August '20

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16 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com Ashley Lehman Director of Corporate Marketing JAYCO Ashley Lehman has been attending board meet- ings for most of her life. In fact, Lehman says she can remember attending such meetings during the summers while in elementary school. Her father is Derald Bontrager, the CEO of Jayco. "My family did a great job of bringing us (the third generation) in, even then. They would bring all of the third generation in and talk to us about the business on a level we could understand," she says. "It might include a (factory) tour and my grandma would usually say a few words about her hopes for us and Jayco." While Lehman grew up in and around the industry, after college she moved away to work in a few different industries before starting her professional career with Jayco in 2011. She started in the corporate marketing department, where she now serves as the director. "I feel I've been lucky. I've learned a lot of industry and professional knowledge over the years. In college, I got an internship with RVIA. It was really interesting and I learned a lot," says Lehman. Besides the internship with the RV Industry Association, Lehman says she's learned bits and pieces from over the years being around the family business, especially from her grandmother, Bertha Bontrager. Bertha Bontrager and her husband, Lloyd, started Jayco in the 1960s from their home. "My grandma is a huge influence on my life," she says. "She is definitely a person of strong and resilient character. She always emphasized the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. She instilled it in our family." Lehman also credits her father, Derald Bon- trager, for teaching her the value of hard work and other important traits of a leader. "He taught me to be slow to speak but quick to listen when making sound decisions," she says. "Jayco always took a family approach to how they did business. Whether it was Jayco employees, customers or dealers, it always felt like a big family to me. You learn a lot being ingrained in the family business. You learn how things work, how to treat people and situations. It was always really exciting to me." ENERGY ®

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