August '18

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16 • RV PRO • August 2018 rv-pro.com Celebrating LE A DING WOMEN in the RV Industr y And if the company's product isn't readily available, she says, it causes major disruptions to the client. Apart from the learning curve, another obstacle was the perception of the male role and the female role in the family. Males are traditionally the breadwinners of the family and are therefore expected to dedicate themselves to the job full-time. "And the RV industry is a 24-hour industry," Jenks says. As a female, Jenks says the perception is that females cannot have this same kind of dedication and passion without sacri- ficing their kids or families. "Being able to find the balance of making sure my home is a priority and my job is a priority and that there is an integration between the two is probably the biggest challenge – that and overcoming that guilt," she says. "I am teaching my children the value of hard work and that nothing is free." Jenks says her strategy for overcoming this obstacle has been setting boundaries for when work begins and ends and she does not answer phone calls or emails during the time she's allotted for her family each day. This allows her to be focused on the right things at the right times. Since taking on the role of vice president of RV sales six years ago, Jenks says she's proud of the team that she's built. "It's been a work in progress trying to get the right person- ality with the right work ethic, drive and passion for the RV industry aligned," she says. "I feel we are finally at that stage where my team is just awesome." Also, during this same timeframe, sales have dramatically increased from about $55 million to roughly $180 million. "Of course, that's not just me. But I've been a part of the team that grows that and I think that's a huge accomplishment," she says. When asked what advice she has for others looking at the RV industry, Jenks says they should focus on what they are willing to accomplish in a day – and then exceed that. For her, it's not that what she's doing today will be remember 20 years from now; it's the thought that she played a role in helping others enjoy RVing. "People remember their vacations," she says. "They remember the moments that they were happy and that's what RVing is about – bring people together and find that happiness." Donna Warr, RV Aftermarket National Sales Manager, Valterra Products From an early age, Donna Warr knew that great customer service is all in the details. And those details include developing a good relationship with customers and being knowledgeable about the products being sold. This is an area that Warr has excelled in for more than 30 years. She says she's worked hard to build trust and relationships with her close connections and each of her company's customers. "They know I'll always be honest and truthful," Warr says. "I believe people like to buy from companies they know, trust and like." Today, Warr serves as RV aftermarket national sales manager for Mission Hills, Calif.-based Valterra Products. Valterra offers a wide variety of sewer/sanitation, electrical, freshwater and specialty products. The plumbing side of the business is not the most glam- orous, Warr says, but it is a very important part of RVs. "It's been fun selling it and making it stand out on the shelf," Warr says. "It's very important to give good quality products when you're in this product category." Warr says she works hard to meet target budget numbers and wears many hats to make this happen. This includes keeping dis- tributors abreast of changes within Valterra and any new products and services; working with the customer service department to help with training; and working with the sales reps to make sure they have the tools needed to succeed. As a mother of five, Warr says another of her accomplishments was successfully raising a family while working and traveling for Valterra. Without Valterra's support, she says, she couldn't have done it. "They always let me take care of my family, but yet know I'm still Valterra-driven and doing everything that's needed for the job." Before joining the company, Warr worked in different retail jobs beginning at age 15. Her career with Valterra and the RV industry began when she was 20 years old. At the time, Valterra was looking for its first Heather Jenks from previous page

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