July '19

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rv-pro.com July 2019 • RV PRO • 13 that was made here in Wichita for Cole- man-Mach," Rutherford says. "We've also recently marked similar milestones with Suburban, Maxxair, MCD, Marvair, and Dicor Corp." Climate-control is one common theme with Airxcel, given that several of its companies manufacture not only air-conditioners, but also heat pumps, thermostats, furnaces, water heaters and fans. Take that a little further, and the product list also includes covers and vents, roof products, and shades. However, Rutherford stresses that the real common theme shared among Airx- cel's various divisions is the strong brand recognition each company has within its respective categories. "Each of our business units operates as a division, with leadership in each of those divisions supporting our strategy," he says. "We're built around being a com- mitted global partner that provides unpar- alleled service by people who are product experts. We're fortunate to have leaders who understand that vision and embrace our customers and opportunities." It's those three pillars, Rutherford says, that have defined the company's past, underline its present and will pro- vide focus for its future. There's no question that Airxcel's vision comes from the top, however. Rutherford became company president (after serving as COO) in February 2015 and established its priorities as being developing new products, pursuing stra- tegic acquisition and market expansion. Aiding in pursuing those priorities since early last year is a new private equity partner, L. Catterton, whose previous and current holdings include well- known brands such as Caribou Coffee, CorePower Yoga, Peloton, and Wolfgang Puck, and perhaps most notably in the RV industry, Heartland RVs, which was later acquired by Thor Industries. " They've helped develop brand equity in all these cases," Rutherford says of L. Catterton. "In addition to that, they provide us access to signif- icant capital to support our growth ambitions, but their real strength is the brand equity." Certainly, the last few years have been good for Airxcel. In 2016, it acquired Dicor Corp., an Elkhart, Ind.- based operation that includes Dicor Products, which manufactures premier roofing systems; Seal Design, which makes sealing products for RV walls and windows; United Shade, which produces roller and pleated shades and pleated doors, and; Vixen, which creates composite panels for the RV market. Dicor Corp., and MCD, a McKinney, Texas-based manufacturer of roller shades that also was acquired in 2016, fall under the leadership of division President Anthony Wollschlager. Early this year, Airxcel purchased Aqua-Hot, the Frederick, Colo.-based manufacturer of RV heating systems, which remains under the direction of President Paul Harter. Rutherford is pictured in a 2019 Newmar Dutch Star luxury motorhome with MCD roller shades, one of many products that Airxcel makes for OEMs. With several well-known products in its RV lineup, it's doubtful that an OEM hasn't integrated something from an Airxcel brand into one of its products.

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