July '18

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Chris Carpenter, Director of Business Development, Creative Products Group A fter returning from active duty from Operation Desert Storm, I wanted to relax some before returning to Walmart as a store set manager. A close friend asked me to join him at an RV dealership writing repair orders, which lead to a long-term career in the RV industry. My first memorable show was as a parts department manager attending the Stag-Parkway show in New Orleans. After mul- tiple days in that environment, I realized just how little I knew about the supply chain side of the industry. I quickly made it my goal to provide great customer service and learn as much about the RVs as quickly as possible. I have served at multiple levels in the industry: starting at a dealership, then moving into distribution, followed by being a manufacturer's representative and finally landing at the supplier end of the chain. I have had several turning points, but the move from operations to supply chain management has probably been my most rewarding so far. My most rewarding RV business accomplishment has probably been my involvement in the creation and development of the RV Dealer Lift program. That program has provided a huge amount of gratification seeing the hundreds of dealerships improve their professional appearance and creating the value that it has to multiple levels of the supply chain. Susan Carpenter, Director of Market Development, Creative Products Group W ell, let's just say it was a family affair. (Editor's note: Susan's father, John D. Roba, founded the family business). I remember at around 10 years old, I would put clothes pins in a package and seal it. It was a way to earn spending money. But as a child, I grew up convinced that I would never work in the family business – that is until my mother died when I was 21. I went back to the company to help them at the time thinking, "This is only temporary." I stayed up until last year, roughly 30 years. I remember my very first sales call was to MHS Supply out of Elkhart, Ind. I was young and green but the people I met with were very good to me. I suppose that is when I fell in love with the industry. J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ 136 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins Creative Products Group team photo

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