July '18

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Phyllis Jones, Comptroller, Keller Marine and RV I started with Keller Planing Mill in 1949 with George Keller's dad as my boss. I was his secretary. George's dad, G. Flanders Keller, told his son that there was a need for a marine accessory distributor because he was building Keller Kraft Boats and could not get parts for them. In 1957, George started Keller Marine Service. We later added Starcraft Campers. In 1974, customers began asking us to get into the RV accessory business. My goal was to have a job that would pay the bills at home. I never dreamed that I would one day be the comptroller of this company and see it grow as it has. I started with G. Flanders Keller, then worked as George Keller's secretary when he started Keller Marine Service and now I work for George's children, Mike Keller and Lori Morrow, the current owners of Keller Marine and RV. We now have the fourth gener- ation, Michael T. Keller, working with us, as sales manager, which is inspiring. In 1957, the first person to call me on the phone was a marine dealer asking about a propeller. When I quoted him the price, he said, "Is it made of gold?" I was young and naive and thought he meant what he said so I checked into it. In the early years, our show was held here at the office. It was a small venue compared to today when we occupy over 40,000 square feet. I am proud that I am still working for the same company after 60-plus years. People today don't stick with a job and they miss out on all the blessings of staying with the same company, especially in friendships. Customers become like family. I am thankful for the good health that God has given me to be able to work all these years. Cindy Pettis, Inside Sales, Lightning RV I n the summer of 1999, I walked into Southern RV in Ocala Fla., to apply for a job I had no clue about. The owner, Shelby Cook, asked me, "What was my idea of a recreational vehicle?" I said, "My '71 Bronco Scout on 44 boggers and manual automatic transmis- sion." She said she liked that answer and hired me. I learned parts, some service and the ins and outs of a deal- ership. To put it in her words, I was one of her best investments. After three years, I was given opportunity to join the Stag- Parkway team in Leesburg, Fla., as a receptionist. One year later, Fred Strange promoted me to sales. My goals were to learn the industry and be the best. I was able to attend a couple of Stag- Parkway shows as a dealer and then as an employee. Stag was one of the most amazing operations I had ever seen. I turned many corners with Stag-Parkway: corporate buyouts and being a 14-year cancer survivor included. Married with one daughter, I moved my family from Florida to Atlanta to keep my position with Stag-Parkway. After seven years, my husband passed, so I relocated back to Florida where I took a position at Alliance Coach's service department After one year there, I joined Lightning RV Supply and found a home with the merger of Keller Lightning. Besides being a cancer survivor, achieving a Peak Performers award in 2005 and 2009 for outstanding sales with Stag-Parkway was a great accomplishment. In 2009, I also earned the Inside Sales Consultant of the Year award. In 2015, I earned Employee of the Year with Lightning RV Supply. J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ 118 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins

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