Outdoor Power Equipment

August 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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www.outdoorpowerequipment.com OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AUGUST 2017 37 FLASHBACK: Green Media announces Fred J. Whyte among 2010 Most Influential People G reen Media — publisher of Outdoor Power Equipment, Landscape and Irrigation, SportsTurf and Arbor Age — announced the 2010 selections for "Most Influential People in the Green Industry" in the January 2011 issues of those four magazines. Green Media's "Most Influential People in the Green Industry" were nominated by their peers for their ongoing contributions to the Green Industry. Nominations were reviewed by Green Media's in-house panel, and the 2010 selections for "Most Influential People" were chosen from throughout the Green Industry. Twenty professionals, including Fred J. Whyte, received the 2010 honor for exemplifying their commitment to the Green Industry and exhibiting a widespread influence on their peers. Following is the subsequent profile story about Fred and his selection that was published in January 2011 OPE and worth revisiting, especially his responses to the Q&A. FRED J. WHYTE IS THE PRESIDENT of STIHL Incorporated and chairman of the board of directors for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). He is responsible for the overall management of STIHL's U.S. operation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va. Prior to his appointment as president of STIHL Inc. in 1992, Whyte was the president of STIHL Limited, the company's Canadian affiliate. Whyte began his career with STIHL in 1971, working as a regional manager for STIHL American, the same company where his father had worked for nearly two decades. He became product manager for STIHL Inc. in 1975 and was promoted to national sales manager just four years later. At age 34, Whyte became president of STIHL Limited, where he founded the Canadian operation in 1982 and served in that role until he became president of STIHL Inc. During his 10 years at STIHL Ltd., the Canadian company achieved increases in sales each year. The tradition of achievement continued under Whyte's presidential tenure at STIHL Inc., which experienced 17 consecutive years of annual increases in sales and revenue prior to the recent recession. Also, under Whyte's leadership, STIHL achieved the status as the number one selling brand of gasoline- powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America. A native of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Whyte is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Seattle University and holds a master's degree FLASHBACK Continued on page 38 Fred Whyte enjoys spending time with his two Golden Retrievers, Fergie (left) and Hogan (right). decided to offer Fred the job days earlier. Knowing that Fred was a Scotsman, they plied him with Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch. Fred remembers little else about the evening except getting lost in the house between his bedroom and the toilet. Fred had the good sense to speak to Karen before accepting the offer. After agreeing to embark on the new adventure together, they rented a U-Haul, and headed south toward Little Rock, Ark. Even though Fred followed the legendary Whiz kid, he brought his own unique style and quickly established his own identity within the Stihl culture. I recall one of Fred's first sales meetings at Crader — the sales team had gathered at a remote cabin on the banks of a spring-fed southern Missouri river. Fred arose early the first morning and quietly crept away before anyone noticed he was gone. Just when the sun began to cast a few faint shadows, everyone had begun to gather on the cabin's screened-in porch. Fred emerged from the fog in his pipe-playing attire, marching to the tune of "Scotland The Brave." The first response was to take a shot at the mysterious person in the questionable garb, followed by curiosity as to the undergarments one wears while playing the pipes. Fred plowed his own furrow. Too often, the sins of the father are visited upon the son. Fred and Karen's union produced a son and a daughter, John and Jean. Like Fred, John was eager to learn how to play the pipes. And like Fred, he excelled. Fred and John eventually competed in Scotland's annual world championship pipe band competition, where they placed third out of 52 bands. Stihl continued to enjoy rapid growth and record-setting sales years. Fred's field position was eventually split into multiple

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