John Wicker - Piston Lead
A majority of STIHL powerheads are made in the USA.* It's something to take pride in, and something that couldn't be done without the help of many dedicated STIHL team members. This includes John Wicker, a piston lead at the STIHL manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach. John's entire career has been in machining. As a team leader at STIHL, he uses this expertise to build strong, reliable tools.
John grew up in Newport News, VA but eventually moved to North Carolina. There, he developed a love for big game fishing, also competing in bass tournaments up and down the east coast. This hobby eventually led him to pursue a job as a boat builder. When this didn't work out, he started machining.
He got his start as a supervisor in computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining, a job he worked for 15 years. He later spent 8 years working for NASA Langley, where he machined aeronautic wind tunnel models. After machining aeronautic and aerospace models, John took a job at STIHL as a CNC machinist, and was here to lead efforts when STIHL first started piston machining.
"We started off with one piston machine here, and we actually had three piston models at that time. 14 years later I now have 69 piston models, and 18 employees. We're working three shifts, 24 hours a day, pretty much five days a week."
John is happy to be working at STIHL Inc. using his experience building top-level equipment.
"Here in America, being able to machine these pistons and send them out worldwide, that's pretty amazing."
People like John help make STIHL an exceptional brand. He's dedicated to building the best parts to make a quality product. It's this level of manufacturing that makes STIHL a brand customers can depend on, and be proud of.
*Disclaimer: A majority of STIHL gasoline-powered units are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components.