This month's Turning Points includes company name changes, new hires and promotions.

Sokkia Corporation, Olathe, Kan., appointed Takayoshi Odaas new president and CEO. Oda replaced Hitoshi Mitsuhashi.

In addition, Sokkia appointed Michael Adkins as director, executive vice president and COO.

Topcon Positioning Systems, Paramus, N.J., appointed Scott Langbeinas northeast regional sales manager for the surveying division. Langbein’s territory includes the New England area and the eastern provinces of Canada.

Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, Calif., appointedDr. Larry Diamondas vice president for the GIS division. Diamond brings over 20 years of software-related experience to his position.

The American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) voted to change its name to the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The name change went into effect Aug. 1, 2001.

Tripod Data Systems (TDS), Corvallis, Ore., appointed three regional managers: Brice Walker for the southeast region, Richard Gage for the midwest region and Pete Schaber for the northeast region. These appointments are part of TDS' expansion of its dealer distribution network.

Timmons, Richmond, Va., promoted Bob Blanks to senior survey project manager. Blanks’ responsibilities include managing survey projects such as boundary surveys, topographic surveys and route surveys in the Richmond, Va., area.

Boss Engineering, Howell, Mich., promoted Christopher S. Fergus to director of survey operations. Fergus’ responsibilities include project management, business development, expanding the firm’s land surveying services and increasing the company’s profile throughout southeastern Michigan.

Kukla’s Chicagoland, Warrenville, Ill., merged with Midwest Laser Supply, Rosemont, Ill., to form Precision Midwest Ltd., Warrenville, Ill. Precision Midwest handles GPS, robotic, laser and machine control instruments.

Send information to: POB Turning Points, P.O. Box 7021, Troy, MI 48007-7021.