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Industry Loses A True Leader and Friend in Fred J. Whyte

July 12, 2017

The industry has lost a true leader and great friend. Fred J. Whyte was one of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) longest serving board members, including acting as chair.

“Fred was a leader in the truest sense of the word, a friend and mentor to me. I routinely sought Fred’s guidance and direction, “said Kris Kiser, President & CEO of OPEI. “He sought solutions and fundamentally understood compromise in the furtherance of consensus. This is a genuine skill and key in operating a successful trade association of competitors. We will miss him.”

“He was tough, smart, intuitive and just plain fun to be around,” said Mr. Kiser. “He had a terrific sense of humor and infectious laugh. He was a solid, decent, caring man.”

He added, “Lucky the TurfMutt and I visited Fred in his Virginia Beach offices at Stihl. We shared a passion and love for our dogs. We would share dog stories and our pictures.”

In Fred’s honor, OPEI will make a donation to the Virginia Beach SPCA, an organization close to his heart.

Rest in peace, our friend.


Fred J. Whyte and Lucky the TurfMutt in the Stihl offices