About Us

2016 Christmas Photo
28 years as a family- and firefighter-owned and operated company.

28 years and counting!

About Ventry Solutions, Inc., it may help you to know...

  • We have been in business since 1972. We made our first fan in 1989; John made the first one, with help from James, Myron, and other local fire fighters.
  • We are the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and own the patents on Ventry® Ventilation Fans and Lentry® Lighting Systems.
  • Our products incorporate many decades of direct experience, testing, and feedback from our customers.
  • We have sufficient financial and human resources to ensure high-quality, timely completion of contracts, regardless of quantities ordered.
  • We usually ship orders within 3 business days after receiving your order.
  • We maintain detailed records of all units (and encourage customers to register) so that if ever needed, we can send out the correct parts based on serial number.
  • We welcome international orders and are always looking for partners in the USA and around the world. Contact us to discuss partnership opportunities as dealers, distributors, reps.
  • We are proud of our products, eager to earn repeat business and customer referrals, and we guarantee our products.

Our Mission

James and Dad (John) working on their motor glider

James and John (Dad) working on Ogar, a self-launching motor glider. James made a propeller to replace Ogar’s original prop and improve performance. The glider used to climb at 50 feet per minute and cruising speed was 60 knots max. With the new propeller, it now climbs at 800 ft/min and cruises at 80 knots. James knows propellers. He knows AIR. And he knows SAFETY.

Ventry Solutions, Inc. backs up their out-STAND-ing products with exceptional customer service, before, during and after the sale. Our staff has 118 years of combined firefighting experience which informs our products, customer service, and business model.

Our mission is to build the best equipment possible—in safety, quality, and value—while keeping the designs simple for minimal maintenance and intuitive, cost-effective operation.



John and James

James and John, 2009

Our Team

Knowing who is making a product and why can be very enlightening.

James Neils

CEO, Mechanical Engineer, Firefighter since 1993.

James was introduced to positive pressure ventilation (PPV) in 1989 by John Neils (Dad) and has worked with fans and ventilation ever since. He once taught college level physics but gave it up after a year when he calculated his hourly wage. Currently, James serves as Division Chief of Operations (Assistant Chief), an EMT, and a fire fighting Instructor. James is also a pilot and has been working with and on airplanes since he was a small boy. James understands aerodynamics, physics, propellers...He knows how to move air! He is also a talented engineer and expert in fire fighting and ventilation, with a dozen great reasons for every nut, bolt, curve, and material used on our products. Finally, James is an expert you can utilize! Our business line rings at his home too, so you may reach him even after hours if you call.

John Neils

Founder and “Dad” to Joan and James.

- John is now retired but willing and able to help us when needed. He was a volunteer firefighter and first responder from 1989 to 2014. John’s experiences as a pilot and in building several experimental aircraft led him to be “volunteered” to build our fire department a PPV fan many years ago. Originally called a Windjammer, John built the first Ventry Fan with help and ideas from fellow firefighters Myron Richardson (who still does a lot of our welding) and Lynn Borders back in 1989.



Joan Rodman

Marketing and Communications

- Formerly Joan Neils, she also serves as Secretary/Treasurer and volunteer web admin for the local fire district. Since she was in junior high school, she has worked on and off for Dad and James until 2004 when she decided to help them with marketing for a month or so. She never left. These days, she sometimes brings her two young sons to work with her so can be a bit distracted; however, she is just as passionate as always about getting our products into the hands of those who need them.



Sara Hite

Operations and Dealer Sales

- Owner of the happy voice you usually hear if you call us. If she is not cheerful and friendly, please call 911 because something must be wrong! Sara formerly volunteered as the Local Program Coordinator with the Idaho Special Olympics. Her original title here was Administrative Assistant, but she wears so many hats that her title needs to show that she helps with everything.


Chris (and Graycee the Dog)

Chris Nelson


- Chris is the first dedicated sales professional we’ve had on staff at VSI in our history! (No pressure, Chris says!) He brings great sales experience, enthusiasm and military-level discipline to VSI (having served in the US Marine Corps) and his outgoing, driven, friendly personality is already an asset. He exemplifies our customer-first core values and is already passionately in support of our mission to provide high-quality, high-performance, safe solutions to our customers’ challenges.

Ken Birge

Production Manager

- Firefighter from 1997 to 2013, Ken held the title of Engineer and EMT when he retired. As a fire fighter, Ken was a certified ventilation instructor. He is chief in charge of production around here and proud Grand-papa to three terrific grand boys who visit the shop and brighten it up from time to time.

© Alex Romero

The Phoenix, a sculpture by Alex Romero, is also a working metal firepit. © Alex Romero.

Alex Romero

Welding and Fabrication

Alex transforms raw metal into high quality parts here, and brings a good mix of education, technical skills, and work experience to our company. Alex is also a talented sculptor and painter who has produced metal scultpture, paintings, wood carvings and even boomerangs (that return!). Alex’s talent, expertise, and quality are reflected in the craftmanship and quality of our fans and lighting systems.

Myron Richardson

Contractor, Welding

- Firefighter since 1976 and an EMT. Myron is a dear friend who does a lot of our welding at his own facility, also in Hauser Lake. His experience and insights have been instrumental since the first Ventry Fan ever made. Myron has been honored with our fire department’s Dedication and Devotion Award twice!

Grandparents, Kids and Critters

Grandma Paula makes it possible for Joan to work, watching her boys most weekdays. Around the office, we are often accompanied by James’s sons Walter and William and, when Grandma is away, Joan’s sons Reylen and Trace. Click for our annual Christmas photo showing all of them.

James’s dog Graycee also spends most days with us at the shop.

Joan, John and James showing Honda plaque

In this daughter-father-son photo, Joan, John and James pose with a plaque from American Honda Power Equipment commemorating ten years in partnership with Honda.

Honda Generator Dealer

Ventry Solutions is an authorized Honda Generator Dealer.

J. Neils Enterprises, Inc.

We were originally incorporated in 1972 under the name Quality Builders Inc of Bozeman. The dba “J. Neils Enterprises, Inc.” was adopted after we began manufacturing fans. In the year 2010, we officially changed the business name from J Neils Enterprises to Ventry Solutions, Inc. because JNE was too hard to remember, spell, alphabetize, and find online! Everyone already knew us as “the Ventry Fan folks,” so it was a good change.

Visit us on Facebook

We now post fun stuff on Facebook, which you can view even if you do not have an account on that site.