Book Traces Life of Fan-Tastic Vent Founder

August 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The cover of Fan-Tastic Vent by Penny Milks.

Steve and Penny Milks are shown on the cover of Penny's new book, "Fan-Tastic: The Love Behind the Vent" which chronicles the 32-year marriage of the founders of Fan-Tastic Vent Corp.

“This is a love story. Not just any love story; it is my love story. It may seem like an ordinary tale to most people. There is nothing earth-shattering about it, yet it shattered my earth.”

This is Penny Milks describing her new book, “Fan-Tastic: The Love Behind the Vent.” The book shares an intimate glimpse into the life of two people combining their talents to build a respected company in the RV industry, Fan-Tastic Vent Corp. in Imlay City, Mich.

She reveals a rags-to -riches memoir that opens through the eyes of a shy 18-year-old who meets a charming traveling salesman, Steve Milks, determined to make his mark in history.

“The book starts out when we first met – the passion, the trials and tributes of marriage and starting out and then the start of our business Fan-Tastic Vent,” Penny shared. “My husband passed away four years ago and I started writing the book to help me with the grieving process. So when I got old my grandkids would know the story. It took three years to write it.”

Penny self-published her book, which has garnered positive feedback.

“I was barely 18 when I met my husband and he was 34,” Penny said. “We met in Missouri where I lived and I left everything behind and moved to Michigan where he was from. You’re young and you do crazy things and that is what gets you through is the love. It all builds from there.”

The book’s theme – Life is a struggle.

“If you have a partnership and there is communication and respect for each other – whether you build a business or whether you grow a garden it is that love and respect that gets you through your life,” Penny said. “We had our share of struggles just like everyone else.”

Steve had been in the RV business many years and saw the need for a powered ventilation fan and at the time there was nothing like it.

“He came up with this idea and made a wooden model of it and it took off from there,” Penny said.

Steve died of cancer four years ago, but through the therapeutic process of writing and the support of family and friends, today Penny continues to run Fan-Tastic Vent.

“I have a lot of help,” she said. “This is a very family-oriented company.”

Steve and Penny were married 32 years. The couple had no children together, but Penny has two stepchildren and three grandchildren.

Fan-Tastic Vent celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and an open house is set for Aug. 28 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Penny’s book will be for sale and she will hold a book-signing. Fan-Tastic Vent is located at 2083 S. Almont Ave., Imlay City.

For more information, about the company or the book, visit

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