Manufacturing 2023: CHRIS KEFFER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, STIHL INC., VIRGINIA BEACH
Keffer took over leadership of U.S. operations for German chainsaw and power tools manufacturer Stihl in early August, after joining the company in 2022 as vice president for sales and marketing. He previously spent about two decades with Stanley Black and Decker. He replaced Terry Horan, who led the division for a little more than a year before Horan was named to the company’s board of directors.
Keffer has been helping lead Stihl’s transition toward battery-powered equipment. With 3,000 employees, the U.S. division is the largest subsidiary of Stihl Group, and exports to more than 80 countries around the world. Its Virginia Beach headquarters, which employs more than 1,900 workers, is undergoing a $49 million expansion, expected to be complete in 2024.
Keffer serves on the alumni board of Loyola University Maryland, from which he received an executive MBA and a bachelor’s degree in communications.
FIRST JOB: Mowing lawns for neighbors
HOW I BALANCE WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE: I try to stick to schedules for both. If you let work take over completely, it will, because it is never done, so you have to make sure you take time to have balance in your life.