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Dustin Johns
Jeanetta Slabaugh with the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce presenting the Business of the Year award to Dustin Johns.

Travel Lite Receives Local Business of the Year Award


Indiana-based Travel Lite was recently awarded “New Business of the Year” from Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce.

The award was an unexpected but welcomed surprise. No one from Travel Lite had officially entered, but the chamber recognized the impact the manufacturer had made. Since Dustin Johns took over as CEO of the company January 2015, its staff went from 37 to more than 150 this February. In addition to giving back to the community, Travel Lite also has opened up a second factory for trailer production.

“And we’re still growing,” he said. “Our capacity is not even close to what it’s going to be at the second plant. The number of employees is just going to continue to rise over the next few months.”

He’s anticipating reaching 185 employees by May.

“It’s all about getting the right type of personnel,” said Johns. “And I’m so grateful to have such a great team dedicated to the vision of family, quality, and creativity to continue pushing Travel Lite into the future.”

As production ramps up on the Evoke, Johns and his team have been traveling across the U.S., at times hitting three different shows in three different states in one weekend.

“That’s the thing about initiative that we have with our dealers,” he said. “The service side of things and working shows and really creating a sales training that’s super in-depth.”

Johns said he regularly hears a few words crop up when people tour the Evoke’s interior, like “refreshing,” “futuristic,” and “unique.” That’s why come this year’s Open House, Travel Lite will be debuting an offering that leans more toward the company’s new direction and approach to recreation.

“Luckily for the industry, we’re fortunate that the Millennial crowd has actually taken to camping,” Johns said. “I don’t see this huge uptick with the younger crowd slowing down anytime soon.”

He stresses that the direction Travel Lite is taking is not to be unique simply for the sake of standing out, but rather to propel RVing into something that can be used daily, with redefining options for an array of personality types.

The company will be showcasing units from its X series during RVX this month in Salt Lake City. The ultralight units will boast a new finish described as neon electric blue.

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