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John Sammut Gives Final Presentation at Newmar Dealer Meeting

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More than 200 attendees sat in a ballroom inside the swanky Broadmoor Convention Center in Colorado Springs on Wednesday for the keynote speeches opening up the 2023 Newmar Dealers Meeting. A spring snowstorm led to the cancellation of a few flights into airports in the Springs and Denver on Tuesday evening, but for the most part, the storm brought some much-needed moisture to what’s called Colorado’s Front Range.

The spirits inside the ballroom were not to be dampened, however, as Newmar President Casey Tubman and Vice President of Sales John Sammut updated the crowd with the latest offerings in the 2024 product cycle.

None of that was available for reporting on Wednesday, however, as Newmar’s annual updates are notoriously some of the most tightly-held secrets in the business. Those details are a day away from being public.

Tubman did make a promise in his presentation to the crowd that the company would boost its efforts to support its dealers in the coming year, so that they could in turn be closer to their customers “getting even closer to them than they already are.”

John Sammut
Sammut had plenty of people to thank during what will be his final presentation.

Tubman got to introduce Sammut for the final time, singing the praises of the company’s long-time VP of sales who is retiring after 19 years with the company and more than 26 in the industry.

“John was instrumental in doubling our retail customers,” Tubman said, noting that over his tenure there Newmar’s Class A market share went from 5% to about 13% overall, and Class A diesel market share went to 27%, up from just 6% previously.

As he’s done every year, Sammut delivered the details on what’s new in 2024, particularly the lifestyle changes that mean major changes and improvements to certain models.

Veterans of the conference are always wondering what Sammut would be wearing for his presentation on any given year. Last year, when the event was in Orlando, Florida, Sammut took the stage on an air boat, looking like an Everglades Ranger. In prior years he’s come out carrying an alligator, or singing and playing guitar, or riding a horse when the meeting was in Dallas. This year he was dressed like a Top Gun pilot; appropriate considering the Air Force Academy calls Colorado Springs home and the theme of the conference is “soaring to new heights.”

After running through the changes and upgrades for 2024, Sammut took time to thank those in his life who have helped him during his career and even acknowledged his first boss and mentor, who hired him to work at a Ford dealership in Denver despite having just graduated from college with a degree in microbiology.

“I would be remiss not to say thank you,” Sammut told the audience. “It has been a privilege to be part of the Newmar leadership team. It has truly been my honor and privilege. Thank you so much.” His emotion shown through clearly on the giant video screens that flanked him on the stage as he received a standing ovation from the audience.

Newmar President Casey Tubman
During his speech Wednesday morning, Casey Tubman vowed to strengthen the relationship between the company and its dealers so that they can become closer to their customers.

Matt Ellinger was also introduced to the audience as the new vice president of sales, once Sammut steps down.

Dave Simso Jr. is one of the dealers in attendance. Dave Sr. started Dave’s RV Center in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1970, so Dave Jr., now the owner, grew up in the business. When his father ran things it carried multiple lines, Simso said, but after he took over in 1993 he carries just one brand: Newmar.

“There’s nothing that ever compares to the Newmar product,” Simso said. And asked whether just carrying one brand limited his customer base in any way, he just smiled.

“When they walk in our place to buy a motorhome – the very best motorhome on the market – they’re joining our exclusive little club. We treat you like an absolute rock star.”

Though Newmar dealers make up most of the attendees to the three day conference, suppliers are also in attendance including Freightliner, Spartan, BASF, Industrial Finishes and RiverPark.

Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is the digital content editor of RV PRO magazine.

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