June '17

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rv-pro.com June 2017 • RV PRO • 45 cesses, offer faster and more accurate information inside and outside the company, and increase their bottom line through improved efficiencies. … With that behind us, they asked me to start writing a monthly column in their magazine, which I agreed to, but with one stipulation – they could not pay me. I would write for them as long as I could be totally independent, write what I wanted to write about any aspect of the business, and at some point when I had proven to them that I earned the right to be here, then they could start paying me. After a few years, and many columns, they asked me to become editor of the magazine, and it was then that I reminded them of our agreement and I started earning income from this industry. They were one of the first industry publications to cease printing paper copies and went totally digital in 2006, and I moved on, writing for several other trade and consumer pub- lications. … RV PRO: Did you have any mentors in the industry? Zagami: Every successful person has had mentors along the way. I wouldn't be talking to you today if Don Magary and Dan Holt had not seen something in me that I had not even seen. I knew how to write, but they taught me how to write about the RV industry. I was very independent in thought and actions. They gave me an opportunity to use those skills to communicate with an entirely new industry, and do it with passion. … They were not afraid to write about issues that challenged the industry. They made some enemies along the way, but even those enemies respected the role they played in the industry … and that is why both of them are in the RV/MH Hall of Fame today. Greg Gerber also helped out a lot when he came into the industry in 2000 as the editor of RV Trade Digest. Although we were competitors, we formed a unique friendship and spoke often at industry events and trade shows. I would also count Jeff Hirsch and Monsour "Marty" Hanoud as mentors along the way. Jeff followed my RV career up close since we were both in New England. We had many discussions about the industry and he would provide his input – as he has done for countless others – along the way. Marty was very instrumental in moving me closer to NERVDA. He appreciated my editorial viewpoints and my sales and marketing articles each month and invited me to sit in on the NERVDA Board meetings to provide input and a different perspective to the group. I had the benefit of observing and learning about the RV dealer's role in the industry from two giants, and without that exposure, I would never have been able to assume the role of executive director at the most dire time in the Association's history. As executive director of the six-state New England RV Dealers Association, Bob Zagami often checks in with dealer members, such as the staff of Major's RV Service Center in Bourne, Mass. Zagami (left) is pictured here with Jeff Slater (center) and David Major, owner of Major's RV.

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