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 1 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.