July '18

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Jack Sisemore, General Manager, Jack Sisemore Traveland I n 1963, I became a very successful service sta- tion operator, and in 1974 my daughter was born. Wanting to travel in comfort with the family, I bought a 1973 Winnebago Brave for $9,733. When not in use, I intended to rent it out. For our first trip, we didn't have the motorhome because it was rented out, so I ended up buying a second one and later a third one. In 1975, Greg Strobel with Champion Motor Homes came to my station set me up as a dealer. The first year, we became a Top 10 Dealer in the U.S. at my service station. In December, we moved to our present location on Interstate 27. My first industry show wasn't exactly a wel- coming experience. In August 1975, my son and I spent five hours trying to prove I was a legit dealer to gain entry to the South Bend RV Dealer Show before we were allowed to enter. By the way, we never went back to that show. After that, we only missed one Louisville Show. A big turning point for me came in 1982, when two successful businessmen entered the RV business in Amarillo with $2 million in cash and a desire to break us. Two years later they were out of business and out of money, and I had become a much more focused businessman in the process. Today, my son Trent has become my partner in Jack Sisemore Traveland. Other accomplishments I am proud of include becoming one of the founders of Keystone RV Mfg. and selling to Camping World and being retained with my son as general managers. 126 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ Bill Merriman, President, Stop & Go W hile employed at United Airlines, and at that time being an avid motorcycle rider, I found that there was no such thing as a com- plete motorcycle tire repair kit. That's when the first Stop & Go kit was created. As the business grew, we developed a worldwide following for our brand name. Private label kits have been made for Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Cabela's, E-Z-Go/Textron and others. When we coined the name "Tire Plugger" for the use of our mushroom shaped tubeless repair plugs, that opened other markets such as the automotive and RV industries. My motto and goal has been to provide quality tire repair products to prevent being stranded with a flat tire. Most people don't know that using tire sealants will destroy their TPMS sensor. Our mushroom plugs being installed "on the wheel" allow the user to avoid those expensive costs. Our continuing goal is to communicate to these owners that the Tire Plugger is a professional style repair whereby the mushroom seals on the inner wall allowing no air to escape. Since I started this business it has given me the opportunity to travel to many places. After retirement from United in 2002, I have spent the past 16 years building my business full time. About three years into running this business, I convinced Harley-Da- vidson that we could produce a tire repair kit for their customers. That kit was produced from 1984 until 1999. During those 15 years, we made thousands of kits with the Harley name. Having them come onboard gave my business the credibility it needed to survive and thrive. A few years later, I developed the Pocket Tire Plugger for all motorcycles. In 2004, Rider Magazine gave me the "Product Inno- vation of the Year" award, which I am most proud of. Trent, left, and Jack Sizemore

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