Ed Kirby has spent more than 50 years in the construction equipment industry. His experience includes sales, operations, customer relations and business management. His career began with the International Harvester Company working as an equipment sales trainee. In 1969, he joined Leland Equipment Company, and during the next 15 years experienced tremendous success selling heavy equipment to highway, pipeline, service, and oilfield contractors in Oklahoma. In fact, Kirby maintained the top salesman position for 12 out of his 15 years with the equipment company. He then left the company in 1983 to found his own company, Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.
During the past nearly four decades, Kirby drove the company’s growth to approximately 550 employees and more than $550 million in revenue. In 2021, Kirby stepped back from his role of President and CEO and assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. Kirby acts in an advisory role and continues to foster relationships with partners and customers.
Kirby has been active in numerous construction equipment industry associations. He joined the Oklahoma Municipal Contractors Association in 1983 and served on the board for 10 years. Additionally, Kirby has been a member and past board member of the Oklahoma and Heavy Highway Association of General Contractors since 1988. He was the first associate member to serve on the Board of Directors. He has also been a member of the Texas Heavy Highway Association of General Contractors, American Pipeline Contractors Association, Oklahoma and Texas Aggregate Association, Oklahoma and Texas Asphalt Pavement Association and Association of General Contractors, as well as a member of the Association of Builders and Contractors. Kirby has been an active member of the Association of Equipment Dealers since 1987 and was awarded the inaugural Lester J. Heath, III Award for his distinguished service and commitment to education in the equipment industry in 2017.
As President and CEO of Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc., Arapidis drives the company’s vision, strategy, and development as the heavy equipment company continues to rapidly expand into six states including Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. The privately held company represents more than 30 manufacturers including Komatsu, Manitowoc, Grove, National Crane, Wirtgen, Hamm, Kleemann, Vogele, Takeuchi, Terramac, Trail King, NPK, LeeBoy, Rosco and Skytrak/JLG.
Arapidis has over 34 years of industry experience, having most recently served as Kirby-Smith’s Vice President of Major Accounts. Prior to joining the company, Arapidis spent nearly 30 years in a variety of roles at Komatsu, most recently as National Accounts Manager. Arapidis began his career with the Dresser Finance division, later leaving the finance group and moving to the role of Manager, Distribution and Planning for Komatsu Mining Systems. He served in many roles for Komatsu, including Director of Region Sales/Marketing for the West, Vice President - Rental & ReMarketing and many others. John is the KSM representative of the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, and the Oklahoma Aggregates Association.
Arapidis is proud to say he has worked with customers across all regions of the United States and Canada. He believes the key to success in any market is to create an outstanding customer experience. “I want to create great and memorable experiences for our customers-the type of experiences that will ensure they continue to return.”
As Chief Operating Officer, Weller has operational responsibility for all of Kirby-Smith’s business segments. He had previously served as Executive Vice President for Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.
Weller’s father and grandfather ran a Ford Dealership in Southwest Iowa, and their example taught him the true value of honesty, integrity, and fairness in dealing with customers. Those same values have served him well in his own career, guiding his philosophy on customer service. “Customers deserve honest and direct answers, to have their problems taken seriously, and to receive our best effort in solving them. Commitment to our customers is what has made Kirby-Smith successful, and is what will continue to drive our growth as an organization.”
JD Young has served Kirby-Smith as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President since June, 2015. Prior to this position, Young served as CFO for three other separate companies, including over 13 years’ of experience managing high level financials in the equipment industry. In that time, he has consistently proven to increase both the usefulness and availability of financial reporting for his firms, and has a passion for making financial information come alive to the various stakeholders involved. Prior to his time serving in the equipment industry, he spent 6 years in public accounting with PWC serving clients primarily in retail and the oilfield services industry.
Joel Cook was hired in 2021 as Kirby-Smith Machinery's Executive Vice President & General Manager, Construction Group. He is responsible for strategic direction, operational management, and overall leadership of operations related to construction equipment. Cook has a diverse background that includes experience both within the heavy equipment industry and the areas surrounding it. He started his journey with CIT, building a career in customer-facing financing for heavy equipment and management of large dealer portfolios. In 2006, Cook joined Komatsu Equipment Company, a Komatsu-owned dealership based in Salt Lake City, where he held several key positions over 14 years, most notably as Executive Vice President - Mining, Construction, and Rental Sales. Before joining KSM, Cook most recently served as President and CEO of Road Machinery, a Komatsu distributor in Phoenix.
“I have always admired Mr. Kirby and the great organization he has built. It is an honor to now be part of it, and I look forward to helping in its continued growth and prosperity through customer and company focus."
As Vice President of National Accounts, Mike Kunin is responsible for the management and continued development of long-term strategic partnerships between Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. and its national account customers. Kunin brings a wealth of experience and established customer relationships to the position, having held several key roles at Komatsu America Corp. over the last 21 years, including parts sales, construction and support equipment and most recently as business director-Central Region.
Working with Kirby-Smith Machinery during his years at Komatsu, Kunin was drawn to its customer-focused culture, which he is now excited to be a part of. His experience as a leader, account-development and project management skills, outstanding communication, and keen attention-to-detail all make him a valuable asset to our leadership.
As Vice President of the Crane Division, Rickey Bailey is responsible for the strategy and oversight of Kirby-Smith’s crane operations. Bailey has over 20 years of crane industry experience with management roles at the manufacturer, distributor, and end-user level. Prior to Kirby-Smith, Bailey served as Manager – Major Accounts for Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company. In addition to Link-Belt Construction Equipment, he has also worked for Link-Belt Mid-Atlantic and Bulldog Erectors, Inc. He believes in providing unmatched product support and service, and working hard each day to earn opportunities from customers.
As Vice President of Product Support, Brad Campbell leads more than 300 Kirby-Smith Machinery parts and service employees. He believes that improving upon customer satisfaction and the working environment for employees is crucial in achieving the ultimate goal of offering top-level product support. Campbell strives to fulfill the Kirby-Smith mission to “create lifetime customers and team members who support one another” with a strong focus on customer service and by providing continual support, training and education for parts and service personnel.
As Vice President of Road Construction & Minerals, Vern Gunderson is responsible for Kirby-Smith's road construction & minerals division. Vern leads our efforts related to the Wirtgen Group (Wirtgen, Vogele, Hamm & Kleemann,) LeeBoy, Falcon, and Masaba product lines. His Knowledge and experience includes a wide variety of construction equipment dealers, contractors and crane manufacturers. Vern’s reputation precedes himself with 28+ years in the construction equipment industry. He most recently served as Vice President of Construction Sales for Nixon-Egli Equipment Company, and has over a decade’s worth of experience with Leeboy and the Wirtgen Group’s family of products.
Seth McColley serves as Vice President of Human Resources for Kirby-Smith Machinery and is responsible for our people strategy, rewards, talent management, and recruiting & leadership development, as well as creating an integrated team that strengthens our culture.
McColley brings more than 22 years of human resources leadership experience from McCarthy Building Companies, Jiffy Lube, Pizza Hut and AT&T. He is part of the senior leadership team and works to ensure that Kirby-Smith Machinery continues to differentiate itself as an employer of choice within the heavy equipment distributor community. McColley is driven to unleash the potential of Kirby-Smith’s employees through strategies that facilitate training, leadership development and mentorship, as well as recruiting top talent and retaining top-performing employees.