July '18

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Page 48 of 188

Rory Willett, President, BundutecUSA I grew up in the industry with my dad and uncle running Tex Willett Co. The first job in the early 1970s was placing the curtain and cushion sets into the finished truck campers as they sat outside. I can remember opening up the doors on six or seven units at a time to let the formaldehyde air out in the summer months as it would burn my eyes! When I got into high school, in the summers I worked as an inventory parts runner for the produc- tion line and drove lift trucks to move the finished product off the end of the. Once I graduated, I was the delivery driver for the toppers and campers throughout the Midwest. When I look back, I was just happy to have a job that I loved. It was a family business, so my cousins and brothers were usually around doing different jobs. My only goals were still just to have a job and help keep producing the best quality campers I could. In 1984, my dad approached me in my cabinet shop to announce he wanted me to lay down my staple gun and replace my older brother as manager in the office. With little management education, it was baptism by fire! My training came from the school of hard knocks. I was made president of the company and partner in the 1990s. Then, in 2014, I sold my shares of the RC Willett Co. and started my new business in Raymond, Iowa, as BundutecUSA. The RC Willett Co. had not made a profit until I became manager and it never showed a loss since. Buying Northstar from Andy's Manufacturing in Minneapolis and moving the entire line to Waterloo was another accom- plishment. Starting BundutecUSA from the ground up has to be the best thing I ever did. Being able to do what I love and offer customized truck campers to a completely different clientele has been the most fulfilling. Importing the Bundutec rooftop tents and awnings from South Africa helped me meet the Overlanding and off-grid crowd that has rocketed sales. Lori Tustin, RV Inside Sales Rep, Meyer Distributing L iving in Elkhart, Ind., there were a lot of opportunities in the RV industry. A friend working at CP Products let me know they were hiring in phone sales. When I first started at CP, I knew very little about RV products or phone sales. I had to learn about all the RV accessories from toilet chemicals to air conditioners. Our family had camped once in a rented tent camper when I was a teenager and that was my only RV experience. The South Bend RV Show was my first show experience. CP Products had an open house with live music and food at our Elkhart location. This was the first time I met the dealers in person. It was great to put a face to the voice on the phone. Not long after starting at the order desk position, I was promoted to inside sales. I was responsible for a sales territory and meeting sales goals. I found I loved the challenges of sales goals. Getting new business was hard work and fun. In 2015, I joined the Meyer Distributing team at the beginning of its RV product launch. We had a lot of challenges in the beginning – we had no catalog and very limited product lines and inventory. I was starting over, winning over dealers from competitors to Meyer. Since then, we've added so many lines, our RV catalog for 2018 is now more than 900 pages. It's a great feeling of accomplishment for me and after 39 years, I still enjoy my job! 44 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪

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