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Workin' on RV's and Lovin' It!

Posted 12-02-2011 at 06:09 PM by Brazel's RV Performance

Hey guys & gals ó I thought I would take a quick departure from the current series of posts regarding the beginnings of our business and make a post about just how much I simply enjoy my job!
I basically started out working here part time when I was still in high school, pushing a broom and doing whatever menial work I was asked to do for minimum wage. While I enjoyed being a part of the family business, I felt my talents could be put to better use and when a job opportunity came up at the local Honda motorcycle dealership in the parts department I pounced on it. I grew up riding motorcycles and racing motocross and it had always been my dream to somehow be involved in that industry. I remember asking the Honda shop guys when I was 10 years old if they would hire me, and continued to pester them each time I went in with my mom or dad for the next 6 or 7 years until they finally gave me the chance. I spent about 1.5 years with South Sound Honda and thoroughly enjoyed working for them and the opportunity they gave me in learning retail sales and generally just having a fun environment to work in. Unfortunately up here in rainy Washington, their slow time is in parallel with the RV industry and they had to lay me off in the winter of 2007. At the time I was pretty crushed because I did not want to wait until the next summer to work again and I couldnít dream of working anywhere else that I would enjoy as much.
Enter Brazelís RV Performance (again). About this same time my dad was constructing the RV park adjacent to our shop and he needed some help so I was able to claim some unemployment while working on the side for my dad shoveling dirt and landscaping (hope this doesnít get big enough that the Washington State Employment Security Office reads this). After completing the RV park, there was an opening in the office as a service adviser at Brazelís RV. I applied for the position and thankfully they gave me the chance to show them what I had. Iíve always been a quick learner and I think they were pretty impressed by my proficiency on the computer and how quick I picked up the program that was used to operate the service jobs in the shop. Not long after I started there it was time to go to the Quartzsite RV Show in January, the REAL testing ground for my employment. I was in the sales booth and proved my worth once again by performing well and helping out, now this wasnít without the occasional screw up but hey I was learning and they understood. I should also explain that I was not given any sort of special treatment because I was the owners son, in fact I do believe I was pushed a lot harder and I am thankful for that in so many ways. Mike Bronzini, our general manager, was my boss & mentor and I learned quite a bit by just following his lead and I canít thank him enough for teaching me the ropes and advancing my knowledge of the RVing industry to what it has become today.
I stayed in the position of service adviser for about another year and enjoyed it enough but I still felt I could be doing more for the business in other areas. At the same time, Alan Sanders, the shop foreman, had been the main person doing all of the dyno work, programming ECMís, diagnosing engine issues and developing new products. There was some employee shuffling done at this time, Chris Leach moved up here from Grants Pass, OR and took my position as service adviser and I moved out into the shop as the ďEngine Performance TechnicianĒ. I started working with Steve, my father, and Alan learning what they knew and also learning a lot on my own. Pretty soon I was pretty much doing all of the ďdyno bayĒ work and Alan was able to focus more on product development with Steve and taking care of the myriad of other duties he has in the shop. Along with working on coaches and learning new things everyday, I was still able to interact with customers on a daily basis via the internet and phone, which is what I really love.
Fast forward to today and I am still handling most of the engine diagnostic jobs and still spinniní the rollers on the dyno but my position in the company has changed a bit and the emphasis of what I do has evolved. Because of some changes in personnel and restructuring of how we do business I am now in a position that is really my main passion and that is outside sales and distribution. I get the awesome opportunity to track down potential dealers and travel around to train them. Not only do I get to meet a lot of awesome folks, I also learn new ideas for our business and ways to progress our reach in the market place. Along with working with new dealers I also get to interact with a lot of customers on the phone that are placing orders or calling for technical assistance. This is the real fun part as I love to not only explain to people what makes us different as a business but I also get to learn about them and their hobbies, interests and lives. I canít even tell you how many people have offered a place to stay when Iím in the area or the opportunity to go for a flight with them in their private plane (thanks Gary!). As an add on to what I currently do in the shop I have recently expanded our online presence with maintaining our Facebook page (, managing this blog and continuing to participate in discussions on I believe that social media is definitely the wave of the future and keeping people interested in us and our products also protects my employees and myself as we navigate through this tumultuous economic time.
As always thanks for taking the time to read my blog and remember this time of the year of those that are less fortunate and ways to help them enjoy it as well!
-Jon Brazel
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