"Long Engine Life Starts With Reiff"
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The company founder, Bob Reiff, grew up in a large, traditional, middle class family, the oldest of 7 children. His mother was a stay-at-home Mom and his father was an engineer employed as Manager of Research & Development in a large company, and they owned a 120 acre beef farm where the family lived in Fredonia, WI. Bob thinks one reason his folks had the farm was to teach the 4 boys what hard work is. It worked. After getting up early each day to feed the cattle he drove an hour to attend classes at UW-Milwaukee where he earned his Bachelor degree in 3 yrs, and later an MS-Engineering degree. He paid for it himself by working part time on the farm, and during the summers a full time minimum wage ($2/hr) job in a hot, steamy canning factory in Random Lake, WI. Back then a college student could earn enough in a summer job to pay the tuition for the next school year, something that is no longer possible unfortunately.
The company began in the early 1980's with a small portable propane fired preheater that Bob designed as a project for a design course in college. The professor was impressed with it and entered it into a national design competition and it won an award for "excellence in engineering design" and "creative design". Bob built and sold them as a side business while employed with a Fortune 500 company. In 1992 we expanded into electric preheaters with the HotPad oil sump heaters. They soon dominated the business so we dropped the propane heater to concentrate on improving and growing the line of electric systems. In 1995 Bob quit his "day" job to devote full time to the preheater business. In 1996 we introduced the innovative HotBand cylinder heating system, which can be used either independently or with any oil sump heater. In 2001 we introduced the aluminum HotStrip oil sump heater, and the Standard and Turbo Systems which integrated the HotBand and HotStrip heaters together. In 2002 we introduced the Turbo XP System. In 2004 the company moved to larger facilities to better accommodate our growth. In 2008 we introduced the oil cooler heater option.
Other products are in development and we believe they will be equally well received by aircraft owners.
The business continues to grow steadily. Despite the poor state of general aviation and the economy, our 2013 sales were up 25% over the previous year, 2014 was up another 10%, and 2015 is up about the same. We have shipped over 25,000 systems all over the world.
We find this business very satisfying because we enjoy helping aircraft owners. We help by making their winter flying more convenient and safe, and reducing the cost of flying by extending the life of their expensive aircraft engines. Because our roots are in recreational aviation, we are always focused on the need to keep our prices down and provide not just a good product, but also a good value. This is why we have not raised our prices since 2010.
We are blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to general aviation this way, and we are grateful that our customers have chosen our products, enabling us to combine our livelihood with our passion... aviation. Our founder says he is "living the American Dream" because he started his adult life with nothing, put himself through college, invented a product, started a company to develop, manufacture, and market his inventions, and became successful at it. This is what America and "The American Dream" are all about... opportunity. Unfortunately for America, too many people today have a different view of what the American Dream is.
Bob and Debbie are married since 1983 and have two daughters. One is a Registered Nurse and the other a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Bob and Deb are both EAA Life Members, and Bob is also a member of AOPA and a NRA Life Member (because we need to protect ALL of our freedoms, not just flying). He serves on the Board of Directors of Koshkonong Mounds Country Club, where he and Deb are members. He has been a pilot and aircraft owner since 1978 and has built an RV-4 . Since this aircraft is Experimental it serves as a test bed for developing new products. We also own a Piper Cherokee 235 for travel and product testing.
Here is a TV show featuring our home town ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECG_fYtsuqg&sns=em
Last updated 1/29/2016