Michael Hoffman, Toro Chairman and President
No matter how populist a corporate chief executive sounds, it’s hard to really believe that he (or she) is a regular person, just like us. But Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO of outdoor equipment manufacturer Toro (TTC), has a better chance than most of convincing us that he’s an average guy who spends his weekends getting his lawn ship-shape.
You see, Hoffman, his wife and his son mow, weed and water their yard themselves instead of hiring a landscaping service. Last year, he “test drove” a new Toro device designed to measure soil moisture to prevent under- and over-watering. The product is a residential version of a wireless moisture sensing device that was developed for golf courses — and is installed at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins’ baseball team’s home park.
Hoffman installed the Toro sensor, which works in concert with in-ground sprinkler systems, then watched over the next several weeks as it passed what he calls “the driveway test.” During last year’s wet spring, Hoffman noticed that a strip of the driveway next to his lawn was not getting wet from the sprinkler — an indication that the wireless sensor was telling his sprinkler system that the lawn was getting enough water from the rain.
As of this writing, Susan J. Aluise did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.