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Topcon, Sokkia Create New Survey Business Unit for Americas

June 15, 2009
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LIVERMORE, Calif. – Ray O’Connor, executive officer of Topcon Corporation and president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS), announced the formation of a new business unit created to focus exclusively on the survey market.

O’Connor also announced that Denny Welch will be the new senior vice president and general manager of the survey business unit. Welch is a 10-year Sokkia veteran and former vice president for Sokkia Corporation.

Brice Walker has been named vice president of survey and sales in the new business unit. Walker is a former regional sales manager with TDS, Nikon and Spectra Precision.

O’Connor said, “I am excited that this new unit will be headed by Denny, who will report directly to me. The broad experience of Denny and Brice in the survey market, and their strategic planning expertise will ensure the new business unit will focus on growing our business exponentially.”

He said, “We are taking the two premier brands in the survey global marketplace – Topcon and Sokkia – and building an organization to maximize our opportunities in every segment of the survey business.”

He said, “Topcon and Sokkia combined is the largest survey instrument company in the world. This new organization is charged with making the gap even wider.”

The distributor network of both companies “will be a top priority of the new organization,” O’Connor said. “We pledge to enhance and expand these relationship in many areas.”

O’Connor said creating a survey business unit “was a direct result of taking customer and dealer input and making a conscientious decision to align the organization with the market needs.”

He said the business unit “encompasses every aspect of our operations from product development straight through the operations to serving the needs of the customers. It provides unlimited opportunities for our companies, employees, distribution network, as well as for our customers and potential customers.”

Surveying has been “the foundation of the Topcon and Sokkia brands for more than 165 years, combined. It is this central focus of this new survey business unit to continue to grow the brands, and make sure we make the right products at the right prices with the best quality in the marketplace.”

Welch said, “Topcon and Sokkia represent the best the industry has to offer. The combined organizations have an incredible understanding of the survey markets and together create the world’s largest precise positioning instrument company.

“The resources of these two companies create opportunities that would not be available if the sales and support operations remained separate.”

Welch said, “This new structure will enable us to focus all of our resources on building strong partnerships in the marketplace. I see us not solely as a manufacturer and as a dealer network, but partners in every sense of the word, from conception of new products, to engineering, and every other aspect of the business straight to the end-user.”

Welch said, “Working together, we can provide exceptional value in every single segment of the precise positioning industries . . . from our distributors to our customers.

“This is an exciting time and it is my pleasure to be a part of this historic undertaking.”

Walker said, “We are excited about joining together these two exceptional sales teams into one team with a single goal -- to dominate the survey market on a global scale.

“With the technologies that Topcon and Sokkia have and with the strong reputation, brand identity and relationships already in place, the changes and synergies this new organization provides create unbelievable opportunities in the marketplace.”

He said, “Looking to the future, Topcon and Sokkia are making all the right moves to dominate the market. That’s our goal; that’s our focus.”

O’Connor also made the following announcements:

The optical survey operations for Topcon will move to Sokkia’s headquarters location in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.

Topcon’s construction products division also becomes a separate business unit. Jamie Williamson, TPS senior vice president, will lead the construction business unit.

Mark Contino has been named vice president of product marketing, reporting to O’Connor.

O’Connor said, “I am proud to have Mark in this new position, where he will provide invaluable service to all five of our business units. His extensive knowledge of our technology and markets is invaluable. Mark has the unique ability to analyze and market our most complex products in a way that quickly educates all concerned.”

Having worked for Sokkia before joining Topcon, Contino’s “knowledge of the cultures of both companies will be vital as we introduce the ‘One company. Two brands.’ strategy to the marketplace,” O’Connor said. Additionally, Contino will continue to develop and expand the Topcon University training program.

Two Topcon regional managers – Joel Frost and Mark Larranaga – and a Sokkia regional manager – Pat Moran – have been named senior regional sales managers covering the United States.

Regional managers that will report to them are: Jeff Whittaker, (West/Southwest Region), Paul Disbrow and Mike Woodley (Central/Southeast), Dave Norris and Hank Boudreau (Northeast/Northcentral). Pat Hills is the national sales manager for Canada, Miguel Rodriquez and Caesar Perez, have responsibilities for Latin America, and Duke Dutch will continue to head up sales efforts for law enforcement products.


Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) designs and manufactures precise positioning products and solutions for the global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control markets. TPS’ parent company, Topcon Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange – 7732), was founded in 1932.

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