The Toro Co. has named Edric Funk as the new director of its Center for Advanced Turf Technology. He succeeds Dana Lonn, who retired in June of 2017 after 48 years with the company.
Focused on advancing the company's innovative leadership, Toro's Center for Advanced Turf Technology develops technologies that benefit customers and the environment. Comprised of a team of leading agronomists and product development professionals, CATT identifies emerging trends in turf care markets and, through the application of appropriate technologies, helps discover new solutions to increase productivity, conserve water, reduce fuel consumption and improve growing conditions.
In working with customers, academic institutions and researchers, CATT has been influential in the area of robotics, hydrogen fuel cells, advanced battery technologies, precision irrigation and soil moisture sensing.
In his new role, Funk will lead Toro's team of engineers, agronomists and product-development professionals to further identify emerging industry trends and develop the next generation of solutions that address the needs of customers, while bridging future technologies that drive sustainability, productivity and efficiency.
"We are excited to have Edric's leadership in furthering the work of our CATT team," said Toro president and chief executive officer Richard M. Olson. "He will be able to apply his diverse background in strategy development, product management and engineering technologies to define CATT's future focus. His leadership style, strength in building relationships and constant desire for learning will serve Toro well as we help fulfill our mission to be innovation leaders."
Before joining Toro in 1996, Funk worked as a research scientist at the University of Minnesota. Since he joined Toro, he has held a number of positions at the company, including design engineer as well as product marketing in multiple divisions. Most recently, he served as director of worldwide product marketing in Toro's commercial business division.