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July '18

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Joe Greenlee, Chief Financial Officer, Forest River J oe Greenlee, CFO of Forest River, graduated from Marian College in 1981 and started working at the Elkhart Truth. His mom worked in the van conversion business, as a book- keeper for Dick Strefling at Gladiator Vans. In high school, Greenlee worked summers in the paint shop. His dad worked in construction, but ultimately worked in the RV industry for Sportscoach in the lamination department. In August 1983, Greenlee started at Coachmen Industries as a group controller in the corporate office working for Phil Lux in the Parts & Supply Group. He found out that after three weeks of working that he was supposed to have interviewed with Bill Angelo, the corporate controller at Coachmen Industries, but Lux never had him do that. It was sort of "overlooked." In 1985, Greenlee was transferred to Coachmen RV at the complex in Middlebury, Ind., and worked for the president, Bob Wasieko, as the group controller over the Coachmen RV companies. About a year later, Claire Corson Skinner came in as president. About six weeks later, she told Greenlee he would be reporting to Lux Co. the next morning. He didn't have a choice. So, he reported to Lux Co. the next day. After being at Lux Co. for four years, he went on a two-year hiatus from the RV industry. In 1993, a partner with an audit firm working with Cobra Industries asked him if he would like to work for Cobra as a compliance officer. He accepted. Cobra went public on Oct. 27, 1993, and Greenlee started with the firm Nov. 29, 1993. Two years to the day of going public, Cobra Industries filed for bankruptcy Oct. 27, 1995. The Board of Directors fired Pete Liegl before the bankruptcy in January 1995. During that two-year period, Greenlee worked his way up from compliance officer to controller and then went to inter- view for the CFO position. His interview for becoming the CFO was a short one. The chairman he was interviewing with told Greenlee that he "… didn't have enough gray hair to be a CFO." But through attrition of CFOs leaving Cobra, he ended up being "the last guy standing" and ended up the CFO anyway. His goal was to be a CFO by the age of 35 and he missed it by one year. Greenlee was 36. When Pete Liegl bought certain assets of Cobra Industries from bankruptcy to form Forest River he asked Greenlee if he would like to be CFO of Forest River. Greenlee says, "Since I wouldn't have anything else to do since we just went through the bankruptcy, the answer is absolutely, yes!" Forest River started in January 1996. It only took three years to surpass Cobra Industries' total revenues. During the first nine years of Forest River, there were nine acquisitions and the company experienced tremendous growth. Those businesses were acquired without borrowing any money. Berkshire Hathaway bought Forest River on Aug. 31, 2005. Three years later, on Dec. 26, 2008, certain assets of Coachmen RV were purchased during a severe ice storm. This was the last large acquisition that has been done for Forest River. Greenlee has seen a lot of ups and downs and consolida- tions in the RV industry over his 31 years. – As told to RV PRO 28 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪

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