With more than 1 million treadmills under his belt, calling Bill Hebb an industry veteran seems to be a bit of an understatement. But in hiring him to head up its motorized treadmill development, Canton, Ohio-based, Fitness Quest is showing the world it is ready to be a force, according to Dave Petersilge, vice president of retail.
"We are excited to have Bill on board," Petersilge told SNEWSÂ®. "There is an awful lot we know about fitness. But at the same time there is an awful lot we don't know about treadmills. Bill brings us that knowledge."
Hebb, who in the mid-90s founded Hebb Industries and its Trimline brand -- sold to Schwinn in 1998 and later morphed into the Nautilus-owned Trimline division -- will be responsible for "quarterbacking" treadmill design and manufacturing under the company's Edge/Excel and New Balance brands.
"There isn't a better fit for the New Balance brand then treadmills," Petersilge added. "And there isn't a better fit for Fitness Quest's success with treadmills than Bill."
Petersilge expects the treadmills to launch in Q3 with New Balance at a higher price point and the other brands coming in lower -- although, none will come in under $800. "You really can't maintain quality and margins at the same time at a lower price point,"
Petersilge said. "We'll leave that to other companies."
With still-undisclosed "unique proprietary features," Petersilge said that the company plans to hit the ground running.
"Hiring Bill is a big step toward our success. We have the name, the capabilities and now we have a top-notch team in place to show the New Balance brand isn't from just a TV company," he said. "We know marketing and distribution, but we were smart enough to know that we needed the brainpower to manufacture a quality treadmill. We now have that brainpower in place."