July '18

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Paul Cassidy, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Erwin Hymer Group North America A fter a backpacking trip to Europe after I graduated university in 1984, I was very anxious to find a job. That had a lot to do with desire, but also because I needed funds. I saw that job at Glendale RV in the classified ads. Glendale wanted someone who spoke fluent French, which I could not offer. I was able to convince them to hire me regardless. To be honest, the money was terrible, so I did not expect that I would stick around long. The money improved, quickly, so I ended up staying for five years. I was offered a job with a parts supplier as a salesperson. I left for two years and then returned to Glendale. My first industry show was terrible for me. I attended my first dealers event at Piccadilly RV in Manitoba. I got caught in a snowstorm and almost missed my flight. My luggage was sent to the Barbados, rather than Brandon, Manitoba. I had to buy myself new clothes. I failed to plug in my rental car at the hotel, so it was frozen solid in the morning. It took hours to thaw. Not the weekend I was hoping for at all. A turning point for me came when I chose to accept the challenge of being a sales agent for Palomino RV in Michigan. I was extremely lucky to work with this company, as it offered decent products and great support. I went on to work with other com- panies as well, a few of which were not exactly quality people. I am most proud that I feel I have a reputation of being a representative that dealers respected and worked well with which resulted in success of both. Paul Liner, Managing Director, Purple Line W hen I began building my dream career, I hoped to do so in an industry that was customer-centric, innovative and built around something people enjoy. I didn't want to clock-in my hours and go home; I wanted to add value and feel that intrinsic reward you get from creating something and seeing it succeed. I was looking for a change when I was connected with the managing director of Purple Line U.K. by an acquaintance who had heard that he was looking to bring someone on to set up the online division of their RV accessories sales. I soon expanded my role to include export sales for Europe and America and my enthusiasm for the industry grew as I became involved in the original concept design process for the Opus Camper. Seeing the camper come to life was an exciting time. I then proceeded in assisting the setup of Opus Camper Australia. When the time came to set up our American branch, the role was offered to me and I jumped at the chance. Starting out as the part-owner and managing director here in the U.S.A. was a huge change and a real steep learning curve. I had to learn quickly that the buck stopped with me and I was solely responsible for the success of the business. I had to adapt to the differences between the RV industry in Europe and in America and change how I worked and approached things. Hitting the five-year mark for the U.S. business has been something I'm proud of. Although our products have been available across Europe and Australia for nearly 16 years, America is a notoriously difficult market to break into. Watching our business grow and hearing excited reviews come back from our customers who love our product is rewarding. 48 • 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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