February '18

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24 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com 24 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com Micah Staley General Manager, Grand Design At age 33, Micah Staley, general manager of Grand Design, already has a decade of experience in the RV industry and is making strides toward a long, successful career. And it's no wonder. He was born and raised in Indiana, and his family were avid RVers. "My parents loved RVing and camping. We had pop-ups, travel trailers, Class C's and Class A's. We would go on four to five trips a year. Long trips – Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Tennessee, Georgia; all over the country. It's in our blood." In spite of that, Staley originally had other career plans. He graduated with a degree in hospitality management heading for a career in hotel management. However, when he heard that Randy Graber was making plans to start up a new RV manufacturing enterprise, Open Range, Staley changed gears. Beginning as a sales trainee, he quickly moved up to become the company's national sales manager, helping to grow the RV maker to $106 million in sales in 2012. It was an old family connection that propelled Staley to his current position with Grand Design. Staley's father and Grand Design co-founders Ron and Bill Fenech were friends whom Staley had known since childhood. After reading an article that the Fenech brothers were starting up a new RV manufacturing operation, Staley gave them a call. That call ended up with Staley becoming their general manager, a position he still holds five years later. While his title may not have changed, his role and responsibilities have grown. "I started as the general manager and I'm still the general manager, but I started with four guys and now there are 10," he says. "We had one brand and now there are three. We had one production line and now there are five." Staley describes a typical day at Grand Design as "crazy." As general manager, he is active and involved. "I meet with vendors and engineers. I review new products. I typically visit the plants and oversee what's happening there: fine-tune production and develop new products. We design in motion. Model changes take place all year long for us. At first, it drove the guys crazy, but now they get it. It's about the customer. We can't wait for a model year change to give the customer what they want." For Staley, being chosen as a member of RVIA's 40 Under 40 is an honor. "I'm humbled by it, but I don't pay attention to awards and accolades," he says. "I just care about building a better product for our customer and being the very best that we can be. The best RV with the best design, the best features and the highest quality. It's not enough to just build a product; we strive for lasting value – a quality product that lasts for years, the best customer service in the industry and customers who keep coming back. That's what really matters and what makes us a successful company." Thinking of the future growth, Staley says Grand Design is developing a new product that will launch sometime around late spring, although he is mum on the details. "It's not significantly different, but it will hit a new buyer segment that we haven't reached yet," he says. "It's a major segment of the market. It has to do with weight, but that's all I'll say about that." LEADERSHIP

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