Kendrick B. Melrose, chairman and chief executive officer of The Toro Company, was elected vice chairman of OPEI. Fred J. Whyte, president of Stihl Incorporated, was elected secretary/treasurer.
David R. Zerfoss
Mr. Zerfoss served on the OPEI Board of Directors since 1996 and was the 1999/2000 chairman of the board. He has also served as chairman of the OPEI Communications Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee.
As president of Husqvarna, Mr. Zerfoss oversees all phases of operations, distribution, sales and marketing for Husqvarna Forest & Garden. He emphasizes a breakthrough thinking culture and encourages Husqvarna associates and retailers to make bold declarations about the future and achieve breakthrough results. Under his leadership, Husqvarna has increased sales more than fourteen-fold. Husqvarna is the North American arm of Swedish-based Husqvarna AB , a subsidiary of Electrolux AB.
Mr. Zerfoss joined Husqvarna after more than 15 years of management experience in outdoor power, recreation, and industrial equipment businesses. His background includes 10 years with Stihl, Inc., where he was general sales manager, and 7 years with Leisure Time Distributors, Inc., where he was sales and marketing manager. He began his career in sales, marketing and training with Exxon after earning a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in Pennsylvania.
Kendrick B. Melrose
Mr. Melrose joined Toro in 1970 as director of marketing for the consumer products division. In 1973 he was appointed president of the company's Game Time subsidiary. He became vice president of Toro's outdoor power equipment group in 1976 and was promoted to executive vice president in July, 1980. He was named president of the company in 1981 and chief executive officer in 1983. He was named chairman in 1987.
Mr. Melrose is the author of Making the Grass Greener on Your Side, a book about servant leadership, published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers in October 1995.
In addition to serving on the OPEI board of directors, Mr. Melrose serves on the board of The Donaldson Company, Inc.; Surmodics, Inc., and The Guthrie Theater Foundation.
Fred J. Whyte
As president of Stihl Incorporated, Fred J. Whyte is responsible for the overall management of Stihl's U.S. operation, headquartered in Virginia Beach ,VA, U.S. Prior to his appointment in 1992, Mr. Whyte was the president of Stihl Limited, the company's Canadian affiliate which he founded in 1982.