June '17

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rv-pro.com June 2017 • RV PRO • 39 "We're certainly going to stock more of Class B and C's," Lichtsinn says. "The stocking pattern of a Class B is a bit more streamlined and attracts a much larger audience." Adapting to Changing Times, Conditions Adapting to changing conditions is not a new thing for Lichtsinn RV. Lichtsinn's father started the dealership in 1976 as a Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealer, adding Winnebagos to his lot in the early 1980s. The automotive and RV operations were run out of the same facility. In 2001, when GM discontinued the Oldsmobile line, Lichtsinn and his father switched the dealership to retailing Buicks. The dealership remained a full-line automotive dealer until 2015, when the dealership chose to focus exclusively on retailing RVs. Transition also has occurred in terms of the dealership's own- ership. Ron Lichtsinn was raised in the business, but when he graduated from high school in 1989 he wanted to do something else with his life. As he gained some life experience, however, he began to change his mind. Lichtsinn and his father began plans for succession in 2000, and in 2001 Lichtsinn took over the dealership, which sits on 20 acres and features a 30,000-square-foot sales and service center and a 7,000-square-foot parts and accessories store. Today, Lichtsinn credits being adaptable to change – com- bined with the strategy of focusing on motorized sales and a strong emphasis on employee retention and education – with allowing the business to prosper over the years. The Right Hires Despite the fact that Iowa's unemployment rate is nearly 2 percent lower than the national average, Lichtsinn says he has very little employee turnover at the dealership. "It's one of our strengths. We have great retention," he says. The dealership's management team is pictured at right. Members of the management team are (left to right); Brandon Mondt, business manager; Callie Schmidt, marketing specialist; Heidi Thompson, vice president and general manager; Joshua Chase, RV finishing and quality control manager; Hope Lichtsinn, owner; Casey Singelstad, controller and human resources manager; Hannah Lunning, RV sales manager; Brian Buffington, service director; Ron Lichtsinn, owner; and Lonnie Fox, parts director. Not pictured are Dan Helgeson, business manager, and Sue Anne Hadacek, RV rentals manager. Lichtsinn RV features a 7,000-square- foot parts and accessories store stocked with popular products.

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