July '18

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Jim Rangitsch, Owner, Rangitsch Brothers RV Center M y father started the company in 1958, and I would come in after school to work wherever I was assigned. I worked in the cap shop, sweeping floors, wher- ever an extra set of hands were needed. My goals were to learn as much about the industry and continue with the family tradition. Two big obstacles for us came pretty close together. My father, RJ Rangitsch, passed away in February 2004. He was the founder of Rangitsch Brothers. Family and employees and everybody just stuck together and we made it through that transition. My brother had retired in 1999, so it was a big step for me. My family's pretty strong and we saw it through. Then, in 2007, the economic downturn hit. I kept the inventory low with just travel trailers and inexpensive motorhomes. A lot of my employees have been here 20-plus years or 30-plus years and they were very helpful. They put extra time in and didn't ask for a lot; they knew it was a tough time. They really helped me. They're like family with me here. We have a good group of about 40 employees. I had a good local bank for flooring and they understood things. I'm proud that we were able to keep going and maintain the business. Tim Gage, National Vice President, Cavco G rowing up in Elkhart County, Ind., was a sure sign I would likely end up in the RV/MH industry. Although I started in my late teens at Coachmen, it was short lived. I spent several summers in Prescott, Ariz., working at summer camps. My final summer took me to Phoenix, where I had a part-time job in production at Golden West Homes. Eventually, I ended up at Cavco Industries in 1986. When I was offered a manufacturer sales rep position at Cavco, I knew I would most likely continue in this career path. My only goal was to make enough money to survive in a large city and not have to worry about moving back to Indiana. Looking back, I now appreciate where I grew up and understand it had a large part of who I am today and where I ended up. My first industry show was at an RV show at the King Dome in Seattle. It was soon after I was elevated into a manufacturer sales rep position. To this day, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest are one of my favorite destinations because of my first trip and the opportunity it gave me to interact with the public. I'm most proud of Cavco starting off as a regional SW manufacturer. Fast forward to today: through education and Cavco's commitment to me and the industry overall, it has made us the top park model and cabin producer in the U.S. RV PRO: Origins July 2018 • RV PRO • 135 PHOTO COURTESY OPEN LENS BY PAMELA

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