July '18

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Leonard Fulcher, CEO, Gleaw Technology W hen I was 2 years old, my grandfather purchased a new Willey's Jeep. My most fond memories were sitting in the back of that jeep riding down country roads in the hills of North Carolina. This child fell in love with exploring the world. Grandfather's jeep was passed down to my father, and is now in my garage – unmodi- fied, granddaughter safe, and my supply run vehicle. As a pre-teen, my bicycle became my exploration vehicle. We lived in the sticks and anywhere within a few miles was fair game. As I grew, I became an Eagle Scout where all the states around became places to get lost. In 2002, I bought my first 4X4 SUV that had a navigation system with the idea that exploring didn't have to mean getting totally lost. It was painful to input location information for a trip across the U.S and it was often just plain wrong. As a geek engineer who had worked with data compression and encryption, I knew there could potentially be a better way. It took five years, new math methods, and creative approaches, but all the goals were finally met. I ported all my work into a Garminfone and took it on the road around the globe for another four years to prove it worked. The technology worked perfectly. Now that the technology was proven, was it truly marketable? Like any new technology, some easily understood the utility and capabilities; others, not so much. One day, my associates met with a gentleman who was technically and marketing savvy. He clearly understood the potential value. The question for me was, what percentage of my savings was I willing to give up to potentially save someone's life? GLEAW Technology was formed and formal engineering for the mobile App market began. 132 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ Larry McGaugh, President, RV Comfort Systems S tarting in the 1990s I became a consultant for a troubled HVAC mechanical contractor. Because of that, every 18 months to two years my wife and I would have to sell our home and move to new areas. After our third move, we decided that was crazy and bought a 40-foot fifth wheel and became full-time RVers. One year, I spent a winter on the East Coast and it was quite cold back there. I was going through propane faster than I could pack the bottles, and I thought, "There must be a better way. I've been a heating contractor for more than 30 years; I should be able to figure this out." After some consideration, I came up with the idea of adding an electric heater coil to my propane furnace, creating a hybrid unit, for our use. My wife was the one who said, "This electric heating system is great; why don't you sell it to other RVers?" (RV Comfort Systems officially launched April 1, 2010.) The turning point for me in my career was when I went from an RV user to an RV vendor and thinking that coming up with something that made RVers' experience easier and more comfortable would be accepted by the OEs and vendors. (It hasn't happened, yet, at least.) The accomplishment that I am most proud of is, as a one-man operation, building and growing a viable business with new technology from the ground up, including engineering, marketing, certification, sales, web services, etc. We have sold over 1,300 systems to date and sales for the 2018-2019 season should be over 500 units. Also, if the OEMs would pick this up we could save the end user up to 50 percent in the cost of installing the system.

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