August '18

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rv-pro.com August 2018 • RV PRO • 15 Heather Jenks, Vice President of RV Sales, Genesis Products A strong work ethic and a drive to solve problems has propelled Heather Jenks toward a successful path. Jenks, vice president of RV sales for Elkhart, Ind.-based Genesis Products, says her work ethic comes from her mother. "My mom has been a hardworking lady from the time I can remember. She taught me that if you see a need, fill a need," Jenks says. "There's nothing that is beyond your reach as long as you're willing to work for it." And work hard is what Jenks has done throughout her career. Jenks first entered the RV industry 11 years ago when she joined Gen- esis as an outside RV sales rep. She worked her way up to her current role today. "Pretty much on a day-to-day basis my job is to make sure that we are bringing as much value and as much clarity and clean business to our customers as possible," she says. Jenks says she and her team touch and feel all of the products that the company sells to its customers. These products include drawer compo- nents, cabinet doors and panels. They also manage inventories and all of the relationships. "We make sure that, at the end of the day, our customers are taken care of without incident," she says. "That is our goal – and it is a tall order. But it's one that we're very passionate about." Jenks says that while she and her team primarily only deal with the OEMs (such as Keystone RV, Forest River, Grand Design and Winnebago), she does visit with different sectors within the industry to help position Genesis for future growth. "It's important to have conversations with the dealers and the aftermarket because that's how we align what's our next big thing," she says. "Otherwise, we can't bring the OEMs the products that dealers are going to want to put into their units to meet consumers' needs." Before working in the RV industry, Jenks worked for the Australian-based company Doors Plus. At the time, she says, there was a manufactured housing boom and more than half of that company's business was driven by manufactured housing. She says the skills she learned at Doors Plus prepared her in many ways for the role she now has. The pressure, she says, was on to be a good supplier and get to the heart of problems. "If you didn't understand their needs, there was no way you were going to be a good supplier to them," she says. "No was never an acceptable answer. "You would go and just figure out how you could get to the root of what was causing the issue and solve it so that you weren't a hindrance to their product," she adds. Jenks says her boss at Doors Plus, Cindy Smart, had the same work ethic as her mom and was there to help her when- ever she ran into problems. This additional mentoring came in handy when she went to work for Genesis, according to Jenks. Initially, she thought the transition from Doors Plus to Genesis would be easy as she was going from one sub trade to another. "But it isn't even remotely the same animal," she says. "It's like deer in the headlights when you come in. They're putting out 30 units a day and you've got about a 10-minute window to either be successful or fail." continues on next page

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