The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) issued the following statement on the passing of Fred J. Whyte:
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,” said Kris Kiser, president & CEO of OPEI. “I routinely sought Fred’s guidance and direction. 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. He had a terrific sense of humor and infectious laugh. He was a solid, decent, caring man.”
Kiser 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.