30 years ago, the seeds of what would someday result in Challenger Door were sown in the small town of Nappanee, Indiana.
Merlin Yoder founded his first company in the barn of his family farm. Nappanee Window took root in 1989 and after much hard work and many long days, it grew into a profitable business with 18 employees and 12,000 square-feet of manufacturing space.
The company built products for the thriving manufacturing sector of Elkhart County. Merlin was able to identify with the hard-working folks who were his clients. The concession owners and service technicians working from the back of their cargo trailers had the empathy of a man who also had to put in long hours to provide for his family.
In 2000, Merlin sold his interest in Nappanee Window. When he did so, he lost his ability to steer the direction of that company. When the perfect storm came along and the company made the difficult decision to release Merlin, he immediately opened a new company, Challenger Door. With his new company, he went back to those same basic principles that had made Nappanee Window so successful.
With over 20 years of manufacturing experience and their treatment of their customers, Challenger Door grew exponentially. Today, they employ over 300 workers and occupy a facility that covers 350,000 square feet.
Challenger Door focuses heavily on building doors for the RV industry, while also creating innovative products for Specialty and Cargo trailers. They’ve grown since those first days in Merlin Yoder’s barn, but their values and commitment to their customers remains the same.