July '19

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RV PRO: ALL IN THE FAMILY July 2019 • RV PRO • 117 T ogether, father-and-son team Ernie and Darrel Friesen pack a comedic punch like the classic Hollywood duos of yore. Just ask them to explain the best parts of having family in the workplace. "Well," says Darrel, laughing, "my dad can criticize me more than most people can." The owners of All Seasons RV Center in Yuba City, Calif. – after nearly 35 years of involve- ment – are firmly established in the RV industry. During their careers, both Ernie and Darrel were chairman of RVDA. Ernie, in fact, was one of the founding members of the California RV Dealers Association where he twice served as president – as would Darrel. "When Darrell assumed the presidency of CalRVDA, as a father, it was a proud moment for me," says Ernie. "And then when he was elected to the board at RVDA and became chairman again – those are proud moments, and I cherish them." The two also have worked hard to involve themselves on a legislative level for anything RV-related in California. There are clearly defined generational roots running through the industry and dealership. But the growing success of their business – evidenced by the recent expansion of the dealership – can largely be attributed to the balanced dynamics of their family. "We all have different personalities," says Ernie. "I'm more aggressive. And Darrell has a little different personality. He spends a lot of time in reasoning things through and rationalizing. So, somewhere between the two of us, there's what I consider the perfect mix. Somebody that is not too aggressive and somebody that kind of thinks things out first and then moves." This mettle and know-how were put to the test during the Great Recession. As the downturn reared its head around the corner, the Friesens realized that inventory would need to be reduced. Ernie sought to cut it down by $1 million. Darrel ended up reducing it by $1.5 million, averting bankruptcy. Now, at 76, as Ernie enters retirement, he prepares to be more hands-off on day-to-day duties. "The truth of the matter is that 60 years ago, I would have never believed that we would havearrived at the point that we're at today. I just never saw that," he says. "But as you take on more responsibility you grow. And it is so rewarding – all the people the dealers the manufacturers that we have met. … It's just been extremely rewarding." "And it's not even fair," adds Darrel, "because you receive back so much more when you volunteer. You get back so much more in return." ALL SEASONS RV CENTER ERNIE AND DARREL FRIESEN

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