For more than 30 years, Arbor Age magazine has been covering new and innovative products, services, technology and research vital to tree care companies, municipal arborists and utility right-of-way maintenance companies
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ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: EAST Chris Pelikan Senior Account Manager Phone: (954) 964-8676 firstname.lastname@example.org MIDWEST Peggy Tupper Senior Account Manager Phone: (763) 383-4429 email@example.com WEST Leslie Palmer Senior Account Manager Phone: (248) 731-7596 firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher's Notice: We assume no responsibility for the validity of advertising claims in connection with items appearing in Landscape and Irrigation. Commercial product names are used for the convenience of the reader. Mention of a commercial product does not imply endorsement by Arbor Age or EPG Media & Specialty Information, or preference over similar products not mentioned. FROM THE EDITOR www.arborage.com ARBOR AGE WINTER 2015 5 Editor John Kmitta email@example.com Honoring Fred Whyte It was announced earlier this year that Fred Whyte would retire as company president of Stihl Inc. at the end of 2015. (Bjoern Fischer, presently Stihl Inc. vice president of finance, will assume the duties of president on Jan. 1, 2016.) As this is our last issue of 2015, I wanted to take the time to recognize a man who has been extremely influential to the Green Industry. Fred Whyte has been part of the Stihl group for 44 years, including 23 years as president of Stihl Inc. "It has been a great privilege to lead Stihl Inc. and to be a part of the tremendous success we have enjoyed over the last 23 years," Whyte said. "I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I am pleased that Bjoern Fischer will be leading the company going forward." Whyte has been recognized and honored in recent months for his contributions. The Equipment Dealers Association (EDA), formerly known as the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA), recognized Whyte as an honorary member of the association. Joe Dykes, EDA vice president of industry relations and staff contact to the association's OPE Council, presented a plaque to Whyte during a short ceremony on October 21 at GIE+EXPO. "We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to honor Fred for his outstanding contributions to the industry," said Dykes. "This recognition is extremely well deserved as he has been a staunch supporter of the association and our members for many years. He will be missed, and we wish him well as he approaches retirement." Whyte was also recently honored by his peers at the Virginia Industry Forum (Stihl Inc. is based in Virginia Beach, Va.). 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. During Whyte's tenure at Virginia Beach, Stihl led numerous initiatives that have improved the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and generated innovative workforce development programs. In particular, his leadership was instrumental in Virginia Beach becoming the first locality in the Commonwealth to eliminate the machinery and tools tax. Whyte is an industry leader in the area of robotics and automation technology, and he also provided an "incubator/ laboratory" where the Dream It Do It Virginia Summer Camp was invented and continues to serve parents, teachers and students statewide. He serves as board rector on the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors and is on the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Children's Health Foundation board of directors. Previously, 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). Prior to his appointment as president of Stihl Inc. in 1992, Whyte was 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. A native of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Whyte is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Seattle University and holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa. During a Q&A with OPE magazine (sister publication of Arbor Age), Whyte credited the entire Stihl family as an influence on him and a key to his success. "I believe that Stihl has taken its place as a leader in the industry primarily through our team's efforts to continually improve our products, processes and programs," said Whyte. He added that the Stihl team never just accepts the "easiest" path. "Having such leadership and a value-focused culture has made my job much easier when facing decisions: Do it right, and do it right the first time." In 2011, when he was named as one of the Most Influential People in the Green Industry by Green Media (publisher of Arbor Age), Whyte told OPE Editor Steve Noe, "I think I have a few more years of active service to Stihl and to the industry, as well as to the local community. However, with two-cycle oil in my veins, I don't see 'retirement' leading to separation from the OPE industry. I certainly hope that I can use my knowledge and experience as an advisor or consultant to the industry." I personally do not know Mr. Whyte very well, but have spoken with him several times at industry events. He has always been gracious with his time and thoughtful in his responses. He has also contributed repeatedly to our family of publications throughout the years, and for that we are extremely appreciative. We thank him for his contributions to the industry, and wish him all the best in his retirement.