May '21

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34 • RV PRO • May 2021 rv-pro.com WOMEN IN BUSINESS Lorem ipsum WOMEN IN BUSINESS Melanie Hellwig White President Hellwig Products J ust because she was the fourth generation to join the business her great-grandfather started didn't mean Melanie Hellwig White expected preferential treatment. She began doing cold calls, which she says "helps you grow a thick skin and understand that it's not always going to be that fun. But it was an awesome way to get started." After a while on the job she says she noticed the company needed better marketing, so she started investigating what needed doing and doing it. This began a pattern. "At no time in my career did I ever get a promotion before doing the work. I saw a space, stepped in, and did what needed to be done," she says. Along the way, Hellwig White fell in love with the markets served by her company, including the RV industry. (Hellwig Products also makes sway bars and helper springs for the truck/SUV, off-road and muscle car markets.) "The industry is like a big family and the organization is like an offshoot of that family," she says. "I love that I get to help people go to amazing places." There were special individuals, too. Hellwig White met a female business owner through a mentoring program. "She allowed me to go with her on (business) trips. … At the time, I thought that was so nice and so generous. And it was. Later, I understood that it also allowed me to observe and learn her habits. Although we went out for a drink with colleagues, we were never the last ones to leave, and we were always up early. This kind of thing has a huge impact on your credibility." According to Hellwig White, "the industry is full of mentors. When you say you don't understand something, or don't know something, or that you need help, people are always willing to step up."

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