July '18

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Troy James, President, Dutchmen RV M y father was involved in the supply side of the industry, which provided exposure to me of the many different facets within the RV industry from supply, to OEM to dealer. When I first set out to attend college I aspired to pursue a career in marketing. Little did I know then that my career would be in the RV industry. I joined Fleetwood in 1992, and my first goal was to learn all I possibly could from the team that I worked with, which included both sales and production personnel. I aspired to be the best team member I could possibly be while also helping those around me be better themselves. My first show was exhilarating while at the same time nerve- wracking! Like most others new to their role, I thought I had all of the answers but very quickly realized I still had a lot to learn. The day that I accepted the position of product manager at Dutchmen after having been in a sales role at another company turned a corner for my career. Little did I know then that my decision to make the move in order to have more time with my daughter would eventually lead to the position I have today. I am most proud of being given the opportunity and privilege to lead a team of 1,300-plus people, which is a long way from my start as a plant coordinator 25 years ago that included driving the finished goods yard tractor and being the final quality check for the assembly line. I am beyond grateful and humbled to be where I am today. Aaron Young, General Manager, Dutchmen RV M y dad was an electrician on the line at Coachmen RV in the early 1980s. After high school I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to college, so I went to work at Coachmen RV after long conversations with my father. He told me I was going to starve to death while working there, but I knew I could work my way up. My goal was to not miss a day of work and to work my way up to assistant plant manager. My first interaction with sales was when the sales staff would come through the plant for plant tours. They would always ask me to explain what my department did. This interaction inspired me to pursue a career in sales because I enjoyed explaining to everyone how our product was put together. When I went to my first RVIA show in Louisville, I remember thinking, "Wow, this is huge!" At first it was a little overwhelming because of all the traffic and product. My boss told me this is where I'll make half my sales for the year, so there was a lot of pressure, but it ended up being a very fun and rewarding event. After a long career in a territory of signing new business and building relationships, I realized I wanted to get more involved in the product design and development process. This led me to work toward a management role, which put me on the path to be a GM at Dutchmen. I am most proud of the relationships I have built in this business. Many of my dealers and coworkers have become close per- sonal friends more so than business partners. This industry is full of a lot of great people. J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ 116 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins

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