NEWS

03.08.2014

Toro Celebrates 100th Year-Opens

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More than 2,000 employees, channel and business partners, retirees, and other valued guests gathered at its headquarters to help celebrate Toro’s 100th anniversary. Toro started in 1914 as a tiny company that built tractor engines for the Bull Tractor Company. Its first president, J.S. Clapper, was good at identifying new markets. He also had a strong belief in building customer relationships, a guiding philosophy that Toro maintains to this day.

In 1925, the company debuted what might have been the first fairway sprinkler system: the Sea Serpent. It was specifically designed for golf courses.  That very year Toro introduced the hand-pushed mower named the Silver Flash.

10 years passed and the Toro Company developed and presented he first lawnmower for homeowners the Home Lawn. 1937 signified a revolutionary breakthrough - Toro  presented the first 76-inch professional mower.

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Nowadays Toro owns more than 250 registered patents and supplies products to 121 countries. The number of Toro’s employees exceeds   5000 people worldwide and the company’s  turnover makes $2 billion today.

Since 1988 the company has been on the list of the biggest international companies (Fortune 500), and since 1998 Toro’s become one of the «Keystone Club» members, donating more than 2% of its internal income before taxation to nonprofit organizations.

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was rather laconic as he praised the company, but the speech sounded more than complimentary: “It is my honor to proclaim it Toro Day in the state of Minnesota,” as he presented a plaque to CEO Mike Hoffman. “It’s a great company and we are so proud. ... Thank you for making the decision to recommit to Bloomington and to the state of Minnesota.”

“As we celebrate our first 100 years, it was truly gratifying to be surrounded by many of those who played such a significant role in the company’s success,” said Michael Hoffman, president, CEO and chairman of the board of directors. “We are honored to have such talented employees around the world and individuals who have served the company throughout our history, along with great channel and business partners, who work every day to serve our customers and help advance our efforts in the industry.  And, I especially want to thank Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead for joining our centennial celebration and honoring the people of Toro.”

“Part of the mentality of Toro is reaching out to its customers and to the communities, and developing high-quality products while strengthening your market through innovation,” said Governor Dayton. “I don’t think that the founder could have imagined 100 years ago that Toro would grow to be a Fortune 1000 company, or that more importantly, you’d be a leading corporate citizen in Minnesota. Your contributions to this state have been enormous.”

It also should be noted that the first company’s shares were traded at 1,40$ per note in 1929.

To help celebrate, Toro officially opened a $25 million addition to its Bloomington headquarters. The three-story wing adds 75,000 square feet to Toro’s existing 400,000 square feet of space.

It is the latest of several expansions over the years, but was highly praised because Toro chose to grow in Bloomington instead of succumbing to offers to build in other states.

During its centennial year, the company’s many locations around the world have focused on giving back to communities where employees live and work.  This has included Toro’s “100 Acts of Caring” initiative, planting 100 trees in each Toro community worldwide, and a Centennial Legacy Grant Program supporting nonprofits in their efforts to beautify and preserve outdoor environments, and enhance green spaces.

 

Toro Celebrates 100th Year-Opens