A 50th anniversary is a milestone well worth celebrating, and we have thoroughly enjoyed celebrating ours with you. But since we started the festivities on our actual anniversary date (April 1, 2016), it is time to move forward to the milestones of the future. This week, we have announced the winners in our final 50th Anniversary Event, the Looking Ahead STIHL Lightning Battery System contest. You can see the Dealer and Employee winners by clicking here.
We have enjoyed telling the stories of our history and reminiscing about the past 50 years of our relationship with STIHL and with you. We are delighted that some of you have found photos of yourselves or family members in our photo archives. It bears mentioning again that all of you: the Stihl family, the STIHL organizations in Germany and in Virginia Beach, our advertising and vendor partners, our past and present employees and each of our dealers, made our first 50 years the success that they have been.
So many people have been important in our success over the years that we have generally avoided mentioning them by name for fear of leaving someone out. The exception to that rule is Fred Whyte, former president of STIHL Incorporated, who passed away on July 7 of a rare and aggressive cancer. Fred took his first job with STIHL in 1971 and lived in Little Rock with his new bride, Karen. The friendship that developed in those early years and that continued through his final days was as important to Dorsey and to those of us at STIHL Southwest as Fred’s gifted leadership was to the entire STIHL organization. He was with us for 45 of our 50 years and will be greatly missed.
As we begin our next 50 years, we have abundant opportunities to build on the successes of our first 50. The launch of the STIHL Lightning Battery System this year shows how committed STIHL is to the long term success of independent STIHL dealers. When so much of the news is about retailers closing their doors under the onslaught from online retailers, STIHL believes in the value of locally-owned businesses and their contributions to our communities. For our first 50 years, our objective was to help our dealers to be successful. We are pretty sure that is going to work for the next 50, too.
The success of STIHL SOUTHWEST is a direct result of the relationships we've built.
STIHL SOUTHWEST Dealers have been at the heart of everything we've accomplished. Their professionalism, expertise and personal dedication have been setting STIHL apart for decades.
Every person at STIHL SOUTHWEST supports the organization's success. Our team members continue to devote their time and considerable talents every day to serve our dealers and help our company.
STIHL has been at the heart of our company for all of our 50 years. The STIHL team in Germany, Virginia Beach and throughout the U.S. has been central to our success.