July '19

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JULY SPECIAL SECTION 46 • RV PRO • July 2019 RV PRO: ALL IN THE FAMILY W hen starting a new business, it's important for the owner to have people on board he can count on. For Colorado Teardrops Manager Dean Wiltshire, put two big check- marks next to his son, Shop Manager David Wiltshire, and daughter, Office Manager Sarah Wiltshire. "We all started Colorado Teardrops together," Dean says. "It's good to share knowledge learned, watch my children grow in their skills and experience and share the success of Colorado Teardrops." Being together with the small manufacturer also gives Dad a chance for some proud moments when the other family members might not know he's watching. "A recent Saturday, I ran out to get lunch and came back to a busy showroom," Dean says. "Everyone was busy with many excited customers. I stuck my head into Sarah's office and there was a family of five (small kids) as she's answering the parents' questions and keeping the children happy. Great skills for a 19-year-old!" On the downside, the three sometimes find it difficult to turn off the work talk and just share time talking about other interests. But there's no disputing the chain of command when it's time for work. "David and Sarah work for me," Dean says. "At times, it's difficult when they challenge you on a decision when a typical employee wouldn't. They are both mature and aware of their special relationship with the 'Boss' and do not exploit." S uncoast RV Rental is a three-generation operation that operates more like a family farm than an RV business, according to Vice President Wally Williams. "We view it much like a family farm – each member has an area of responsibility and needs to carry the load," he says. "Even those who work with us, and are not direct family, are considered family." Among the Williams family members involved in opera- tions are Wally's wife and company President Marlene, his son, Director Walt Williams and grandson, Warren, who is a part-time associate. Early on, Suncoast's business was 70 percent providing motorhomes to home developers during the housing boom as they sold homes from the RVs before their models were even built. Wally says he was getting frustrated with the real estate salespeople complaining, calling for water, sewage clean out, or fuel. Together, Wally and Walt came up with a plan to arrange pre-scheduled services by a third-party field contractor servicing firm, while charging an admin fee. Three hours later, Wally was implementing the plan. One of the family's most rewarding events occurred when Walt's son, Warren, was attending Valley Forge Military College, and had the honor and privilege to march in the Washington, D.C., National Memorial Day Parade. The whole family took of the vehicles from the fleet, turning it into a three-generation vacation. Having the whole family involved in the daily business means there is little opportunity to escape or simply carve out family time. Even at family events, business is always a main topic of concern. With the entire family involved, it is difficult to get and keep everyone together for holidays or difficult to get away. And, of course, challenges in the business can carry over into family relationships. Wally, at age 88, is involved in daily operations and has decades of experience running grocery stores and national manufacturing operations. He shares his wisdom and core values to create a family atmosphere not often seen in businesses these days. "We are a team and try to treat each other as partners in the business," Wally says. SUNCOAST RV RENTAL WALLY, MARLENE, WALT AND WARREN WILLIAMS COLORADO TEARDROPS DEAN, DAVID AND SARAH WILTSHIRE From left to right: Wally, Marlene, Walt and Warren Williams Sarah Wiltshire (in teardrop trailer) and dad Dean Wiltshire

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