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STIHL Inc. President Elected Chairman of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

Fred J. Whyte will be chairman of the OPEI board for 2011
Release Date: 9/28/2010
Press Inquiries:
Anita Gambill
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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Fred J. Whyte, president of STIHL Inc., was elected chairman of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) during the association’s 58th annual meeting in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Whyte’s term as OPEI Chairman is for one year in accordance with OPEI by-laws. 

“I am honored to again represent STIHL and the outdoor power equipment industry as chairman of the OPEI board,” said Whyte. “In this next year, we hope to accomplish a lot, especially in the realm of educating the public on the safe and efficient use of outdoor power equipment. We are seeing gains in the market, which should be welcome news to all OPEI members. Let’s hope we return to our market prosperity with new sustainable programs and products that will lead us into the next generation.”
As president of STIHL Inc., Whyte is responsible for the overall management of STIHL’s U.S. operation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va. Prior to his appointment in 1992, Whyte was the president of STIHL Ltd., the company’s Canadian affiliate, which he founded in 1982.
During his 10 years at STIHL Ltd, the Canadian company achieved increases in sales each year. The tradition of achievement continues 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.
Founded in 1952, OPEI is the major international trade association representing the manufacturers and their suppliers of consumer and commercial outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers, garden tractors, utility vehicles, trimmers, edgers, chainsaws, snow throwers, tillers, leaf blowers and other related products. The Institute is dedicated to promoting the outdoor power equipment industry by undertaking activities that can be pursued more effectively by an association than by individual companies.
About the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
OPEI is an international trade association representing the $15 billion landscape, forestry, utility and lawn and garden equipment manufacturing industry. OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety standards. OPEI represents and promotes the outdoor power equipment industry before federal, state and international legislative and regulatory bodies. For more information on OPEI, visit
About STIHL Inc.:
STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America for homeowners and professional landscapers*, as well as the number one selling brand of chainsaws in the world. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast— not mass merchants. STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit the dealer locator on the STIHL Web site at

*"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2009 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
STIHL is pleased to support the work of the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), National FFA, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and the National Association of State Park Directors.


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