Open Roads Complete RV
Drew Tutton always wanted to be a Marine. He always has respected the military, especially the Marine Corps, for its discipline and the solid work ethic it teaches, but life—and foolish teenage mistakes—got in his way. Drew’s dad served in Vietnam and his stepfather was a Marine. Both men exhibited a strong work ethic. “But between these two men, there was a great love for country, and it was taught that you honor your country and those that serve,” he said.
“Through this environment, from a very young age, I’ve had a strong love for the red, white and blue. Then there was a time in my life that I came to know our Lord and Savior. I believe it was then I realized even more how special those who serve our country are. I believe it’s our strong military that allows us to be one nation under God.”
Even though he had hardworking role models and a mother who insisted on Drew and his siblings attend Sunday school, Drew’s childhood was rough. They struggled financially, moved frequently and experienced a lot of instability. And he got into a lot of trouble.
Instead of enlisting in the service, he found himself in the back of a police cruiser after a late night out causing trouble, a regular pastime of his youth. This landed him in some legal trouble at just 17 years old, which changed the course of his life, as his recruiter told him he was no longer eligible to enlist.
“The way I grew up, the harder life was the more I enjoyed it,” he said. “I loved to fight. I ran from cops. As a 16 or 17-year-old kid, I crossed every boundary. That arrest experience was an eye-opener. Once you get arrested, sit in the back of a cop car, stay a night or two in jail and then to have someone tell you what you thought you were going to do after school was no longer available to you, you start to think about where your life is going.”
Even though the charge was later dropped, it left a lasting impact. Before this happened, Drew had dropped out of high school and was working in construction. But his high school football coach was not okay with Drew’s choice. He found Drew on the job site and encouraged him to return to school, where he had made arrangements for him to return to summer school and night school so Drew could graduate on time. He briefly stayed with another teacher before moving in with his best friend’s family while he finished school. In fact, he was supposed to go into the Marines with this friend, who is still in the Marine Corps today.
Throughout his childhood, Drew had a strong relationship with God, so he relied on that as he matured, overcame his background and previous mistakes, and moved to Atlanta in 1992, where he went into construction.
And then he met a beautiful girl, Dana, and everything changed. They were married in 1993. Her father was in the car business, and he needed a good sales guy. Drew was just what his independent car lots needed. As he grew in the automotive industry and eventually worked his way up to General Manager with the Ed Voyles Automotive Group, the opportunity arose for him to buy an RV. However, after a couple of trips in it, he had a problem with the generator. So he took it in for repair, but found that the service centers he went to would keep the RV for weeks, with little to no communication and never got around to fixing the problem.
Luckily, he found Ronnie Cannady, an experienced RV technician, who would come to his house and make repairs as needed. Even though Drew had his full-time job at Ed Voyles, he and Dana were always on the lookout for the next business opportunity. They knew that Ronnie wanted to open his own RV repair location someday but didn’t have the funding to support it.
So Drew and Ronnie got together and in June 2014, opened Open Roads Complete RV (Open Roads) with the understanding that customer service and communication was the number one priority. They decided no repair would take more than a week, and they would honor military and law enforcement personnel with great discounts.
“People with RVs want their unit repaired quickly so they can get back on the road,” he said.
Open Roads was first just a repair shop, but following requests from customers to get into the retail side, they partnered with Winnebago as the only towable franchise in Georgia. Within the first month, they sold eight units, which is an impressive feat, especially considering their marketing consisted of social media and word of mouth.
They opened a sales center on Highway 92 in Woodstock. Today, in addition to that Woodstock location, they have a full-service dealership with sales, service and a parts store at Highway 411/I-75 in White, GA; a sales location on Cobb Parkway in Marietta, GA; and a service facility in Acworth, GA.
“The goal of Open Roads is to give you an environment of people who care and want to serve you, and we do it with hard work, ethics and appreciation of others,” Drew said.
They certainly show their appreciation for the military. In addition to supporting causes such as Operation Appreciation that helps military members, veterans and their families, Open Roads offers a 20 percent discount on parts and service and $500 off of the best negotiated prices on sales.
“These men and women give of themselves. They sacrifice their time away from their families, so if we can facilitate a little family time on the open road, then that is the least we can do,” Drew said. “They demonstrate love for something else other than yourself. Those who are willing to give up their own lives or put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of the entire country, are those we want to honor. That is a principle that is engrained at Open Roads. If you are not a server, you don’t need to be working for us.”
Even though Drew had a fair share of run-ins with the law as a kid, he feels the same way about law enforcement personnel.
“They were right – I was the jerk running from them and I deserved every bit of trouble I got,” he said. “As you get older, you realize the danger these guys face, and you develop an appreciation for that.”
Though his life may not have turned out as he planned, Drew has found his love and respect for hard work and discipline has helped make his business successful, and he also has found it rewarding to honor the sacrifice made by the men and women in uniform by giving back any way he can.
He loves that he is in a business where he gets to serve others. He hopes by providing top-notch service, exceeding expectations of each customer in an honest and ethical manner, with a focus on always doing the right thing, Open Roads is a shining example of giving back and honoring those who give so much.
If you are need of any service for your RV or would like to consider purchasing one, please consider visiting Drew and his staff at any of the Open Roads locations. They can be reached at (770) 975-8400.
Other Stories You Might Like
Shepherd's Men Run
The cost of war is oblivious to the Americans who have never served in a combat zone. However, there...
Vice President Pence Pledges Support While Visiting Dobbins
While visiting Dobbins Air Reserve Base (ARB) in Marietta, GA on June 9, 2017, and recognizing it as...