July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 89 The expansion into the RV market, Shepherd says, allowed the Westminster, Colo.-based company to still serve its traditional marketplace in the Rocky Mountain states (Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado). It also reps some product lines in New Mexico, Arizona and southern California. "A lot of my auto lines cross over into RV lines, so it was a natural transition," Shepherd says. Serving the two indus- tries, he says, provided year-round busi- ness for the company, which at first saw slow periods during the winter months for its RV segment. Many of the company's RV clients now have large indoor show- rooms that drive the aftermarket business for Shepherd Sales. Product lines represented by Shep- herd Sales are wide and varied, including items such as AC units, awnings, brake controllers, cargo carriers, furnaces, fans, generators, hitches, fabric protection, roof coatings and sealants, satellite systems and tie-downs and turnbuckles. Ken Shepherd's career path wasn't always in the RV industry. Although he spent summer months and school vaca- tions helping out at the family business, Shepherd went into the fitness industry as a personal trainer and later worked his way into the commercial athletic club business. In 2004, he took a job with a biotech company doing medical sales. Still, when his parents needed help run- ning the manufacturer rep firm, he jumped at the opportunity to make a change. Shepherd says one challenge his busi- ness deals with has been high turnover among the parts and service staff at RV dealerships because opportunities are even more lucrative in other career fields, like the oil and gas industry. "We get hit quite hard by the oil and gas industries. Service techs and parts guys and a lot of guys who are handy with a wrench and a welder are sucked out of those deal- erships," he says. On the plus side, though, that means there are ample opportunities to train many new dealership employees. "There's always somebody to train," he says. "There's always a product line to go over." THE BEST PROTECTION FOR YOUR JOURNEY.™ 800-478-5578 equalizerhitch.com BEST PERFORMING SWAY CONTROL HITCH IN AMERICA ® Visit us at www.nordiccoolingunits.com or call us at 641-322-4888 to learn more. Nordic Standard 2-Year Warranty Individually Tested Reliability Guaranteed REPLACEMENT COOLING UNITS FOR POPULAR REFRIGERATOR MODELS! REPLACEMENT COOLING UNITS FOR AVAILABLE THROUGH MOST MAJOR DISTRIBUTORS AVAILABLE THROUGH MOST MAJOR DISTRIBUTORS

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