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 four decades, Kirby drove the company’s growth to over 650 employees and more than $750 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. Ed Kirby has been an active member of the Association of Equipment Dealers (AED) since 1987 and is the only AED member to receive two lifetime achievement awards in the association’s history. Kirby received the inaugural Lester J. Heath, III Award for his distinguished service and commitment to education in the equipment industry in 2017, and later received the Morton R. Hunter Sr. Distinguished Industry Association Contribution Award in 2022 for his longtime dedication and contributions to the principals and goals of AED and to the equipment industry.
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.
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, David Kellerstrass leads more than 450 Kirby-Smith Machinery parts and service employees. With well over a decade in Komatsu dealership operations, he is focused on helping KSM strengthen and grow its product support offerings, improve internal processes, and provide an exceptional customer experience.
Kellerstrass is a champion of KSM's culture and has been instrumental in the company's efforts to form a structure of regional service managers, regional parts managers and regional product support sales representative managers to better support customers, employees and manufacturing partners.
As Vice President of Parts, Wade provides strategic oversight of our parts operations, while also establishing new vendor relationships and growth opportunities for KSM. Wade has over 31 years of experience in the heavy equipment industry, most recently serving in various parts sales management roles for Komatsu America Corporation. He also has significant experience with equipment distributor and equipment rental company operations, having been involved in everything from welding and equipment deliveries, to parts counter sales, to corporate parts management. Wade is a skilled and patient listener who understands how to find the best outcomes to support his team.
As Executive Vice President of Sales, Gavin is responsible for managing the direction of Kirby-Smith Machinery’s corporate sales strategy to support organizational objectives related to our continued growth. He has nearly three decades of senior-level sales management experience, much of which has taken place in Kirby-Smith Machinery's territory, making him extremely familiar with our customers and the issues they face. Gavin joined KSM in 2020 as the Sales Manager for Fort Worth, Waco, and Abilene.
Brewer is responsible for the strategic direction of Kirby-Smith Machinery’s HR operations related to employee relations, compensation & benefits, compliance, retention, and recruiting. She is an invaluable leader that truly embodies KSM's core values in everything she does, and this is most evident in the way she supports the company's 650+ employees. She works closely with the KSM's leadership to ensure that Kirby-Smith Machinery continues to differentiate itself as an employer of choice within the heavy equipment distributor world.