Industry News – Nov/Dec 2017

      Comments Off on Industry News – Nov/Dec 2017

Club Car donates new golf cart to help disabled at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center • Nivel Hosts Dealer Roundtable at its Jacksonville, Fla. Headquarters • Flight Systems Industrial Products Acquires ARS Solutions, LLC • Tomberlin Launches First Electric Power Steering Model • Textron Exec Honored for his Inspirational Work • Red Hawk Hires Outbound Operations Manager

Club Car donates new golf cart to help disabled at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

From Nefeteria Brewster, Published on October 4, 2017

Club Car dedicated a 2017 golf cart, valued at more than $16,000, to the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center to help get disabled veterans from the parking lot to the front of the facility.

Although the uptown medical center holds two rows of handicapped spaces around the facility, Fred Palmer, a Club Car spokesman, said the new golf cart can further help those who are unable to secure those spots.

“Transportation on both campuses in downtown and here in uptown is very important to get around,” he said. “They have parking and then they have transportation needs within the campus, so I just see this as a fulfillment in partnership with that.”

Bob Frasier, a voluntary service chief for the medical center who received the key to the new cart Wednesday, said the unique valet service is effective immediately.

Phones will also be added to poles in the parking lot by the end of the year for visitors who plan to use the new door-to-door service, he said.

“We’re going to continue to monitor the parking situation here and take steps as needed to make it the best possible experience for our veterans when they get here.” Frasier said.

“So what we’re hoping to do eventually is we’re going to add phones, and we’re going to have a phone number for veterans. When they park they can actually call and identify their location. Then we can have a car clerk meet them at their car and have door-to-door service that way.”

Asked how services will be maintained, Frasier said it would depend significantly on those who are willing to volunteer as drivers for up to four hours each week.

“That would help us out greatly,” he said. “This is a pretty big step for us, so of course in order for us to continue to do this we’re going to need people to volunteer their hours.”

Those interested in volunteering can visit or email Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center at ❂

Fred Palmer with Club Car hands keys for new golf cart to Bob Frasier, a voluntary service chief for the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, on Wednesday. NEFETERIA BREWSTER/STAFF

Nivel Hosts Dealer Roundtable at its Jacksonville, Fla. Headquarters

October 4, 2017 – Engaging with customers is the key to success, which is why Nivel hosted its first Dealer Roundtable at its Jacksonville, Fla. headquarters this past October. The new Nivel showroom was the setting for the intimate gathering of golf car dealers to discuss a range of topics that are important in the industry. The dealers were treated to a fun evening at Topgolf on Monday, October 2, and then Tuesday, October 3, attended the all-day roundtable. Benjamin Knox, vice president of Specialty Vehicles B2B, welcomed the dealers and set the tone for the informative session. Regional territory manager – Gulf States, Mark Mildenberger, hosted the event and led the dealers through a conversation on the benefits of CRM software, a discussion on Nivel pricing,

The dealers were treated to a fun evening at Topgolf on Monday, October 2, and then Tuesday, October 3, attended the all-day roundtable. Benjamin Knox, vice president of Specialty Vehicles B2B, welcomed the dealers and set the tone for the informative session. Regional territory manager – Gulf States, Mark Mildenberger, hosted the event and led the dealers through a conversation on the benefits of CRM software, a discussion on Nivel pricing, inventory, and shipping, and listened as dealers gave their valuable feedback and opinions.

A question-and-answer session was held with the president and CEO of Nivel, David Coolidge. Representatives from purchasing, new products, sales and tech were on hand to discuss their departments’ roles in partnering with dealers. Scott Howat, vice president of SV marketing, spoke to the group about Nivel’s web presence, the catalog and other marketing strategies. The roundtable delivered an array of valuable insights and perspectives on the issues the golf car industry faces. The dealers were able to proactively engage in discussions with Nivel leadership, network with the others in attendance and gain beneficial information to help their businesses thrive. Following the success of this roundtable, Nivel plans to hold similar events around the country to involve its dealers and let them know their voice matters. ❂

Nivel Corporate Offices in Jacksonville, Fla.

Flight Systems Industrial Products Acquires ARS Solutions, LLC

August 28, 2017 – Flight Systems Industrial Products (FSIP), located in Carlisle, PA, is pleased to announce that it has acquired ARS Solutions, LLC located at 80 S Fairbank Street in Addison, Illinois.

FSIP is a leading remanufacturer of electronic products found on electric-and gas-powered vehicles. They also provide manufacturing services, a variety of distributed products and assist OEMs with new application designs. Their product line supports many platforms including industrial trucks, golf carts, scrubber-sweepers, mining cars/locomotives, electric boats, go-karts and ground support equipment.

ARS Solutions, LLC has provided electronic repair services since 2010 to the material handling industry, also offering repair services on electronic and electromechanical parts for the appliance industry, including dishwashers, ranges, refrigerators, and washer and dryer controls.

Barry Bowman, president of FSIP, and Sergio Proccichiani, CEO of ARS, finalized FSIP’s acquisition of ARS on Friday, August 25, 2017. That location officially started doing business as FSIP on Monday, August 28, 2017. Proccichiani assumed the role of operations manager of the Midwest location. Bowman states, “It has been a goal of FSIP for several years to develop a footprint in the Midwest region. We already serve many customers in this area, but one of the comments that we have heard over the years is that the time lag when shipping products to and from our PA facility is inconvenient. We will now be able to provide a much shorter turnaround time and in some cases be able to provide same day service to this region. We will also be very diligent in maintaining ample stock of rebuilt exchange, on-the-shelf ready to ship, units of the most popular controls and products.” Proccichiani adds, “I am very excited to be part of the FSIP organization. FSIP’s experience, product offerings and reputation within the markets made it an easy decision to align with them. It will be my responsibility to ensure the new location provides FSIP customers in the area with the same quality and service they have come to expect.”

After 49 years of growth, along with their strong OEM and manufacturer relationships, FSIP’s capabilities now include over 12,000 part numbers consisting of over 9,000 remanufactured, 2,000 manufactured and 1,000 distributed part numbers, while employing more than 115 personnel. ❂

Visit Flight Systems Industrial Products (FSIP) at or contact them for assistance with your business needs.

717-254-3747 or 1-800-333-1194 (PA Location)
708-546-3763 or 1-800-804-5711 (IL Location)

Flight Systems
Industrial Products (FSIP), Carlisle, PA.

Tomberlin Launches First Electric Power Steering Model

The new standard on the Emerge SS Coupe and SS Saloon

Have you ever tried to maneuver a golf car along a tight and winding cart path, through a crowd or out of a tight parking space? If so, Tomberlin has just made your golf car driving experience easier and safer with the introduction of electric power steering on their new Emerge SS Coupe and SS Saloon golf cars. It’s point-and-go technology in a golf car, allowing you to drive and control your Tomberlin with finger-touch ease.

Power steering is certainly not a new idea, having revolutionized the automotive industry decades ago. Yet Tomberlin, known for innovation and leading the market in safety, styling and performance is the first national manufacturer to do so as a standard feature on a golf car and low speed vehicle (LSV) model.

“Since 1963, we’ve delivered numerous industry firsts at Columbia Vehicle Group, led by the heritage of our parent company the Nordic Group. At Tomberlin, we simply go farther, driving both our product and people to deliver to the highest standards. We operate in a white hot competitive market with some big players, so our growth vision demands a consumer-focused perspective that drives our product development. Simply put, we are not held captive by charge barns or fleet golf cars, so our heads-up consumer-facing spirit allows us to immerse ourselves into the dealer consumer experience. With all pun intended, this is less about a power steering feature and more reflective of a culture that allows consumers sufficient power to steer our decisions” stated Mike Tomberlin, a member of the leadership team for the Columbia Vehicle Group.

To validate consumer demand and market acceptance, Tomberlin quietly provided prototype units into the most competitive markets in America. The Villages, FL, is widely known as the golf car capital of the world, with tens of thousands of golf cars being driven on a daily basis. In this golf car hotbed consumers are very demanding, competition is keen, and most dealers claim to have seen it all! According to Ken Rich, one of the local Tomberlin Dealers in The Villages, FL, “Tomberlin’s integration of power steering is brilliant. Smooth, in control and a blast to drive. Without a doubt the Emerge SS Coupe will be a hot seller.” One of the first customers to evaluate it over a two-week period was Bill Frishette who stated it this way – “You guys hit it out of the park with power steering. This is going to be big!“

On the west coast, the first day the SS Coupe hit their showroom Stephanie Finley responded with this quote – “The customer response to the SS Coupe is incredible!” After her first drive she summed it up in one word, “Yes!”

Within days of their announcement, Tomberlin’s first 2 production runs of the Coupe and Saloon were fully allocated to their authorized dealers. “Our Nordic Group heritage of being first-to-market will continue to reflect our absolute commitment to keep our dealers stocked with product that simply delivers a remarkable consumer experience. As our dealers begin to demonstrate to consumers the ease of operation with Tomberlin’s EPS we’ll incorporate power steering into other models and continue to own the ride in the electric personal vehicle market,” stated Chris Plummer, vice president of the consumer group for the Columbia Vehicle Group.

Tomberlin’s focus on disruptive value expansion is quickly making the brand the most highly sought after EV dealership in America. Tomberlin’s electric power steering feature is currently available in their new 2018 Emerge SS Coupe and SS Saloon. These two new models are designed to carry 2, 4 or 6 passengers – all featuring electric power steering, low profile 14” radial tires, custom tooled wheels, super bright LED headlights, exclusive Tomberlin red color codes by PPG, layered upholstered seats, redesigned a-arms, longer shocks, lengthened sway bar and a customized steering wheel with a matching graphite dash package. All delivered to their dealers for the same price as the 2017 SS model. ❂

About Tomberlin
Tomberlin, a Nordic Group owned brand, designs, manufactures and distributes advanced electric vehicles targeting neighborhood and close-in commuting use. Tomberlin utilizes a community based distribution network throughout the USA, South America, Europe and Asia.

About Columbia Vehicle Group, Inc.
Based in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Columbia is a premier electric vehicle manufacturer whose history dates back to 1946. Columbia has one of the most expansive electric vehicle product line-ups in the world producing electric vehicles for private use as well as commercial and industrial applications that include models that move from 1 to 24 people, carry up to 6,000 pounds of payload, tow up to 16,000 pounds and travel up to 25 miles per hour.

Columbia Vehicle Group, Inc. is a member of the Nordic Group of Companies, Ltd. Nordic Group (headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin) is a privately-held holding company consisting of subsidiaries with 22 facilities, and 24 marketing units around the world with over 2,400 associates. Nordic Group member companies manufacture and distribute plastic, seating and transportation products worldwide for industrial, commercial and consumer markets. For more information, visit

Textron Exec Honored for his Inspirational Work

From Damon Cline, Published on October 10, 2017

The inspiration for Textron Specialized Vehicles’ RPM campus is being honored by the state’s main manufacturing-assistance program for being an inspiration himself. Textron vice president Jason Alford, who helped create the Reaching Potential through Manufacturing program for at-risk Richmond County students, on Tuesday received a Georgia Tech 2017 Faces of Manufacturing Award during an event attended by local officials, business leaders and dozens of his closest colleagues.

“I can tell you without a doubt he is the hardest-working person I’ve ever met in my entire career,” Textron operations director Heather Meyer said. And all of Alford’s work is done without the use of his legs.

A motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the chest down just two weeks after joining Textron at age 25 in 2003. He returned to work after months of surgery and physical therapy, working his way up to his current position as head of the company’s integrated supply chain.

“You’ve heard the old adage: Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it,” Alford said.

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Faces of Manufacturing program highlights industry workers with innovative and inspirational stories to get more young people to seek manufacturing careers, said Elliot Price, Augusta area director of the university’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Program, which oversees the three-year-old initiative.

“Manufacturing is a good job,” Price said. “A lot of our houses are being paid for and a lot of our cars are being paid for by the support of our manufacturing base.” Alford was among four award recipients based on more than 13,000 online votes. “I think he’s probably No. 1,” Price joked. “But I can’t say that officially.” Alford thanked school officials for their work in helping create the RPM program, which enables students in danger of dropping out an opportunity to earn their diploma while earning money – and marketable manufacturing skills – by building components and sub-assemblies for E-Z-GO golf cars and other Textron brands at a former manufacturing facility on Mike Padgett Highway.

Alford, an Augusta native who grew up in the Harrisburg area, said he shares his story of overcoming adversity with RPM students to inspire them to work harder. He also shares it with new hires to give them a glimpse into Textron’s corporate culture.

“The company didn’t really owe me anything, but they stuck by me and they allowed me to come back and work part-time until I could work myself back up into a full-time situation,” Alford said. “So when I interview people I tell them the story because I want them to know what kind of company they’ll be joining.” ❂

Textron Vice President, Jason Alford.

Red Hawk Hires Outbound Operations Manager

Red Hawk,

Neil Zarsona

Red Hawk is excited to welcome Neil Zarsona as the outbound operations manager at the Maryland facility. Recognized for his keen attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond for the customer, Neil is an excellent addition to the Red Hawk team. Neil’s focus will be on the pick, pack and ship operations, with an added concentration on order accuracy and timeliness.

“Red Hawk is a great organization with a family atmosphere. I joined Red Hawk earlier this year and it has been an exciting journey already. 12 years of experience in operations management has taught me to value customer-centric companies – Red Hawk fits the bill. I’m excited not only about working with this team, but also about the future of the company.” ❂