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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10 AUGUST 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com INDUSTRY NEWS Man of Stihl passes away after 45 years of service F red Whyte, former president of Stihl Inc., passed away on July 7, 2017, surrounded by his family at his home in Virginia Beach, Va., after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 70 years old. A native of Vancouver, B.C., Whyte began his Stihl career in 1971, working as a regional manager for Stihl American, the same company where his father had worked. Whyte moved up the ranks at Stihl in the United States, and at the age of 34, led Stihl's expansion and operations in Canada. In 1992, Whyte returned to the United States as president of Stihl Inc. During Whyte's tenure as president, he led the company from a moderately known brand to the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America.* After serving Stihl for more than 44 years and leading Stihl for 23 years as president, Whyte retired at the end of 2015. He was then named sole director and chairman of the board of directors for Stihl Inc. and continued to infl uence Stihl strategy worldwide until his fi nal days. "We, and the larger Stihl family, are very saddened by the news of Fred's passing," said Bjoern Fischer, president of Stihl Inc. "He will be remembered for his extraordinary leadership, passion, and personal connections he had with both his customers and his employees." In addition to Whyte's service to Stihl, he was also a well- respected leader of both the outdoor power equipment industry nationwide and the local Hampton Roads community. He served as chairman of the board of directors for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and president of the Portable Power Equipment Manufacturers Association (PPEMA). In 2015, the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) recognized Whyte with the Frank Armstrong III Service Award for his contributions to the Virginia manufacturing sector and the association. He was also named honorary member of the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA). In 2016, Whyte was honored by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates with a joint resolution outlining his successful tenure with Stihl Inc. He was a member of Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors and served as rector 2013-2014. He also served on the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Children's Health Foundation board of directors. During his retirement, Whyte stated, "I often say history is a great business teacher. And after working for more than four decades in this industry, I can confi rm that substance wins out over style, every time." According to Fischer, "Fred Whyte was a man who had both substance and style, and we are forever thankful for his leadership of our organization." Whyte was an avid sports fan, outdoor enthusiast, and like many true Scotsman, played the bagpipes. He is survived by his wife Karen; their two children, Jean and John (wife Stacy); and their twin granddaughters, Klarise and Isla. *"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research, as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2016 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers. M embers of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) gathered in Kohler, Wis., June 20-22 for their 65th annual meeting to discuss the challenges ahead for the outdoor power equipment industry and its potential for growth. "With growing regulatory issues, potential economic upheaval ahead, and shifting attitudes about lawn care and landscaping, our industry and members are seeing new challenges, even as they face a period of growth and innovation," said Dan Ariens, incoming chair of the OPEI board of directors. "The annual meeting is a key part of the industry's preparation in handling those changes." At this year's OPEI annual meeting, speakers provided both insight and advice on today's unprecedented climate. Ben Saunders, world record-breaking polar explorer, opened the event with his advice for "achieving the impossible." Dr. Alan Beaulieu — award-winning economist and author of "Good Days OPEI prepares members for future at its 65th annual meeting Fred J. Whyte Continued on page 12

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