Florida RV dealer Gigi Stetler and her company, RV Sales of Broward, have filed a third amended complaint in their 2010 lawsuit against a major equestrian show, claiming an attempt to put her company out of business in conjunction with Camping World, and also claiming intentional interference with adventitious business relationships, civil theft, conversion, tortious interference and many other claims.
According to a release issued by RV Sales of Broward, Stetler accuses Camping World and its celebrity CEO, Marcus Lemonis, the star of CNBC’s primetime show THE PROFIT, whom she had earlier rebuffed when he tried to buy her business in 2008, of conspiring with Bellissimo Entities to force RV Sales of Broward out of business, when Stetler “politely but firmly rejected all of Lemonis’s offers to buy her business.”
A hearing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 27 over evidence in this civil case. Already more than 500 documents have been discovered so far but Stetler’s lawyers, Ticktin Law Group, want the court to compel Bellissimo’s entities to release their records.
In the suit, Stetler claims that when she attempted to negotiate terms for her 2010 contract, which had been in place since 2000, Bellissimo entities persuaded Stetler and RV Sales of Broward to turn over her confidential client list, trade secrets and her business model. Stetler alleges they requested this information as the condition for a new agreement with her, while Bellissimo and Lemonis had a deal already in place that was contingent upon Bellissimo forwarding Stetler’s confidential client list over to Camping World, to facilitate the malicious destruction of RV Sales of Broward’s business.
Stetler also alleges that in furtherance of the plan for Camping World to acquire the customers of RV Sales of Broward, Bellissimo and Lemonis improperly and wrongfully had Stetler barred from the competition at the equestrian event. “They believed that her presence at the event, even just as a competitor, would cause competition between RV Sales of Broward, and Camping World,” the release stated.
Stetler’s suit alleges that this scheme by Bellisimo and Lemonis was not only an attempt to obtain the business and customers that RV Sales of Broward had established over the years but, according to the complaint, was also “a malicious reaction by Lemonis, Camping World’s CEO, who could not tolerate the fact that Gigi Stetler stood up to him, by refusing to sell RV Sales of Broward to Camping World in 2008.”
Editor’s Note: Author Gigi Stetler appeared over the weekend at the Miami Book Fair International to sign copies of her book, “Unstoppable! Surviving Is Just The Beginning.” Following is a review of her book provided by JAS Literary Publishing.
“Gigi’s story is about a girl who wouldn’t give up. It reads like a best seller, replete with plot twists, shady characters and a heroine with many layers. A father figure mentor who gave her a chance later stabbed her in the back, an attacker who literally stabbed her 21 times and left her for dead and success in an industry that conspired to keep her out. In every instance, where Gigi was knocked down, she got up, brushed herself off, and came back stronger than ever”, says Richard Angulo. Gigi says, “I kept my sights on my goal even when it seemed like a never-ending nightmare. No one and nothing was going to stop me from that goal.”
“A single mom that didn’t finish the 10th grade, Gigi became a queen of the male-dominated recreation vehicles industry, presiding over the $18 million-a-year RV Sales of Broward as the first female owner of an RV dealership in the country. She redefined the climate of the RV industry and became an inspiration to women everywhere,” says Richard Angulo
. Gigi says, “My road to success has been more of a motocross obstacle course – full of peaks and valleys, dips and hurdles – rather than a paved highway to triumph. Every inch of success took fortitude and massive perseverance.”
Nothing has changed for this tough-as-nails businesswoman. After exposing an industry-wide lending scam, was pressured and bullied, but refused to sell out. Lenders retaliated and RV Sales of Broward was pronounced financially dead in September 2008. Gigi says, “I won’t stay down. I’ve been crawling and scratching my way back, never giving up, and always staying true to who I am.”
Asked what makes a person unstoppable? Gigi says, “I’m sure it’s different for each individual, but in my case I simply don’t look back at some of the most unconscionable, ruthless things that have happened to me, and I don’t waste time feeling sorry for myself. The word victim is not in my consciousness. If anything, I use those contemptible events to strengthen my future.”
In addition to pulling RV Sales of Broward out of the ashes, and becoming a business consultant, motivational speaker, Gigi is launching her line of all natural supplements under the brand My Perfect Bones. Gigi says, “I am set on bringing my “unstoppable” message of hope and survival to anyone who is facing hard times.” Her message is simple yet powerful: only you direct your own present and your own future – “Greet life as a warrior, not a victim.” (Published by JAS Literary Publishing, ISBN 978-0-615-40507-0, 215 pp, pb, $24.95)