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Old 08-10-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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Greetings From New Horizons CEO

Hey all,

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Bryan Tillett. You may have guessed by my “handle” that I came from Peterson Industries, manufacturer of Excel 5th wheels, where I spent 36 years of my life. I started there as a welder, then after a few years moved into purchasing where I was instrumental in implementing 3 different manufacturing/inventory control programs over the years. I spent 25 years as a partner and the final 20 years as President. I have to say that I learned from the best! Vaughn Peterson is the smartest man I know and understands the manufacturing process as well as anyone.
Peterson Industries closed due to the great recession. When the recession hit we had over 45 dealers. 6 years later and over a million $$ in “buy-backs” we could no longer keep ahead of the game.

I met Phil Brokenicky, the owner of New Horizons, and his wife, Karen many years back while we were both working an RV show in California. We spent the next 7 or 8 years getting together for morning coffee at the major RV shows across the Nation before the shows would start. Phil & I developed a tremendous respect for each other over the next few years. The same day Phil heard of our company closing, he called me and offered me the position of “Director of Operations” for N.H. His call was a beacon of light in one of my darkest hours. We closed on a Monday, and on Wednesday I began my duties at N.H.

Phil and I complimented each other’s talents quite nicely. He was an ex-banker and handled the financial side and even though I ran the entire company at Excel, I’m a manufacturing guy.

When I arrived, I was immediately impressed with the impeccable attention to detail the employees paid to their work. I was truly blown away with the quality of the product. This perfection was something Phil expected from anyone who worked for him. I have to admit, it took me a minute to re-program my brain from building 1 unit per day to 1 unit every 2 weeks or so. As I dug into things I soon realized that although N.H. builds an amazing product, there was plenty of areas where the company badly needed some manufacturing and management expertise. And as many of you know, it takes more than one person to turn around a culture within a company. It takes the entire team. I spent my first year breaking down status quo and reorganizing the “team”, earning trust and respect from the employees. We needed improvement in most every area, from the initial order process, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, all the way through the customer delivery experience.

Just as things were beginning to show some real progress, Phil became ill and lost a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Until the last month before his death, he controlled the company finances and did his best to offer insight for the future. Upon Phil’s death on December 31, the company was left without our leader. Of course, this caused some major disruption. Cole and Drew barely had time to work through their grieving process, the bank was wanting answers, and everything was up in the air. This uncertainty caused disruptions in the build process, stretched lead times to ridiculous lengths, and caused sales to suffer badly.

In April, the Board of Directors was re-organized and I was named CEO of New Horizons. I feel I still have the ability to see things from an “outsider’s” perspective and I recognize where our strengths as well as our weaknesses are. I plan to build on those strengths and improve our weaknesses. My management style is not one where I believe things can be better by waving a magic wand. I believe in everyone coming to work every day and doing their part to make the company better. I believe every person who walks out the door at the end of the day needs to be able to say yes when they ask themselves “Did I make a difference today?” I believe that if we just try to get a little better each day, and pay more attention to the process instead of just the end goal, then we will look back and realize how far we’ve come in a short time.

So… why did I come on this forum to share this long-winded introduction? Because, just like you New Horizons Family Members, I have faith in this company. I believe N.H. builds the finest 5th wheel in the World! We do a LOT of things right! Are we perfect? Of course not. One of my Excel dealers use to say “Until God starts building RVs, there won’t be a perfect one!” Phil Brokenicky poured his wealth and life into this company in order to be a part of YOUR dream. He was a man of great pride. New Horizons is a GREAT company. The biggest thing missing was strong, decisive leadership. I plan to bring that leadership and provide new focus and a new direction.

So, if you are in Junction City, please stop in and say hi. I want to meet our family members. If you’re considering N.H. for your next purchase I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.

I plan to be on this forum frequently. If I have something constructive to add to your conversations, I hope you won’t mind if I join it. I suppose I may have to change my “handle” from ExcelRVGuy to NHRVGuy 😊

Kindest Regards
Bryan Tillett
New Horizons RV Corp.

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Old 08-10-2017, 10:03 PM   #2
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Bryan, As the previous owners of two Excels, we welcome your contrasting perspective to N.H. and know it will be a very positive influence. Also, in a world of "bigger is better" trend in RVing, we want to remind you that some of us still like the road less traveled and in the spirit of the '09 RT that we had, we are reminded that it is almost impossible to find a quality coach in the 28-32' FP's that will still fit in many of our favorite national forest campgrounds & dispersed camping areas while holding up to the riggers of those less than stellar roads. We would be thrilled to see that there is room for some of these semi-custom considerations in NH future plans. We look forward to designing ours with Cole. We took both the N.H. & Excel factory tours and both felt like family. David & Sheila Knapp

David, Sheila & Stella the Beagle pup SKP Full-timers since 2008
'12 FORD F-350 Dually King Ranch crew cab, Firestone airbags, 52" hitch extension
'12 Lance 1181, all options + 250W solar, pushed by '09 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited + Blue Ox 5K tow bar
'93 Fleetwood Oak Park w/12'x34' lanai @ Pioneer Village in N. Ft Myers, FL
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:13 PM   #3
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Hi Dave & Sheila.

Thank you for your kind words. We are completely re-designing our Summit line. We have the prototype, a 37 Island Kitchen model almost finished and will be debuting it at the Hershey, PA show next month.

We've taken over 3,000# out of the weight and are priced very competitive to our major competitor. When you talk to Cole, ask him about our NEW 32IK
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:32 AM   #4
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Bryan, what a refreshing message from a CEO. Thank you for taking the time to write your message and participating on this forum. We wish you and NH the best success and look forward to hearing how your company will continue to excel under your leadership.
Tom and Gloria 2017 Newmar Ventana 4369, TOAD: 2015 GMC Canyon, Blue Ox Towbar, Baseplate and M&G Braking System
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:12 AM   #5
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Loved our Excel! Towed it over every hill and into every valley we could find in ten years. Now in a coach as full-timers with a few extra years under our belts.

You well know that the market is crying for well (quality)-built RVs. Thanks for stating your position on the same in this public forum.

Welcome - and best to you and the entire New Horizon team - see you at the shows!
2015 Itasca Ellipse QD | 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:39 AM   #6
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I just completed the purchase of a New Horizons Majestic three days ago. I visited the facility and worked with Cole through the design and finalizing our purchase. During that process I met Brian and the hole group at New Horizons. My wife and i walked away with a very comfortable feeling that this company has it's heart and soul in the right place and that these guys will remain strong and at the top of their industry.

This will be my 5th and probably final RV purchase but again you never know. The feeling of being lost in the shuffle of other companies after ordering other new RV's does not exist in this environment. I run a good size company myself and was very impressed to see the culture that is being continued by Brian, Cole and the staff at New Horizons after loosing their leader.

My wife and I are very excited about the next few month as our new unit begins to take shape. We also are excited to see the promising future of this company as they move into their next era.

2015 Lifestyle 36FW
2015 F350 Dually, 4x4, LB, Crew cab
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