The Toro Co. has named Edric Funk director of its Center for Advanced Turf Technology, succeeding Dana Lonn who retired after 48 years with the company. In his new role, Funk will be responsible for leading a team of engineers, agronomists and product development professionals to 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.

The CATT team works alongside customers, academic institutions and leading researchers to make progress in a number of areas, including autonomous operations, labor productivity, environmental concerns, such as emissions and alternative fuels, and precision turf management, including irrigation efficiency and soil moisture sensing.

Before joining Toro in 1996, Funk worked as a research scientist for the University of Minnesota. He has held a number of positions with Toro, beginning as design engineer, then product marketing, managing various product lines across multiple divisions. Most recently, Funk served as director of worldwide product marketing in Toro’s commercial business.

“[Funk] will be able to apply his diverse background in strategy development, product management and engineering technologies to define CATT’s future focus,” said Richard Olson, president and CEO of The Toro Co. “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.”