Thor Industries Inc. announced today (May 21) the appointment of respected industry veteran Chris Hermon as president of subsidiary Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, replacing Brian Brady who retired May 1. Hermon will officially step into his new role May 29.
Hermon brings a management history marked by rapid and prolonged success to the Elkhart, Ind.-based towable builder, including a 10-year term overseeing several high-growth brands for Thor affiliate Keystone RV Co. Most recently, Hermon co-founded Forest River Inc.’s Prime Time Manufacturing Inc. division in 2009 while serving as vice president of sales.
“For the last several weeks I spent time with Heartland, talking to people and getting feedback on what was needed,” said Bob Martin, RV group president for Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor, in a press release. “One of the main things I noted was that Heartland is filled with great talent and needed a strong leader. I interviewed many quality candidates, but in the end I felt that Chris was the right fit for the Heartland team.”
Hermon, who entered the industry with Coachmen Industries Inc. in 1998, said that he viewed the move as a “natural progression” in his career path and was intent on maintaining the company’s reputation for product innovation and market penetration.
“I’ve found that if you are a leader in product development and dealer relationships, exceptional success is the result in this industry,” said Hermon, 42. “It’s apparent that is already in place, as Heartland has a strong track record of bringing great products to market and quickly harnessing market share. My goal is to continue driving product development and strengthening our dealer relationships.”
He added, “Presidential positions in this industry don’t come along very often, particularly with a company of the stature of Heartland. I am definitely looking forward to working with the existing team and steering Heartland to its next chapter of success.”
Heartland management, in turn, sees Hermon’s appointment as a springboard to continuing the growth path engineered under Brady’s guidance. “The entire Heartland team looks forward to working with Chris in our pursuit of intelligently growing our business,” stated Coley Brady, vice president of sales.
An Ohio native, Hermon served in the U.S. Air Force from 1988-1992 and the Air Force Reserves until 1995. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana’s Ball State University. He and his wife of 16 years, Shawn, have two sons and reside in Goshen. During his time with Keystone, Hermon was general manager for the company’s Cougar, Hornet and Hideout travel trailer brands, charged with growing sales in the industry’s most hotly contested segment.
“I actually hired Chris at Keystone, so I know his work ethic and the way he manages,” Martin related. “He established himself as one of the company’s top performers. Heartland has tremendous potential and I am confident that Chris will make the company even stronger. He has the insight, commitment and leadership skills to not only push Heartland to higher levels, but also add depth to Thor’s already solid, aggressive management team.”
Heartland RV, headquartered in Elkhart, has enjoyed innovative industry-leading success for many years, and offers a variety of towables, including travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth-wheels and destination trailers. For more information, visit www.heartlandrvs.com. Hermon can be contacted at [email protected] or (574)266-8726.