February '20

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rv-pro.com February 2020 • RV PRO • 19 great insight into how the industry operates. With it comes great pressure. "The pressure that I see is that it's a hard industry a) to be Pete's daughter, b) to be a woman, c) to come from the outside. There are so many things making it difficult," she says. "It's a challenge that I am up for, but at the same time, I want to do the things that are right in terms of quality for my customer and my dealer relationships." Rees says she's fortunate she can turn to Forest River's veteran leadership team for guidance, when needed. "I'm also learning so much from the team at Forest River, from people like Doug Deter, Doug Gaeddert and Mike R. Terlep, learning from them how we can be a better company. That's also what I'm focusing on – not just East to West – but how can Forest River do some cool things to change. "That's kind of the challenges I try to work on with my dad – creating change within the organization and structure. So, it's a lot of pressure, but it's a really fun," Rees adds. "It's like working with my family I've known all of my life. It's been great. I love working with my dad and I hope he feels the same about me." Expecting Growth in a Down Market Rees knows making market share leaps like East to West achieved in its first 18 months would be tough to repeat this year. However, the RV maker is expecting to grow again in 2020 – even though the overall towable market was down some 18 percent as 2019 ended. "We've come a long way – and we have a long way to go – but I think growing our division as a brand – people seeing us take off in ways in terms of stats, in terms of customer feedback and thoughts on our product – will be significant," Rees says. "Our dealers will grow confidence in East to West because now we have more brand offerings and we'll continue to have that. "So, we're really looking for good partners that want to invest with us from start to finish. We really appreciate those first dealers, who took a chance with us before we were at the point we are today. "With that in mind, it's growing to be the best little brand we can be. I think every day is a challenge for us because we're small, but I hope with time we become a bigger division and have more impact on the market and I hope it's a good one," she says. "I really want to grow market share with our current dealers. That's really what I'm working on with the guys right now, to continue to grow market share at our locations. That's how the good brands do it: They grow with their dealerships and then continue the outreach."

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