RV PRO

July '19

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I t's not a competition, but Brent and Bradd Giggy have enjoyed watching each other succeed and advance during their time with Keystone RV. Brent is customer service senior product manager and his brother, Bradd, is engineering manager. "It has been rewarding to see my brother grow within the Thor Organization but also interesting to see how and why it happens, knowing the details within the company," Brent says. "The conversations we have regarding the industry have a different spin than the same conversation with other people." "It's been rewarding to look back at when we started at Keystone RV and to see how our careers have evolved," Bradd agrees. "We've both had the opportunity to grow and take on more responsibilities in our positions and it's definitely kept us busy." The brothers don't get to work on many projects together, but they tend to hear about each other's exploits with talking with customers. "I hear stories of their experiences, which usually start with 'you won't believe what your brother said/did' followed with a laugh," Brent says. And though the two sometimes have disagreements, like any brothers, they also value each other's input. "Not long after I went to work at Keystone back in 2007, Brent called me to ask me my opinion of Keystone because he had been offered a job," Bradd says. "I thought 'Wow! My big brother is actually asking me for my opinion?' I was glad to offer any insight I could because it's turned out to be a great place to work for both of us." K en Shepherd is the third-generation owner of Shepherd Sales, a manufacturer rep firm serving the automotive and RV industries based in Denver. His grandfather started the company back in 1949, dealing only in the automotive industry. He expanded the business into the various Rocky Mountain states. Ken's father, Jerry Shepherd, took over the business when Ken's grandfather passed away in the late 1980s. "At that time my dad took over and diversified in to the RV industry. We've grown that way ever since," Ken says. In 2010, Ken joined the company and ultimately purchased the company in 2014 from his parents. Growing up in the industry, he enjoyed traveling to trade shows and learning from his dad during winter breaks, but he still wanted to try some different things. He worked for a while in all aspects of commercial fitness and biomedical sales before finding 2010 to be the right time and place to join the family business where Ken says that, although it's a family business, it's still like any other company. "There are some pros and cons working with family," he says. "It's a different dynamic than working for large or small corporate America. You get to be more honest and share your true feelings with one another. I wouldn't trade it for anything." Ken Shepherd spent the first few years he officially worked for the company learning from his father. "It was very good. My dad has some 45-odd-years of experience in the industry. He's forgotten more than I'll ever know, so the first couple of years I rode his coat tails," he says. "Everywhere he went, I went: vendor calls, dealer calls, training, meetings. I watched and formulated my own plans and ideas. I also learned from the other manufacturer represen- tatives in the company about relationships with clients." While his parents worked together in the company for many years, his mother has retired and is enjoying spending her time doing what she wants. His father, however, still comes in almost every day. "My father, at 74-years-old, is still going strong and travels quite a bit. He still does calls and oversees territory," Ken says. And although he's still involved, Ken says his dad surprised all of them when he completely handed over the reins in 2014. "He handed over 100 percent complete autonomy of the company," Ken says. "Unless I ask for his opinion, he lets me make my own decisions, successes and failures." Ken says he plans to continue to ask his father's advice, but looks forward to paving his own path in the RV industry. RV PRO: ALL IN THE FAMILY July 2019 • RV PRO • 49 KEYSTONE RV BRENT AND BRADD GIGGY SHEPHERD SALES KEN AND JERRY SHEPHERD Bradd Giggy (top) and older brother Brent Giggy (right) Ken Shepherd

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