July '18

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52 • RV PRO • July 2018 RV PRO: Origins J U LY S P E C I A L S E C T I O N ✪ Michael Saivetz, COO / VP of Sales, Richloom Fabrics Group A fter working a year at my family's textile company, executive management didn't know what to do with me. They ultimately decided to send me to Elkhart, Ind., to "see what the RV business was all about." In August 1998, I traveled to Elkhart and my first stop was Coachmen. I was immediately hooked when I sat in the driver's seat of a Sportscoach for the first time. I came back energized and excited to show what we could do in the RV industry. I took the reins of VP of sales for the RV trade twice; first in 2001, and second in 2009, (right after the stock market crash and the industry's darkest days). My team's goal was to grow by double digits year over year. With our talented design director and sales team, we were proud to see nine consecutive years of double-digit sales growth. My first sales call was with Coachmen. I remember I met with their design team and had no idea what I was doing. Tammy Fritz (Coachmen's designer at the time) showed me their largest and most expensive coach. I foolishly asked what the price of the unit was (thinking $65k) and was floored when she said $250k. In between my stints as VP of sales, I was heavily involved in establishing Richloom's Shanghai operation. Spending a great deal of time in China, I prior- itized learning the entire production process, including all pitfalls. Because of this knowledge, I feel I am an effective leader, salesman and mentor. It is important to me that I understand the product inside and out to effectively sell and teach my team. Richloom's RV sales totaled 20 percent of our company's total sales in 2017. Jonathan Krawchuk, RV Business Development Manager, Samlex America I joined Samlex America in 2015 as a BDM for the RV market. At the time, the company had been in business for more than 20 years. Knowing Samlex has the widest offering of power conversion products in the industry, with multiple markets around the world, I was excited to be a part of the team. At my first RVAA Executive Conference, in my home town of Vancouver, British Columbia, I was introduced to many of the great folks and companies that make the RV industry such a success. Upon joining the team at Samlex I embraced the culture, values and mis- sion statement that we all share. "To develop enduring relationships with our customers by providing innovative power conversion products supported by the best customer service in the industry." I strive each day to include this in my sales approach and support. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest camping with my family every spring and summer. To be provided the opportunity to mix business with a love for the outdoors and to help others create lasting family memories while RVing was a turning point for me. Now, my everyday life is to help dealers help others share the RVing lifestyle with their family and friends Every time I work with a distributor, dealer, or end customer, like everyone else at Samlex, I am very proud that we were able to bring value to someone's life. Whether we are helping them understand the benefits of a solar system for their RV or finding the right inverter to match their power needs, everyone at Samlex is here to make sure our customers have a great experience with our quality products.

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