July '19

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Page 34 of 156

JULY SPECIAL SECTION S ince the goal of any good RV dealership is to help its cus- tomers have fun, it seems only fair that a family-owned business such as Skaggs RV Outlet in Elizabethtown, Ky., should be a fun place to work. Business Manager Alexis Skaggs is the "next generation" at the business, working with her father, owner NeVelle Skaggs. Mom Robyn formerly worked in accounting, but returned to working in the govern- ment sector during the Great Reces- sion to accrue enough time there to retire with a government retirement. "Working with family is chal- lenging yet rewarding," Alexis says. "Having the opportunity to help hun- dreds of families enjoy the outdoors and make memories together has strengthened our family's bond and our relationship with our clients. We help families have fun, so it is only natural that we have the opportunity to serve these families while having fun ourselves. It does not feel like we are working at a job, this is not a career, but rather a lifestyle." For the Skaggs, camping is a life- long love and it was the way the parents met. "They were camping with their parents and they ran into each other," Alexis says. "The courtship progressed, but they split up for a few months until Robyn went to a show NeVelle was exhibiting at. They ended up getting back together." Father and daughter use that story to help overcome when customers insist they are "just looking" at units on the lot. "My parents were both 'just looking' and look at what happened!" she says. NeVelle is a board member of the RV Safety & Education Foundation. The Skaggs lead the fire safety course at the national conference, which includes hands-on fire extinguisher training. NeVelle has been involved with the fire service for 45 plus years, and Alexis has been since she was 18. The Recession was a tough time for the dealership, as it was for many in the country. Not only did Robyn need to find other work to help make ends meet, but the challenges of maintaining a work/life balance was tough as well. NeVelle and Alexis also restore collector cars and run cattle on their farm which has been in the family since the Civil War, 32 • RV PRO • July 2019 RV PRO: ALL IN THE FAMILY SKAGGS RV OUTLET ALEXIS, NEVELLE AND ROBYN SKAGGS so they are always working together. Rarely being able to leave business matters at the dealership has made the relationship a little tense at times, she says. Still, Alexis says working with her parents has given her valuable experience and insight. "Working alongside my father has been rewarding by helping him achieve goals and learning about self-made entrepreneurs," she says. "I have learned more practical hands-on knowledge and skills regarding managing, motivating, and negotiating from him more than I did in the graduate business program. Robyn is involved on the weekends, at shows, and sits in on our marketing meetings." Alexis Skaggs (left) is pictured with her father, Nevelle Skaggs (right).

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