Stihl’s States-side headquarters is cranking out chainsaws and power tools — down to the pistons, plastics and rope — at its 150-square-acre complex in Virginia Beach, VA.

For the director of manufacturing, it’s a lot of ground to cover in 3.5-inch heels. Lorraine Wagner commands the extensive operation. The highest-ranking female of a 1,772-person staff, she oversees nearly 900 skilled laborers and engineers (70% of whom are male), who each day craft about 1,000 chainsaws and other tools, such as the handheld trimmers and leaf blowers perhaps you wielded this fall.

Wagner, 44, has helmed the well-oiled machine for nine years. Her heels hold steady in the traditionally male environment. Each day, though, starts in her lace-ups.


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Manufacturing, News