RV PRO

June '16

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40 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com T he past several months have been a whirlwind of activity for new Winnebago President and CEO Michael Happe. Previously a top executive for the Toro. Co., Happe has spent much of his time in the past three months traveling to meet with Winnebago staff, company stake- holders and RV dealers as he aggressively works to bring himself up to speed on the RV industry and to work with other com- pany executives to plan a strategy moving forward for the Forest City, Iowa-based RV maker. Winnebago has high hopes for Happe, who succeeds former CEO Randy Potts, who retired in August 2015 after five years at the helm, during which time the com- pany saw an uneven performance. Larry Erickson, Winnebago's chairman of the board, said of Happe, "His extensive lead- ership experience gained while serving in various roles at Toro (the Minneapolis area- based maker of lawn mowers and related products) resulted in building a track record of success. He has a remarkable record of performance in brand and product man- agement, as well as strategy and new busi- ness development. This, combined with his market development experience and customer focused operating style, has fueled his ability to exceed customer expectations and consistently deliver world-class finan- cial results to the shareholders." Recently, Happe took time out of his busy schedule to answer a series of ques- tions by RV PRO regarding his plans for Winnebago moving forward. His answers follow below. RV PRO: What appealed to you about the job with Winnebago? Happe: It really was the intersection of two elements. One, it was an exciting opportunity to engage in a new industry while working with a new team to elevate the future market and financial performance of Winnebago Industries to a level that is equal with the power of its iconic brand. Second, this is also an energizing leader- ship development opportunity – as a new CEO, I will be learning every day about how I can best serve our Board, our employees, and our customers in ways that allow them to be successful in their own roles. RV PRO: Did you have any kind of personal connection/ experience with the RV industry prior to accepting this job? Happe: There was no prior professional connection with the RV industry. My per- sonal connection is as a teenager remem- bering the pride my grandparents had in their own RV experiences and visiting with them and their campground soul mates in Florida during the winters. RV PRO: What was it about your skills, talents, previous work history and background that made you feel you would be a good fit for the position? Happe: I had the privilege of working at The Toro Co. for the last 20 years. It's a wonderful organization and there are many experiences that hopefully are transferrable. Both Toro and Winnebago have great brands and are committed to serving the customers with high-quality products and best-in-class service levels. Both Toro and Winnebago are public companies – ones that must be focused on a longer-term vision and purpose that is unique versus the competition, but also accountable for delivering shareholder value on a consistent quarterly and annual basis. Both Toro and Winnebago have won- derful channel partnerships, which extend the strength of the manufacturer brand into the market. And both organizations have significant manufacturing operations and The RV maker's new president and chief executive officer offers insights on the company's goals and strateg y moving forward. By Bradley Worrell & The RV maker's new president and chief Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe The RV maker's new president and chief Michael Happe The RV maker's new president and chief Michael Happe The RV maker's new president and chief Michael Happe The RV maker's new president and chief Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe Michael Happe with Winnebago CEO

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