Stihl Inc. chairman recognized by Virginia General Assembly

Pictured from left to right are as follows: Sen. Bill DeSteph; Fred Whyte, board chairman, Stihl Inc.; Hans Peter Stihl, honorary chairman of Stihl Holding AG & Co. KG Advisory Board; and Bjoern Fischer, president, Stihl Inc.

Pictured from left to right are as follows: Sen. Bill DeSteph; Fred Whyte, board chairman, Stihl Inc.; Hans Peter Stihl, honorary chairman of Stihl Holding AG & Co. KG Advisory Board; and Bjoern Fischer, president, Stihl Inc.

Fred Whyte, Stihl Inc. board chairman, was recently honored by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates with a joint resolution outlining his successful tenure with the Virginia Beach, Va.-based company. State Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-8th) presented the joint resolution at a luncheon in Virginia Beach.

The resolution outlined Whyte’s career at the helm of Stihl Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the worldwide Stihl Group. It highlighted his career, from his start as one of the company’s first 50 employees to his community leadership across southeast Virginia as a member of the boards for Old Dominion University and the Children’s Health Foundation of Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. The resolution also honored Whyte’s work as a leader in the outdoor power equipment industry and his service to several national industry trade associations.

Whyte currently serves as the sole director and chairman of the Stihl Inc. board of directors, following his retirement as president in December 2015. During his tenure, Stihl enjoyed record growth and became the “number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America,” based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research, as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2015 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.

“Fred Whyte has been a friend, constituent and most importantly, a leader, for over 30 years,” said DeSteph. “As the president of Stihl Inc., he contributed to the city of Virginia Beach in ways few can claim — overseeing the growth of this top corporation, which resulted in tremendous economic benefit to our great city; employing hundreds of residents in high-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs; mentoring local students as they consider future employment paths. Fred is to be commended for his character, his drive and his willingness to contribute. He is truly an inspiration to those who know him. We are indeed fortunate to have a man of his caliber living in our community.”

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