Winnebago Industries names new CEO

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 5, 2008

FOREST CITY, Iowa &8212; Winnebago Industries Inc., board of directors

accepted the letter of resignation of Bruce Hertzke from the board and from his position as chairman of the board and chief executive officer effective May 5. The board announced the appointment of Bob Olson to the company&8217;s board and chief executive officer, in addition to his current position of president, also effective May 5.

Hertzke, 56, is a 36-year veteran of the company and has held the position of chairman and CEO since April 1998. He was elected to the additional position of president in May 1998 and relinquished that position in 2005 as part of the company&8217;s succession plan.

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Olson, 56, is a career Winnebago Industries executive with 38 years of service with the Company. He has served as president since May 2007.

Olson joined Winnebago Industries in 1969 as an hourly production employee, serving in various material and management positions prior to becoming the general manager of fabrication in 1986. In 1996 he was appointed vice president of manufacturing and in 2006 he became senior vice president of operations.

Independent board member Jon E. Herlitz, 65, who had served on the company&8217;s board since 2005, died on March 23. Herlitz served on the company&8217;s sales and marketing and human resources committees. No successor has yet been named to fill the resulting vacancy on the board.

Sales and product development and human resources committees.

In separate action, the board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents a share, payable on July 8, to shareholders of record as of June 6.

Local seed dealer serves on planning council

Once a year during Fontanelle&8217;s annual travel and training meeting, a select group of dealers meet with company managers as an important element in company planning. Doug Thompson of Hayward was one of the 12 Fontanelle dealers to serve on this year&8217;s council held in Lincoln, Neb., on Feb. 22.

&8220;Getting feedback from this group of dealers is one of the ways we can ensure that our planning is targeting areas that our dealers feel is important to their future success which builds our future success,&8221; Steve Pike, president, Fontanelle Hybrids, Fontanelle, Neb., said. &8220;For the first time this year we asked the dealers to go through a strengths, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis for us. It was enlightening to hear how many strengths and opportunities the dealers identified and how we can approach many of the weaknesses and threats to make us a stronger brand in the marketplace.&8221;

&8220;We are fortunate that we can kick off our TNT meeting with this group,&8221; Pike said. &8220;It&8217;s always interesting to see the council members circulating among the larger group of dealers exchanging ideas and filling them in on what topics the council covered. That idea sharing has become an integral part of the TNT event.&8221;

Fontanelle Hybrids markets corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, alfalfa and sunflowers in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and portions of Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas as an independent operating company within American Seeds Inc., a holding company of Monsanto.

KIMT hires account executive

KIMT&8217;s general sales manager, Mike Fitzgerald, has announced Billy Krefft has accepted the position of account executive.

Krefft comes to KIMT from On Media where he worked in sales. He previously worked at KIMT as an account executive.

Krefft and his family reside in Clear Lake, Iowa. When he&8217;s not working, he enjoys fishing and hunting.

KIMT wins awards

KIMT&8217;s news director, John &8220;JJ&8221; Murray announced that the news department received two awards from the 2008 Northwest Broadcast News Association Eric Sevareid Awards.

The association is an organization, chartered in 1949, of radio and television journalists working in the Upper Midwest region. Its aim is to serve and improve the broadcast industry through educational and professional programs.

Awards are given to radio and television stations for achievements in spot news, general reporting, series, documentary, feature news, sports reporting, newscast, best audio, and best photojournalism.

Greg Berry and Jeff Zell won an Award of Merit in the Best Sportscast/Program Small Market TV category for their &8220;Pigskin Preview&8221; story.

This story was about sports overtime, which gave a preview for the 2007 high school football season. The department also won this award in 2005. Erin Therese won an Award of Merit for her &8220;Tazed & Confused&8221; story in the General Reporting Small Market TV category.

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