February '18

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202 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S Reporting on the RV industry across North America News of Note Regional RV parts distributor Keller Marine and RV, based in Port Trevorton, Pa., is merging with Tampa-based RV parts distributor Lightning RV Supply. No financial details were disclosed. The two companies have a longstanding relationship, and have worked for many years together. "This just seemed like a natural fit, and the timing is right," said Mike Keller, president of Keller Marine and RV. Keller Marine and RV will bring its nearly 60 years of busi- ness experience and success to this new division with Light- ning RV. Keller brings a number of strengths to the table, including extensive product lines, large inventory, state-of- the-art operations and technology, according to Keller. Lightning RV has been in the RV distribution business for 25 years and brings the hard parts expertise with its VPS RV parts system and strong relationship with the Southeastern U.S. market. Keller Marine and RV will remain in its Port Trevorton, Pa., facility and the new division with Lightning will operate out of Lightning's original Tampa location. Plans continue to build a new state-of-the-art warehouse facility on the same property, according to Keller. Joining the sales team for Lightning RV are: Joe Ely, David Scalf and Cindy Pettis; along with former Lightning RV Controller Rick Smyth, all seasoned veterans with a number of years' experi- ence serving the RV aftermarket. Brad Green, founder of Light- ning RV, said, "We are excited about this opportunity, as this was a natural fit, both culturally and how we go to market." Michael Keller, son of Mike Keller and sales manager for Keller Marine and RV, also will be leading the Lightning sales force. "We look forward to taking the strengths from each team to serve our vendors and the entire customer base better," he said. "With National Supply dissolving their relationship with Lightning RV, this is the perfect opportunity for two companies who hold their dealers in high esteem to join forces." Lighting RV was acquired by Camping World's National RV Supply division in early 2016 as it ramped up efforts to supply RV dealers with parts and accessories. However, National RV Supply closed unexpectedly on Oct. 27. No reason was given by the company, but National RV Supply insiders told RV PRO that Camping World made the move to concentrate on its Gander Outdoors outdoor equipment retail stores, which it acquired in August 2017. Distributors Keller, Lightning RV to Merge Aqua-Hot Promotes Smith to General Manager Hydronic heating systems supplier Aqua-Hot Heating Systems has promoted Travis Smith to general manager, in addition to his current responsibilities as director of finance. Paul Harter, president and CEO, will transition to chairman of the board. In the revised corporate configura- tion, Smith provides leadership to Aqua- Hot's management team and oversees all aspects of the company's operations. He continues to lead all accounting and finance functions. In announcing this change, Harter said, "I'm excited by this transition and confident that Travis will bring his impres- sive skill set into his new, expanded role. Under his leadership, Aqua-Hot will con- tinue to provide the very best value and experience to its customers and main- tain its status as an employer of choice in Northern Colorado." Smith Bontrager Promoted to Starcraft Product Development Manager Starcraft RV has promoted Mandy Bontrager to the role of product development manager for Starcraft towable RVs. Bontrager brings with her 25 years of experience in the RV industry, having spent the past seven years with Entegra Coach and Starcraft. She joins Jeff Kloska, general manager, and Nick Eppert, national sales manager. Gehlen Promoted to RV Products Product Manager RV Products, a division of Airxcel, has promoted David Gehlen to product manager. Gehlen has been with RV Products for more than 20 years in various engineering and product development roles. In his new role Gehlen will work closely with OEM product man- agers and design teams to develop new, innovative AC and ventilation solutions. Harter

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