September '14

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60 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com have an eye on an employee or a young family member to whom they want to leave a business should consider investing in a personality assessment upfront. A personality assessment, such as the DiSC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Consciousness), based on the work of psychologist William Marston, can run anywhere from $50 to $100. ose assess- ments can shed light on employee behaviors – assessing how they interact with others in personal and in business settings, motiva- tors, and a blend of the how and why of the employee's actions. Some assessments also look at an employee's value to an organization, methods of communication, perceptions (looking at how others might view an employee), time wasters, and even poten- tial areas of improvement. When an employee is progressing within the company, personality tests can be both a reliable and valid way of assessing whether an individual is suitable for a specific position within the company, says Lynda Zugec, managing director of e Work- force Consultants. "ese assessments also give a fair assess- ment of an individual's strengths and weak- nesses," says Zugec, whose Toronto- and New York-based firm provides a range of human resources services from hiring and selection to training, development and exit interviews. "It can give you an idea of what you may need to work on." Assuming Responsibility . . . Gradually For Curt Curtis, now part owner of Fresno, Calif.-based Paul Evert's RV Country, the move from parts and sales to a percentage ownership of the dealer- ship was marked by a gradual assumption of various responsibilities over the course of six years. Curtis joined the six-store dealership in 1987 as a liaison between the sales and parts departments, after finishing a business and finance degree with a minor in accounting. Curtis says he intended to eventually go to work in the banking industry. "I was raised to work hard, and Paul appreciated my work ethic," he says. Paul Evert, who has more than 50 years in the RV business, began grooming Curtis to eventually take over the business. "Paul gradually shared his knowledge of the business with me," Curtis says. "Soon, I was ordering new inventory and spending weekends working in finance, sales, and general operations." Evert incentivized Curtis' growth and promotion within the company beginning in 1993, offering Curtis a 1 percent share in the company over 15 years. Later, Curtis purchased an additional 18-percent interest in the company, growing his burgeoning stake to 33 percent. "The skill set for owning a business is different," Curtis says. "When you're an employee, you have tunnel vision, but an owner has to look at how decisions affect all employees." Ownership also requires a certain degree of forward thinking and an under- standing of the dynamics of the RV industry, according to Curtis. Owners also must be able to identify opportu- nities and to plan for how those opportunities will affect the company on a long-term basis, he adds. Fo r i n s t a n c e , f r o m 2007-09 – when economies in Oregon and Washington tanked – Paul Evert's seized Rising Through the Ranks Curt Curtis got his start working in parts and sales at Paul Evert's RV Country before becoming a part owner of the six-store dealership. Owner Paul Evert groomed him to one day take over the business.

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