended with another win in the Sportsman 600 Class Championship, making for a perfect weekend winning every heat and final race except for one.

    Eagle River World Championships are held each year in January, attracting the best riders from around the world in a race to determine the best on an ice oval in their respective class. That person is crowned world champion of their class. This is the 52nd running of the Derby. Last year, Josh finished 2nd in the Sportsman 600 World Championship.

    See below for Josh's upcoming races. Congratulations to Josh and Team Ariens!

    Ariens Arrows 2015 tentative schedule

    (Subject to change based on weather and injuries)

    Jan 24th-25th                      USSA Wausau 525 races - Wausau WI

    Jan 30th – Feb 1st               ORA Alexandria Winter Spectacular - Alexandria MN

    Feb 7th-8th                         USSA Frozen Clash at the Creek - 141 Speedway, Francis Creek WI

    Feb 13-15th                       USSA Fire on Ice Races - Weyauwega WI

    March 7th-8th                     Canadian Power Toboggan Championships - Beausejour MB

    ​Introducing The Ariens Ultimate Snow Apparel

    When you think about the word "tundra," what comes to mind? Frozen. Legendary. Tougher than the elements. Here at Ariens Company, we understand that working outdoors in the winter is no easy task. We're proud of the fact that we've engineered some of the toughest machines to help make your job easier.

    Today, in partnership with Gempler's, we're happy to announce a brand new line of apparel that is the perfect complement to our already legendary machines. Meet our Ariens Ultimate Snow Apparel – a complete line of outdoor gear including parkas, coats, baselayers, winter boots and everything in-between.

    Whether you're out clearing a light dusting or plowing through one of the year's worst snow storms, we hope that you'll trust our apparel to keep you warm and comfortable like you trust our machines to get the job done.

    Winter is coming, and the frozen tundra that it brings along with it is no joke, so be prepared and choose how warm you want your tundra to be. Visit Ariens.com to explore the full line of tundra-fighting winter protection. From parkas, to coats and baselayers, to winter boots and everything in-between, the Ariens Ultimate Snow Apparel has you covered.

    We're curious – what's some of the meanest weather that you've had to work in? Let us know by sending @AriensCompany a photo on Instagram for a chance to win a winter hat from our new Ultimate Snow Apparel line.

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