Thetford Corp., a leading supplier of sanitation products for the RV and marine industries, will mark its 50th year of operation on May 1.
According to a press release, the company was founded by Frank Sargent and his two sons in 1963 after they recognized the need to improve the recreational lifestyle, and continues “to set the standard for reliable and recognizable sanitation products.”
Thetford has had many industry-leading achievements in the past 50 years, including the first holding tank slide-action valve along with low-profile, low-water-use plastic RV toilets and the first two-piece portable toilet, Porta-Potti. Its innovations like Aqua-Kem and Aqua-Soft have also benefited generations of RVers. Most recently, Thetford introduced the stylish and lightweight Aqua-Magic Residence toilet and the beautiful and award-winning Porta-Potti Curve.
“Our products have helped revolutionize the RV industry,” said Kevin Phillips, Thetford executive vice president. “I’m pleased to say that Thetford products have helped make the recreational experience what it is today. With reliable products that are the staples of RVing and boating, we’ve provided users with convenience and helped them to better enjoy what’s both a hobby and lifestyle.”
Founded as a family company, Thetford continues to stay true to these ideals as it grows in size and innovation. “We hold close to family values, treat people fairly and look for long-term relationships with our customers. I think these have been consistent threads through the company’s history,” said Phillips. “Beginning in the late 1980′s, Thetford was on the forefront of RV store merchandising and marketing and that continues today. In addition, dealers taking our web-based training have really been positive about how it has helped make them better retailers.”
Thetford is not only a leader in the RV industry, but its employees are active members in it. Phillips noted, “We live in the market. In other words, we employ people who are avid RVers and it’s helped shape our products. An example is our SmartTotes, which were developed by one of our engineers who experienced, first hand, the need for a quality waste tote tank.”
Although 50 years is a worthy milestone, the company has no plans to slow down. “Thetford is proud to have grown up, hand in hand, with the American RV industry,” said Phillips. “We will continue to innovate and move forward with the global RV industry.”
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford is a privately held company with seven manufacturing facilities worldwide. Thetford subsidiaries include Norcold, a leading manufacturer of gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers for the RV, marine and truck markets; Tecma, a producer of fine-china toilets and powerful waste-transfer systems based in Italy; and Thetford Europe, which manufactures high-quality cooking and heating appliances and accessories.
For more information visit www.thetford.com.
Rod Livingston of Richmond, Ind., is hoping to become flush with success.
The Palladium-Item reported that Livingston is the inventor of Dry-Flush, an odorless, waterless toilet designed for use in RVs and boats, now being manufactured in Connecticut and sold by distributors around the world. Livingston and his business partner have applied for patents for the toilet, the only waterless unit that has both flushing action and a bagging system for waste.
Though he has launched about a dozen products over the years, “this is the first one that looks like it’s really going to take off,” Livingston said.
“There have to be a lot of things that fall into place just right” for an invention to succeed, he said. Not only does the product have to work, it has to be easy and cost-effective to build. In addition, there must be a need for the product, a market and the opportunity to take advantage of that market.
“The toilet is hitting all of these things right now,” Livingston said.
Livingston majored in physics in college then went into the service. After he got out, his first job was with Discovision, a company that was working on a product that eventually became the compact disc. “We just invented stuff right and left.”
Livingston had long been interested in owning an RV, but the self-proclaimed “geeky engineer” wanted to build rather than buy one. “I don’t ever buy something I think I can make myself,” he said.
As he began researching RVs, Livingston said, he discovered the toilet systems were “pretty awful” — especially their smell. He was convinced he could do better.
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Thetford Corp.’s new Porta-Potti Curve portable toilet received the inaugural Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) Product-of-the-Year Award, according to a press release. It was announced at the 2012 RVAA Executive Conference in Chicago, Ill., on August 22.
The all-new Curve has a sleek, modern and homelike appearance. It also features a comfortable seat height, battery-powered flush, convenient level gauges and an integrated toilet tissue holder.
All RVAA-member suppliers were encouraged to participate in the Product-of-the-Year Award program. A total of 27 products, ranging from chemicals to tow-related items, were submitted for entry and judged by a select panel of dealers and distributors.
“Thetford is proud to be recognized for this new innovation,” said Andy Bialorucki, director of marketing for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thetford. “We’re especially pleased and honored to receive this award because it was selected by dealers and distributors.”
Winning an award is nothing new to the Curve, which now has been internationally honored four times since its release earlier this year. It represents the next generation of portable toilets that Thetford, which first introduced the original Porta-Potti in 1968, has produced.
The Product-of-the-Year Award was created by RVAA’s Member Benefits Committee this year. It allows supplier members to showcase and earn recognition for the many great new aftermarket products that are annually introduced into the marketplace.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thetford Corp. has introduced the new Aqua-Magic Residence permanent RV toilet.
“We’re really excited to introduce Aqua-Magic Residence to the marketplace,” said Mike Mesharer, Thetford’s director of sales, in a press release. “It’s a residential-sized RV toilet with contemporary style and homelike comfort, yet is still lightweight.”
The high-profile Residence features a comfortable, ADA-compliant 18-inch seating height to make sitting down and standing up easier. The high-profile model weighs only 9.5 pounds while the low-profile model weighs 8.25 pounds.
Residence also has a contemporary seat for optimal comfort. Its cover is strong enough to sit on and has a convenient built-in lift slot. Seat and cover can be easily removed for customizing.
Delivering a powerful flush, Residence provides superior bowl coverage and its ball valve wipes clean with every flush. The mechanism maximizes flush performance and eliminates potential trap issues.
Residence also provides single-pedal convenience. Users press the pedal halfway down to add water and all the way down to flush.
Mounting and connections are engineered for accessibility and quick installation. For added strength and durability while eliminating squeaks, the bowl and base are bonded together using polymer welding technology.
In addition to high and low profiles, Aqua-Magic Residence is available in white and bone colors.
For more information call (800) 543-1219 or (734) 769-6000 or visit www.thetford.com.
Two long-time Thetford Corp. employees, Kevin Phillips and Doug Tharp, have been promoted, according to a press release.
Phillips was elevated to the position of executive vice president of North America. He previously served as vice president of sales and marketing, North America, since joining Thetford in 2005.
Phillips is a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board, serving as chairman of its membership committee and is on the market information and supplier committees. He formerly served as chairman of the RVIA nominating committee. Phillips is also a former member of the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) board.
“Kevin’s leadership, experience and knowledge of the RV market make him the ideal candidate to grow Thetford in the future,” said Stephane Cordeille, CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich-based Thetford.
Prior to joining Thetford, Phillips worked with Guardian Automotive as business unit director. He also previously worked as director of business development and director of North American sales at GKN Sinter Metals, and as customer director & global platform leader with Delphi Automotive.
Phillips earned a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Michigan and an MBA in business policy and marketing from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.
Tharp was promoted to senior director of finance, North America. He joined Norcold Inc. as a division accountant in 1990 and was promoted to accounting manager in 1993. He was promoted to corporate controller at Thetford, Norcold’s parent company, in 2003. He received a bachelor’s in business from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Contact Thetford, 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Toll-free 800-543-1219 or 734-769-6000; Fax: 734-769-2023. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.thetford.com <http://www.thetford.com> .