Winnebago Industries Inc. announced that Board Director Robert J. Olson will not seek reelection and will retire from his position on the board when his current term expires at the 2014 Annual Meeting on Dec. 16.
Winnebago stated in a press release that Olson previously served as chairman, CEO and president of Winnebago, retiring from active employment in February 2012 after 43 years of service to the company.
“Bob has been invaluable to Winnebago,” said Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “He brought a tremendous depth of knowledge to his position on the board from his tenure as a great leader and employee of Winnebago Industries. We thank him for his dedication and service and wish him well in retirement. He will be greatly missed.”
Olson’s position on the board will be filled by a candidate who will be approved in the normal course to be elected at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on Dec. 16.
Winnebago Industries Inc. was the recipient of the Iowa Job Honor Awards, a new initiative aimed at recognizing Iowans who have overcome significant barriers to employment.
Kyle Horn, founder and director of the awards, describes his motivation to launch the initiative: “Our society celebrates lottery winners, celebrities and professional athletes. Yet if these are the only paths to self-sufficiency, then most Iowans will never escape poverty. It’s time for a new kind of hero.”
According to a press release, nominations were submitted via the organization’s website, www.jobhonor.org, and judged by a statewide panel. Gary McCarthy, Winnebago personnel supervisor, was on hand for the award presentation during the Iowa Association of Business and Industry annual conference on June 11. Several hundred Iowa business leaders assembled in Cedar Rapids’ Paramount Theatre to witness the ceremony, in which biographical videos described the honoree’s efforts to win life-changing jobs.
In the employer category, T&D Repair in Burlington and Winnebago of Forest City were honored for their commitment to hire disadvantaged candidates. According to McCarthy, “Our employees are very loyal, hardworking, and dependable. Because of their struggles, they really value their job.”
One such honoree is Yvonne Rodriguez of Sheldon. Trapped in a life of poverty and lacking marketable skills, Rodriguez pursued training in her struggle to gain financial independence for her family. She’s now employed as an optometrist assistant at Eye Care Center in Sheldon, where her employer credits her with attracting new customers through community involvement and bilingual skills.
Each employee honoree received a $500 cash award and engraved trophy.
Honoree Yvonne Rodriguez believes perseverance is the key for struggling jobseekers. “Always believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” she urges, “There will be a day you wake up and say ‘This is the life I’ve been wanting.’”
As Winnebago Industries Inc. works to strengthen its presence in the outdoor lifestyle market through Winnebago Outdoor, it has found an opportunity to do it about a mile from its production plant in Forest City, Iowa.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reported that Winnebago Outdoor is one of the sponsors of the Tree Town Music Festival slated for May 23-25 at Heritage Park of North Iowa in Forest City.
“We saw an opportunity right across the street and thought ‘Let’s jump on it,'” Denise Yeager said of Tree Town. Yeager is the consumer engagement manager who oversees WIT Club and brand and licensing.
Winnebago Outdoor is the motor home manufacturer’s brand licensing effort geared toward sharing the Winnebago name and philosophy with public in a variety of outdoor gear, clothing and other items.
“We will start with categories close to the RV (lifestyle),” Yeager said of Winnebago Outdoor’s event relationships. “We want to reach out to anyone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle.”
One way to reach out is at the Tree Town festival.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to have Winnebago Outdoor’s name on stage,” Yeager said. “People will see the stars performing and see our name at the same time.”
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Top sales awards were given to the company’s dealers in the United States and Canada, as well as the top rental dealer and new dealer of the year for the Winnebago and Itasca brands.
This year’s award winners are:
• Camping World RV, Lincolnshire, Ill. – Top Winnebago Industries Dealer Multiple Locations.
• Lazydays, Sefner, Fla. – Top Winnebago Industries Dealer Single Location, Top Winnebago Dealer North America, and Top Dealer Winnebago – East.
• La Mesa RV Center, Sanford, Fla. – Top Itasca Dealer North America and Top Itasca Dealer – East.
• La Mesa RV, Mesa, Ariz. – Top Winnebago and Itasca Dealer – West.
• Sicard Holiday Campers, Smithville, Ontario – Top Winnebago Dealer Canada.
• Carefree Coach and RV, Edmonton, Alberta – Top Itasca Dealer Canada.
• Colonial Itasca, Lakewood, N.J. – Top Winnebago Touring Coach Dealer – North America.
• Great Alaskan Holidays, Anchorage, Alaska – Top Rental Dealer.
• La Mesa RV Center, Fort Myers, FL – Itasca New Dealer of the Year
• High River Autoplex & RV, High River, Alberta – Winnebago New Dealer of the Year.
In addition to these awards, 102 dealers were honored with the Circle of Excellence award in recognition of their excellence in customer satisfaction, as it relates to the customers’ sales and service experience with the dealer.
In its ninth year, the PIE award recognizes those motorhome dealers with the best market share penetration within their basic trade area (BTA).
Twelve Winnebago and Itasca dealerships were recognized in three market categories from both the East and West regions. The categories are defined as basic trade areas with 99 or fewer annual retail registrations, 100-199 annual registrations and greater than 200 registrations.
Following are this year’s PIE award winners as ranked by market size from smallest BTA to largest BTA:
Winnebago – Western Region
Affinity RV, Prescott, Ariz.
La Mesa RV Center, Tucson, Aiz.
La Mesa RV Center, Davis, Calif.
Itasca – Western Region
Guaranty RV Centers, Junction City, Ore.
Olathe Ford RV Center, Gardner, Kan.
Camping World RV Sales, Wood Village, Ore.
Winnebago – Eastern Region
US Adventure RV, Davenport, Iowa
Camping World RV Sales, Calera, Ala.
Camping World of Ft. Myers, Ft. Myers, Fla.
Itasca – Eastern Region
Flagg RV, Uxbridge, Mass.
La Mesa RV, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
La Mesa RV Center, Ft. Myers, Fla.
In addition to the PIE award, 102 dealers have also been honored with the Circle of Excellence award in recognition of their excellence in customer satisfaction, as it relates to the customers’ sales and service experience with the dealer.
The company has also presented top sales awards to Winnebago, Itasca, Winnebago Touring Coach brand motorhome and Winnebago and SunnyBrook dealers in the United States and Canada as well as top rental dealer and new Winnebago and Itasca motorized dealers of the year.
In a tradition that began in 1986, Winnebago recognized dealers for “excellence in customer satisfaction as it relates to the customers’ sales and service experience,” according to a press release. This year, 102 dealers were honored with the Circle of Excellence award.
“I am very proud of the quality of our dealer network,” said Winnebago Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan. “We were very pleased to recognize 102 outstanding dealers that earned this year’s Circle of Excellence award at a program held last night. These dealers are simply the best in the industry and have a proven commitment to provide excellent customer service to our retail customers They have a knowledgeable sales staff, qualified service technicians and quality warranty and after-market service support for customers. These dealers are the reason our Winnebago name is recognized as the leader in the motorhome industry.”
Circle of Excellence scoring is determined by rating dealers in four categories:
• A Purchase and Delivery Satisfaction Study which is direct customer feedback after the purchase of a motorhome.
• A Customer Satisfaction Study which surveys customers six months after their purchase.
• A Sales and Marketing Assessment that evaluates a dealership’s sales, market share, stocking levels and participation in product training and the WIT Club.
• A Service/Parts Assessment that evaluates a dealership’s warranty/parts inventory, service training and certified technicians, and traveling customer care.
Since its inception 29 years ago, three dealerships have achieved Circle of Excellence status each year the award has been presented. They are:
• Lazydays RV, Seffner, Fla.
• McClain’s RV Superstore, Oklahoma City
• Pleasureland, St. Cloud, Minn.
Following is the complete list of the 2014 Circle of Excellence award winners, including 14 first-time award winners indicated with an asterisk.
Great Alaskan Holidays, Anchorage
Camping World RV Sales, Calera*
Camping World RV Sales of Dothan*
Camping World RV Sales, Lowell*
Affinity RV Service, Sales & Rentals, Prescott
La Mesa RV Center, Tucson
Camping World RV Sales, Roseville
Giant RV, Montclair
La Mesa RV, San Diego
Mike Thompson Recreational Vehicles, Colton*
Mike Thompson Recreational Vehicles, Santa Fe Springs
Pan Pacific RV Centers, French Camp
Camping World RV SuperCenter, Fountain
Transwest Truck Trailer RV, Frederick
Parkview RV Supercenter, Smyrna
Camping World RV Sales, Dover*
Camping World of Fort Myers, Ft. Myers
Camping World RV Sales, Holiday*
Camping World RV Sales, Jacksonville*
Camping World RV Sales, Midway
Camping World RV Sales, St. Augustine
Camping World RV Sales, Summerfield
La Mesa RV Center, Sanford
Camping World RV Sales of Woodstock, Woodstock*
Barrington Motor Sales, Bartlett
Winnebago Motor Homes, Rockford
Camp-Land, Burns Harbor
Harrison RV, Jefferson
Leach Camper Sales, Council Bluffs
Lichtsinn Motors, Forest City
US Adventure RV, Davenport
Beckley’s Camping Center, Thurmont
Diamond R.V. Centre, Hatfield
Flagg RV, Uxbridge
General RV Center, Mt. Clemens
General RV Center, Wayland
General RV Center, Wixom
Pleasureland RV Center – North Metro, Ramsey
Pleasureland, St. Cloud
Universal Power/Marine/RV, Rochester
Reliable RV, Springfield
Wheelen R-V Center, Joplin
Reliable RV Center, Biloxi
Leach Camper Sales of Lincoln, Lincoln
Colonial Itasca, Lakewood
Chisolm Trail RV, Albuquerque
Rocky Mountain RV World, Albuquerque
Camping World RV Sales of Syracuse, Syracuse
Bill Plemmons RV World, Raleigh
Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall
Camping World of Raleigh, Garner*
Tom Johnson Camping Center, Concord
Tom Johnson Camping Center, Marion
Dave Arbogast RV and Boat Depot, Troy
General RV Center, North Canton Lewis RV, Dayton
RCD Sales, Sunbury
Shafer’s Truck and RV Sales, Delta
Dean’s RV Superstore, Tulsa
McClain’s RV Superstore, Oklahoma City
Guaranty RV Centers, Junction City
Roberson RV Center, Salem
The RV Corral, Eugene
All Seasons RV, Easton
Grumbine’s RV, Harrisburg
Ray Wakley’s Car Care & RV Center, North East
Tom Schaeffer’s RV Super Store, Shoemakersville
Arlington RV Supercenter, East Greenwich
Dakota RV, Rapid City*
Buddy Gregg Motor Homes, Knoxville
Chilhowee RV Center, Louisville
Cullum & Maxey Camping Center, Nashville
Shipp’s RV Centers, LLC, Chattanooga
Billy Sims Trailer Town – Lubbock, Lubbock
Camping World RV Sales, Anthony
Camping World RV Supercenter, New Braunfels*
Crestview RV Georgetown, Georgetown
Jack Sisemore Traveland, Amarillo
McClain’s RV Rockwall, Rockwall
McClain’s RV Superstore, Fort Worth
McClain’s RV Superstore N. Dallas, Corinth
Ron Hoover Companies of Donna, Donna*
Ron Hoover Companies of Houston, Houston*
Ronnie Bock’s Kerrville RV, Kerrville
Motor Sportsland, Salt Lake City
Camping World RV Sales, Roanoke*
McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV, Ashland
Reines RV Center, Manassas
Snyder’s RV, Salem
Snyder’s RV, Virginia Beach
Poulsbo RV, Kent
R ‘N’ R RV Center, Liberty Lake
Roy Robinson Motorhomes, Marysville
Russ Dean Family RV, Pasco
Uhlmann RV, Chehalis
Horn’s Sales & Service, Sheboygan
Carefree Coach & RV, Edmonton
Okanagan Travel Land, Summerland
Voyager RV Centre, Winfield
Forest City Motor Homes, Ltd., Thorndale
Sicard RV, Smithville
Winnebago Industries Inc. today (April 15) unveiled new 2015 models to the company’s dealer partners during its annual Dealer Days event at The Mirage in Las Vegas. According to a press release, introductions included the all-new Brave and Tribute, Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra motorhome lines.
The Forest City, Iowa-based builder blended vintage with a modern twist in the rollout of the 2015 Brave and Tribute. In the ’60’s and ’70’s, there was no mistaking a Winnebago motorhome with the distinctive “eyebrow” design and flying W logo, and the new Brave and Tribute breathe new life into the legendary design. Beyond the retro styling, the Brave and Tribute are loaded with today’s best features and offered in two versatile floorplans with exciting color schemes like Good Vibration with Cherry Cola Cherry cabinets, as well as a price to fit the budget of a young, traveling family.
“This is the most exciting product launch I’ve ever been involved with,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “The new Brave and Tribute are going to take the market by storm. The retro, yet modern image they project is fun, while they offer great new features that are sure to capture the eye of new buyers.”
Also making its debut at the dealer event is the new Grand Tour Class A diesel pusher, and its counterpart, the Ellipse Ultra. The tag-axle Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra each feature unique, high-end features such as a large skylight with powered shade in the front lounge/cab area, polished porcelain tile flooring, keyless entry, and four full-body paint packages. Multiplex switch panels located throughout the all-electric coach allow you to control exterior and interior lights, hydraulic jacks, MCD power shades and slideout rooms.
Several 2015 products received exterior redesigns, including the Class A gas-powered Vista and Sunstar lines, Class A diesel Via and Reyo lines and the Class C View and Navion on the 24V and 24G floorplans. New standard features are included across all product lines, and exciting new floorplans are also included in the Journey, Meridian, Vista,Sunstar, Tour and Ellipse motorhome lines.
Winnebago Towables debuted the new Micro Minnie trailer and two new fifth-wheels, the Voyage and Latitude. The new Micro Minnie trailer is under 3,000 pounds and features a new “cool gray” exterior color. The Voyage and Latitude lines provide exciting new mid-profile and full-profile fifth-wheel choices and the Ultralight line has been expanded to six available floorplans. The Ultralight and the Voyage both offer graphic options and corresponding LED lights that are in color choices of red, green or blue.
“They hit the nail on the head with the new Brave retro look,” said Carl Jensen from Sierra RV, Sunset, Utah. “The updated interior styling was wonderful and the colors are bright and fresh. The new Brave and Tribute will appeal to all ages.”
Thousands of visitors come to the University of Iowa each year to visit Rusty the Giant Sloth, learn about the state’s first capitol, and see how Iowa’s landscape has changed over the centuries.
Iowa Now reported that starting this week, the UI Pentacrest Museums and Office of the State Archaeologist are bringing some of the state’s natural and cultural treasures to Iowa communities in a new Mobile Museum.
The 38-foot-long RV — custom-built by Winnebago Industries Inc. in Forest City — makes its inaugural appearance next weekend at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge for the Iowa Academy of Science meeting April 11-12 before heading to Decorah, Osage, and Council Bluffs, to name a few of the scheduled destinations.
“This is a museum built in Iowa, by Iowans, for Iowans,” says Dan Reed, vice president for research and economic development, whose office includes the Pentacrest Museums and State Archaeologist.
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According to a press release, Upham is responsible for sales of the company’s Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes, as well as dealer development and training for dealers in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
Upham has previous experience as an RV product sales specialist with Fleetwood RV Inc. Prior to joining Winnebago, he owned and operated several businesses in the financial and customer service industries. Upham also taught business classes at the college level after receiving his MBA.
Upham is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and received his bachelor’s and MBA from Taylor University, Ft. Wayne, Ind. Upham resides in Wilmington, N.C.
Although the severe winter had an effect on Winnebago Industries Inc. during the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, the company was able to overcome it, Winnebago’s Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts said Thursday (March 27) in a conference call with investors.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reported that despite inefficiencies created by severe weather, the company posted revenues of $228.8 million, an operating income of $14 million and a net income of $9.6 million for the second quarter that ended on March 1. When compared to the same quarter of fiscal year 2013, revenues increased by 29.2%, operating income increased by 58.2% and net income increased by 52.6% in the second quarter of fiscal year 2014.
“I just can’t imagine any other group pulling it off quite as well as this team did,” Potts said of the company’s more than 2,000 employees.
The winter caused the motorhome company to close several days, work shifts with people who couldn’t get to work and adjust work days, Potts said. It also caused problems with deliveries, increased utilities and created general inefficiencies, said Sarah Nielsen, the company’s CFO.
The ability to overcome challenges from severe weather contributed to the bottom line but so did increased sales of motor homes, Nielsen said when the company announced its fiscal quarter results Thursday morning.
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