Friday, August 22, 2014

Daniel de los Reyes – Keeping the Beat With Love

Recently we were introduced to a talented musician that has a dream of helping children through music.  It is a story that inspired us to support the project, and share it with you here.

Daniel de losReyes is a band member and resident percussionist with the three-time GRAMMY Award-winning Zac Brown Band.  He is a man who embraces ingenuity with bold new inventions, and inspires thousands with his musical abilities. Anyone with an appreciation for music will recognize his performing and recording credits including performances with Chicago, Don Henley, Earth, Wind and Fire, Jennifer Lopez, Peter Frampton, and Sheryl Crow…to name a few. 

Daniel comes from a long line of drummers and percussionists.  Over the years he has maintained the life-long dream of operating a music development and education center, focusing on the use of percussion instruments, rhythms from around the world, dance, and vocals as valuable tools in teaching technical and interpretive music skills as well as motivating and instilling a sense of coalescence in today’s youth. He has realized his dream with the creation of DayGLOW Music™

 “I have been very blessed in my musical career and I would like to continue to give something back to others interested in music,” Daniel told us. “This camp will be my way of helping children and young adults with a general enthusiasm for music to develop a better knowledge of the different sounds and rhythms from all over the world and give them a better appreciation for the people and customs of those different cultures.”
Daniel hard at work with his STIHL MS 290
We knew that to move his project forward he would need quality tools.  Daniel was already a fan of STIHL.  “I have the MS 290 chainsaw.  That's my baby. Love her and respect the heck out of her.”  To fill out his shed so that he could continue to build and maintain the camp we sent him on a $5000 shopping spree at his local STIHL dealer, Fayette Mower, where owner Gabe Glaze and service manager Bill Gist started hime out with a BR 600 backpack blower, a STIHL Kombi System with multiple attachments, a pole pruner, and of course protective equipment.  

Daniel with the team at Fayette Mower
Daniel was very pleased with the service and assistance he got and in addition to getting some new equipment he made some new friends. “Everyone was great. They not only set me up with the right equipment for the job, but made sure I was comfortable with how to use it before I left the store. I know I will be back as I figure out what I need next.”

DayGLOW Music™ is nestled in the picturesque community of Fayetteville, GA, and will initially operate as a day camp open to metro Atlanta students with varying degrees of musical interest and ability. Eventually, the center will include a mentorship program, with the most promising students rising through the ranks to serve as counselors. All participants will be immersed in a creative culture with a natural backdrop that will encourage individual expression and group interaction while fostering an authentic learning experience.

The core curricula will include five music and rhythm courses, which are currently in development, but are expected to be complete prior to the grand opening in the late spring of 2015.

For more information,  or to join companies like STIHL in supporting DayGLOW Music™, please visit or email

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Impacting Future Generations of Children and Trees

By: Robert Jones, Team STIHL cycling team, STIHL Tour des Trees
This year is my third time participating in the STIHL Tour des Trees. Growing up in the countryside in North Carolina, trees were a big part of my life, even though at the time I didn’t realize the mutual relationship we need to have to keep them healthy and strong. Because of the continued support of STIHL, I learn more each year we are able to come back.
Robert Jones, STIHL Inc. 
Photo by 'Shutterjet/R. Jeanette Martin'
My first Tour in Oregon was one of the toughest, most rewarding things I had ever done. And on last year’s ride through New York and Canada, we met a New York-based research team partially funded by TREE Fund. They were working on a cure using a wheat gene for a disease called blight that was taking out the American Chestnut Tree, and I was able to see firsthand what this fundraiser supports.
I am proud to be a part of something that champions these urban forestry projects. From increasing property values by putting the right tree in the right place to helping hospital patients heal quicker when exposed to trees, we are continuing to enhance the lives of our towns and their surrounding environments.
Every day on the Tour, I take away a new bit of information from our interactions with other riders, as well as those in the communities along the route. These past two days in Milwaukee and Madison have continued to enlighten me with stops to the University of Wisconsin-Madison arboretum and in the towns along the route.
While we expand our knowledge each day, our relationships grow as well. It feels great to know that I’ve been welcome into this “tree” family with open arms; and, together, we have an everlasting effect on future generations and the planet.
While the Tour is known for many things to many people, I look forward to the tree dedications where we pledge to help the trees grow healthy and strong. And, maybe most importantly, I love seeing the young generations being engaged in the tree world. Each time Professor Pricklethorn pulls out a prop for a kid to wear, you see their faces light up, and you know this mission will live on for years to come.

The STIHL Tour des Trees has provided a forum for many different industries to work together for a common goal. At STIHL, I work in export shipping, it’s not often that I get to interact with our end users, and I appreciate this opportunity to meet those that use our products. I will continue to ride as long as I can. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Camp Introduces Students to Careers in Modern Manufacturing

By Lucinda “Lucy” McGrath, STIHL intern

In July, STIHL Inc. hosted 38 high school students from around the Hampton Roads area at the 4th annual STIHL Manufacturing Technology Summer Camp. The goal of the 4-day long camp was to give the students a better understanding of modern manufacturing and to introduce them to an alternative career path.

Divided into five teams, the students completed 18 activities that led them to the
final competition where they produced wireless Bluetooth speakers. The activities included engineering, working with advanced technology, investing, budgeting, corporate branding, and how to work in an assembly process. The students were introduced to new technology with the 3-D printer that made the orange speaker grills, which were screwed on to the final product. As another part of the camp, the students learned and participated in advanced soldering.

            One of the other portions of the summer camp was the presentation from Lorraine Wagner, director of manufacturing, who spoke to the students about the apprenticeship program available through STIHL Inc. This program provides an alternate 4-year education and paid job at STIHL for those students who may not want to go straight to college. While students work as an apprentice at STIHL Inc. during the day, they take classes at night. At the end of the 4-year apprenticeship, most students finish with an Associate’s Degree.  The intent is full-time employment at STIHL Inc. after completion of the program.

            Andy Jaeckle explained, “The camp creates a natural way for high school students to get involved with the ideas of the future like the apprenticeship program and internships.”
            The camp ended with a 2-hour long competition on Saturday with guest judges like the President of the Tidewater Community College, Dr. Edna Baehre-Kolovani and the ODU President, John Broderick. The Bumble Beatz was the overall winning team, and each team member earned a $1,000 scholarship for a local STEM program.

            Participant from the winning team, Carter Sabo said, “Before this week, I thought manufacturing was just putting stuff together, but after being taught by our coaches and assistant coaches, I found out that it takes hard work, time studies, and a good production plan to produce a high quality product.”

Friday, August 1, 2014

Behind the Scenes with the STIHL Singing Test Cell

Recently we created a video where a STIHL Test Cell makes a chain saw sing the national anthem.  It was our way of wishing our fans a Happy Independence Day, and a way to say thank you to America where we have been proudly building STIHL equipment for the past 40 years.  The video we produced was a follow on to the Silent Night video we posted this past December.

The videos have been wildly successful and of course we get asked how they were made.  One of the instrumental people in this development process of configuring the chain saw was Andy Findlay, a Test Cell Supervisor at STIHL Inc. Findlay explains, “Because we can control our RPM’s so well in our test cells, we took our MS 291 and made music.” Findley elaborated on the breakdown of the process further by saying, “We can control the RPM of the saw based on the dyno and when we rev the engine to wide open throttle, we can control that RPM up and down to each individual RPM. Each one of those RPM’s is a frequency that equals a note.”

When this idea was initially formulated, Findlay went to Thomas Lindgens, a Test Cell Technician at STIHL Inc., who provided the programming to get the notes to come up in the correct order. To do this, Lingden explains, “I needed 120-150 steps in order to get all the notes throughout the whole song.” With progress being made within the test cell, Findlay now had to find someone with musical experience.

Pinar Kuruc sits next to Findlay in the office and she said, “one day he popped his head up above the cubicle and asked me, ‘hey, do you know how to read music?’ and I said, ‘Yeah! I played the clarinet throughout high school and college.’” Kuruc’s musical experience allowed her to read the sheet music to figure out the length of each note which enabled Lindgens to enter the notes and set time delays for each.

With the “music” figured out, the next step was the production of the actual video. Playing off the patriotic theme of the National Anthem, we decided we wanted this video to incorporate the people who build the STIHL power tools. As Les Robinson, who assisted in the conception and production of the video stated, “We have incredible people with incredible stories working in our factory…doing incredible work. This was a way to tell their stories and show the people behind the products while at the same time thanking our customers for supporting us.”

Robinson went on to say after the launch of the video, “When I read the comments after posting the video, it made me realize the video helped people who saw it connect with our brand on a level that felt real to them.” To learn more about the Real People. STIHL People campaign, check out the stihlusa website and the STIHL YouTube channel.

So is there more music in the future for our test cell?  You will just have to follow our pages to find out.