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brentrocks

Some very disturbing news from 225

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I just heard from a very reliable source that Heritage is going to be firing almost half of their staff.  

AND

They cut up over 300 completed guitars that were originally going to be donated to local schools.  

The word is that the new management has been making some DRASTIC CHANGES throughout the entire company....along with the firing of their entire USA sales staff.  

Doesnt sound like good news, but it needs to be told.   No sense in sugar coating it.  

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5 hours ago, brentrocks said:

I just heard from a very reliable source that Heritage is going to be firing almost half of their staff.  

AND

They cut up over 300 completed guitars that were originally going to be donated to local schools.  

The word is that the new management has been making some DRASTIC CHANGES throughout the entire company....along with the firing of their entire USA sales staff.  

Doesnt sound like good news, but it needs to be told.   No sense in sugar coating it.  

None of this (if in fact it is true) surprises me at all. As far as I’m concerned “The Heritage” died as soon as the guys sold the company. :( Glad I got to experience the real Heritage Guitar during the twilight of their golden era.

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I just emailed the info@heritage 

telling them how disgusted I am with this..

they probably won't give a crap, but I also told them I will tell everyone I know about this, and will steer people away from the brand.

if enough people notify them saying the same thing ..

who knows...$$ talks and potential loss of sales can make a difference.

maybe I'm just being optimistic.

Sad day, and really disappointed in them 

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4 hours ago, davesultra said:

Glad I got to experience the real Heritage Guitar during the twilight of their golden era.

Me too brother.

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What a dick move !cut up 300 guitars that were going to schools? That’s just mean spirited.


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17 minutes ago, holyroller said:

What a dick move !cut up 300 guitars that were going to schools? That’s just mean spirited.


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That number is way high!   I never agree with destroying an instrument not perceived as perfect.   I would do a charitable donation for write-off purposes but no one calls me Mr Daddy Warbucks... Sounds like the parts salvage was thier main interest.   Such a shame!
 

Made me think of all the guitars on the walls of Hop Cats.

 

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This is some sad shit. I've got to admit, when I first heard Heritage was getting new owners I felt uneasy. I'm sure many of us did. I have tried to keep a positive view and give the new owners a chance but this is a dick move. Period. So, I've got to say the new Heritage is not impressing me so far. Not at all. Heritage will always be remembered for what it was under the old ownership. This shit is sad, sad, sad....

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To the core  "I am a Rebel" by nature, brutally honest and hardcore in my devotions. I became a Dealer out of respect for the Golden Era Owners, Real men that treated employees and associates with respect and honor.       My business model does not include molding myself to fit under  a corporate structure, my beliefs will not allow me to let someone "Puppet Master" me and pull my strings.

I will no longer be spending $20-30k yearly with Heritage... Regretfully.  No matter how much I want to help the Golden Era team!   I do business with people like myself and  2 Years of hopes was enough for me!

BEAN COUNTERS CAN BUY A BRAND NAME... THEY CAN'T BUY ME!  Jay is right, guitars are better, the promise of "The Best" guitars is a necessity to capturing world class dealers.  Jay is also very tight lipped on some stuff too because "Big Brother is Watching" . 

I suspect there are many business associates like myself that have remained loyal out of respect and honor of the "Golden Era Team", The general population does not know how close to Brand implosion the Golden Team was when initially purchased by Plaza and Plaza earned a ton of respect for saving a brand that is near and dear to my heart!

  However, I found it hard dealing with an entity with zero musician experience, that was entirely out of their element, trying to impose business models with a total lack of concern for their models effected the associates that supported their products.  Now there is a new 49% owner that has zero respect for the loyal associates that blindly supported the brand and have a total devotion to their product...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
MENG:  You now own a brand and are responding to end users and people that believe in that brand...  I believe you want the 'Best Brand" you can deliver... It is now time for you to step up, you will personally be held responsible for your words and promises.
   Bandlab Heritage IS a byproduct of nearly 33 years of history that you have inherited, Heritage has an earned reputation and that reputation is NOT Gibson 2.0 no matter who you hire! If you want to be "THE BIG DOG" you will have to earn that reputation through your products, associate support, end user appreciation, artist support and your own "History of Earned" respect.   Your words are a hollow vessel with a shiny exterior... but is there any substance really inside, you will have to prove you are "The Big Dog" and it will not happen overnight.

You are in a very distinctive position, a cross roads of sorts... You either have to become what you say you want to become or forever be labeled "Henry J 2.0", I hope I m wrong in whom you've hired and placed your trust.
In short! I HOPE YOU CAN EARN MY RESPECT!  I am routing for you.

PS. There is nothing wrong with "The Heritage" product, maybe you should try NOT to be Gibson, PRS, Collings or any other manufacturer.  The Heritage IS enough for me....

PSS.  Do you really think direct sales to the End User is part of the solution in the USA? Go ahead, disrespect your dealers!

PSSS. I will be supporting some of the people you Fired... THEY DESERVE IT!
---------------------------------------------------------------------

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Sad news indeed.

and 

what a shame to cut up 300 guitars.  Who does that!

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7 hours ago, koula901 said:

Sad news indeed.

and 

what a shame to cut up 300 guitars.  Who does that!

that is something I don't understand. Were they factory seconds or something like that? They could have been sold instead of chopped up.

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Like most HOC members and Heritage guitar owners, I am stunned by the recent events at the factory.  So much so that it has taken me this long to even comment here. 

First of all, my best wishes and God's blessings to all terminated employees and their families.  These are real people, who have lost real jobs.  When money stops coming in, the ripple effect on their lives can be devastating and long lasting. 

Secondly, if Heritage made its decisions as stated on this site, by Meng, to prevent a possible end to Heritage as a business, then there is a way to take the action in a humane way.  I've seen it done in my own experience over the last 40+ years in the corporate world, and know of what I speak.  It includes...Proper advance notice, layoff packages based on tenure, guidance from HR, job placement assistance, etc.  Conversely, the absolute worst method is the sudden, unannounced terminations en mass, without assistance (financial or otherwise).  From what I've read, the latter is what appears to have taken place at Heritage.  And the process upset other employees so adversely, that some elected to resign from the company! 

None of us have direct knowledge of what was going on at Heritage, or what really happened at Heritage from an employee point of view.  Information has been trickling in, mostly second or third hand.  So, for perspective, I've taken the liberty of copying a Heritage Guitar Owners Facebook comment, from Lori Rugg Hileski, the wife of an impacted ex-Heritage employee as follows: 

"Here is a statement from my husband, Arnold Hileski, regarding the question posted from Bill Durkin earlier this evening. It is true that there is no longer "true hand craftsmanship" at 225 Parsons Street. 12 people were fired today without notice. Myself, my sons, and one other employee quit because for the last 2 1/2 years we have been struggling/fighting with new management over their lack of quality control and the lack of respect to not only the craftsmen that built this company, but also of the history of what the building truly means, and to the legacy of Marv, Jim, J.P., Bill, and all of the customers. It truly saddens me that all of our attempts to keep the Heritage quality has fallen on deaf ears. Many great people who I consider not only coworkers, but friends are deeply hurt because we all took the full blunt of the lack of their quality control. Heritage is no longer what it once was, another corporation has done another guitar factory in...Thanks to all of you who support us. We truly appreciate it."

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3 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

Like most HOC members and Heritage guitar owners, I am stunned by the recent events at the factory.  So much so that it has taken me this long to even comment here. 

First of all, my best wishes and God's blessings to all terminated employees and their families.  These are real people, who have lost real jobs.  When money stops coming in, the ripple effect on their lives can be devastating and long lasting. 

Secondly, if Heritage made its decisions as stated on this site, by Meng, to prevent a possible end to Heritage as a business, then there is a way to take the action in a humane way.  I've seen it done in my own experience over the last 40+ years in the corporate world, and know of what I speak.  It includes...Proper advance notice, layoff packages based on tenure, guidance from HR, job placement assistance, etc.  Conversely, the absolute worst method is the sudden, unannounced terminations en mass, without assistance (financial or otherwise).  From what I've read, the latter is what appears to have taken place at Heritage.  And the process upset other employees so adversely, that some elected to resign from the company! 

None of us have direct knowledge of what was going on at Heritage, or what really happened at Heritage from an employee point of view.  Information has been trickling in, mostly second or third hand.  So, for perspective, I've taken the liberty of copying a Heritage Guitar Owners Facebook comment, from Lori Rugg Hileski, the wife of an impacted ex-Heritage employee as follows: 

"Here is a statement from my husband, Arnold Hileski, regarding the question posted from Bill Durkin earlier this evening. It is true that there is no longer "true hand craftsmanship" at 225 Parsons Street. 12 people were fired today without notice. Myself, my sons, and one other employee quit because for the last 2 1/2 years we have been struggling/fighting with new management over their lack of quality control and the lack of respect to not only the craftsmen that built this company, but also of the history of what the building truly means, and to the legacy of Marv, Jim, J.P., Bill, and all of the customers. It truly saddens me that all of our attempts to keep the Heritage quality has fallen on deaf ears. Many great people who I consider not only coworkers, but friends are deeply hurt because we all took the full blunt of the lack of their quality control. Heritage is no longer what it once was, another corporation has done another guitar factory in...Thanks to all of you who support us. We truly appreciate it."

Very classily stated, Tim; no surprise, coming from you. All the best to those affected by this decision. This really sucks, for many people on many different levels. 

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4 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

I've taken the liberty of copying a Heritage Guitar Owners Facebook comment, from Lori Rugg Hileski, the wife of an impacted ex-Heritage employee as follows: 

"Here is a statement from my husband, Arnold Hileski, regarding the question posted from Bill Durkin earlier this evening. It is true that there is no longer "true hand craftsmanship" at 225 Parsons Street. 12 people were fired today without notice. Myself, my sons, and one other employee quit because for the last 2 1/2 years we have been struggling/fighting with new management over their lack of quality control and the lack of respect to not only the craftsmen that built this company, but also of the history of what the building truly means, and to the legacy of Marv, Jim, J.P., Bill, and all of the customers. It truly saddens me that all of our attempts to keep the Heritage quality has fallen on deaf ears. Many great people who I consider not only coworkers, but friends are deeply hurt because we all took the full blunt of the lack of their quality control. Heritage is no longer what it once was, another corporation has done another guitar factory in...Thanks to all of you who support us. We truly appreciate it."

Very cool, I stand by Arnie and the others effected. I have already expressed personally my commitment to help  Arnie.  I Hope he can have a few guitars at PSP for us to drool over!

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I am totally in favor of supporting anything Arnie is involved with.


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I have been a jazz guitar hobbyist for over 40yrs.  I bought my Heritage 4pt HRW Mahogany/Spruce from Jay Wolfe in 2003.  I was also employed in the manufacturing sector for 30+ years for one of the global giants.  I am saddened that the new owner has had to hook up with a 28yr old billionaires son who (according a Fortune magazine article dated Nov 24, 2017) owns a 49% stake in Rolling Stone magazine.  I always thought of Heritage as a small, warm-blooded mammal with brains and heart.  I've seen and heard the rhetoric Kuok Meng Ru uses -- and the negative results it brings -- many times before.  I don't believe Heritage will be anything but another one of his "irons in the fire."   Can you imagine how hard it could be for Heritage to attract and retain talent after seeing the actions of this billionaire son from Singapore?  My heart goes out to all the employees affected, and I curse this young man. 

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Arnie was one of the most enthusiastic, engaging and positive people I met at the factory. Very sad news...

 

but something does not add up here: both sides are saying they were working to keep QUALITY CONTROL high

if they had a common goal, why such discord?

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1 hour ago, bolero said:

 

Arnie was one of the most enthusiastic, engaging and positive people I met at the factory. Very sad news...

 

but something does not add up here: both sides are saying they were working to keep QUALITY CONTROL high

if they had a common goal, why such discord?

Exactly, and comments by Meng and a dealer stating that some of the employees were not willing to accept the change necessary to raise the quality level! Makes no sense. 

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4 hours ago, desuitcase said:

Can you imagine how hard it could be for Heritage to attract and retain talent after seeing the actions of this billionaire son from Singapore?  My heart goes out to all the employees affected, and I curse this young man. 

I curse him too... probably a bit more articulate by southern standards but it would probably sound harsh to others.  A young man with money buys a place and less than a year later is left standing with a double handful of shit running through his fingers and he thinks he is holding gold. 

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No reason to curse anyone (whatever that means).  Heritage is a company.  The company makes a product.  The owners have a RIGHT to do with both as they please.  The public has a right to buy or not buy the product, or the lame PR piece it takes four hours to draft since you didn't anticipate the fall out or the blow back.  When you get rid of the workers who actually make the product, saying it was necessary for the financial well being of the company, but keep the 80 year old's who do nothing but allow you to market the company in a way you think will be helpful, people see through it.  When you own 49% of a huge and well respected rock and roll publication, and the purchase of an iconic company like Heritage  does not get mentioned in that publication, people notice.  When a company is sold and the culture changes in this drastic a manner, it is sad.  For the people who put their best years in to it, it is tragic.  The company is no longer an American owned company passing down the art of guitar craftsmanship to the next generation.  The last generation has  been fired.  It's now just a brand in the stable of a rich son of a successful businessman.  It may prosper, it may fail, but it will NEVER be Heritage again.  Some may truly like it better.  Some may stay loyal because the name lives on.  Adolphus Busch wouldn't recognize Bud Light.  He might call it piss.  But the name lives on........

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I own a few used Heritage guitars and was thinking about buying a new one with my tax refund. Not anymore. One good thing could come out of this....all of my Heritage guitars will be like owning Pre-CBS Fenders.

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29 minutes ago, rwinking said:

I own a few used Heritage guitars and was thinking about buying a new one with my tax refund. Not anymore. One good thing could come out of this....all of my Heritage guitars will be like owning Pre-CBS Fenders.

You can always find yourself a nice like new used one, as I did recently with my 2004 555 purchase!

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...it's a damn shame.  It's just sad that the new owners had to disguise a love for big big money with a love for Heritage. I feel like we've all been tricked and now the cat is out of the bag...but sadly, it's too late to turn back now. I'm guessing the old owners feel the same way....

 

I've met some great people on this forum- so I hope we all stay here and remain and celebrate all that Heritage once was. There's a lot of us and, fortunately, a lot of great Heritage guitars that left 225 Parsons out there. Let's use this forum to still celebrate those guitars and us. 

 

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and hey, God bless you if you've been fortunate enough to inherit Daddy big bucks' money and you can buy up the world. Having said that- do your homework and you'll see the company is no longer ran by guys FROM Kalamazoo- with names like Bill, Jim, Marv, JP and Ren. Foreign investors with an eye on nothing but big bucks now claim an American Company. And so another one bites the dust. It's game over in K'Zoo. 

 

Make no mistake- the new owners see this as nothing but a money making opportunity. Now- I understand EVERYONE has that in mind when running a business- but it's always unique and awesome when a company can both run, as a business to make a profit AND share a family vibe. That vibe just got fired- so all that's left now is the money making end. I suppose if they get things rolling and open the cafe and the big, sprawling tourist attraction that we've all seen pictures of how they envision the plant looking soon, then enough people will come, time will roll on, and eventually K' Zoo will have a tourist trap where people come to see where "G" once lived and spend their money to buy a "Heritage." Most will not even know of, or probably care about all of the actions that just went down. I guess that's where the current owners are looking ahead to. Those of us fortunate to have a Heritage that came though the plant under the hands of JP, Jim, Marv, Ren, Charlie and others have a real Heritage, and those days have sadly come to an end. Hope everyone still keeps celebrating the original and real Heritage on this forum though. That's about all that we can do...

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