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STIHL to Receive Economics Club of Hampton Roads Impact Award

By Brendan O'Hallarn

STIHL Inc., the global power tool manufacturer that has been a significant local economic engine for nearly 40 years, will receive this year's Economic Impact Award from the ODU Economics Club of Hampton Roads.

The ninth-annual award will be presented to STIHL executives during the annual Economics Club Impact Award luncheon March 30 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.

"STIHL makes power tools, but it's not an exaggeration to say they have been a powerhouse in the local economy," said Bruce Rubin, associate professor of finance and executive director of the ODU Economics Club of Hampton Roads.

The 12 - 1:30 p.m. event is $40, and free to members of the ODU Economics Club of Hampton Roads. Register online, or contact Rubin at brubin@odu.edu or 757-683-3590, or administrative assistant Katrina Davenport at kdavenpo@odu.edu or 757-683-5138.

STIHL is one of the region's largest employers, with nearly 2,000 employees based at its U.S. headquarters in Virginia Beach. The 2.2 million-square-foot complex provides almost half of the company's worldwide power tool sales, exporting to more than 90 countries around the world.

The company's U.S. strategy involves selling products such as the world's top selling chainsaw exclusively through a network of 9,000 dealers who both sell and repair their equipment

Bjoern Fischer, appointed president of STIHL on Jan. 1, will accept the award and give a presentation about STIHL. A native of South Africa, Fischer has been with STIHL since 2012, and is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of Old Dominion's Strome College of Business. Fischer succeeded Fred Whyte, a member and former rector of Old Dominion's Board of Visitors.

The Economic Impact Award was established in 2008 and recognizes outstanding practitioners of sound economic and financial policy. STIHL joins a distinguished list of winners, including Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; Elizabeth Duke, former governor of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; former Gov. Gerald Baliles, who is also a former director of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia; and the founders of Eastern Virginia Medical School.

The ODU Economics Club of Hampton Roads is an organization for business and government executives and community leaders who share an interest in the practical implications of economic principles, trends and events. It was established in 1991 as a community service by former ODU President James V. Koch and is administered by Dean Jeff Tanner of the Strome College of Business, under the supervision of an elected board.

For information about the Economics Club, visit the website.

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