February '20

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rv-pro.com February 2020 • RV PRO • 81 so we want to do the same for them. It's great that we are suc- cessful on the business side of it, but for us, it's really friends who need help. We go to their weddings and baby showers; we attend retirement dinners." Rhinesmith says her company tries to show its appreciation of its customers in a variety of ways. "We have a suite at the South Bend Cubs (minor league baseball team) that will hold 30 people. We love it because we can bring in not just the customers, but their loved ones," she says. With many of its customers located on its home turf, LaVan- ture's robust agenda of community involvement serves it well. The company supports a wide variety of charities and other organizations, including the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County, Boys and Girls Clubs, the 4-H Fair, the American Cancer Society, and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization that coordinates packaging and dis- tribution of food for people in developing nations. "We have a wide variety of passions, so that allows us to stay involved in the community. It enables us to participate in various ways," Rhinesmith says. "Whether it be sponsoring an event like a fashion show for the local humane society or the local band boosters, we literally have dozens of charities that we support." Determining Which Products Work Best Over the decades, LaVanture has developed a strict vetting process for determining which new products to carry. Ideas come from all directions, understandably including RV manufacturers. The company has representatives in RV plants on a daily basis so they can see what the OEMs needs are. Rhinesmith says that level of access provides a good barom- eter of problematic issues. LaVanture Products then takes that information to its sourcing department and begins looking for solutions. Additionally, product manufacturers regularly contact LaVanture, asking the company to represent their products. That often leads to new ideas as well, according to Rhinesmith. "I will reach out to my contacts in the industry and ask them if these products are something they would like to see us bring to the market," she says. "We want to make sure the item is something that is going to benefit the industry." Subscribe at rv-pro.com/subscribe or call 800-870-0904 JOIN THOUSANDS OF RV PROFESSIONALS LIKE YOU! SUBSCRIBE TO RV PRO FOR IN-DEPTH NEWS COVERAGE

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