Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway Inc. has promoted Tony Diaz to the position of regional sales manager for the Western region, according to a press release.
Diaz is a 19-plus year veteran of the RV industry, beginning with Stag as a warehouse employee in Southern California and eventually working his way up to inside sales consultant in its call center. He then took his experience to the dealer side, working as a parts manager for La Mesa RV for nine years. Feeling that he needed to be knowledgeable of all sides of the industry, he then worked for Blue Ox as the outside sales rep for the Western states, winning “Salesman of the Year” in 2011.
STAG welcomed Diaz back in 2012 where he grew his region in the Southeast as an outside sales consultant and garnered respect from his colleagues “due to his can-do nature and affable personality.”
His recent move will see him responsible for managing a team of outside sales consultants in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
Stag-Parkway Inc. has promoted Bob Barra to senior vice president of sales, according to a press release. Barra, who most recently served as vice president of sales for Stag’s eastern division, has replaced Craig Mellor who served as the Atlanta-based company’s senior vice president of sales.
Mellor has assumed the role of senior sales adviser and will be helping Barra transition into the senior vice president of sales position and also help train STAG’s sales staff, maintain dealer relationships, and expand STAG’s presence in the market.
Barra joined STAG in 2004 as Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest region. In 2008, he led his region to STAG’s prestigious Region of the Year award. In 2008 and 2011, Barra also won STAG’s Peak Performer awards. In 2011, he was promoted to Division VP of Sales.
Stag also announced the promotion of Laura Mallary to the position of regional sales manager for the northeastern region.
Mallary served as call center manager for more than 10 years prior to her recent promotion and will now be responsible for managing a team of outside sales consultants in the northeast.
Stag said Mallary has consistently been recognized for her team leadership, dedication and industry knowledge by winning STAG’s Peak Performer sales award six times. “Her relationships with dealers throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England will be a tremendous asset to Stag Parkway in their efforts to grow STAG’s business in the northeast,” the release stated.
During Stag-Parkway’s annual Driving Success trade show, Progress Manufacturing Inc. was recognized with one of six hand-blown Peach Awards for 2013.
According to a press release, it marked the third time Progress Manufacturing has earned the honor since becoming a supplier to Stag-Parkway in 2004. The Peach Award demonstrates “a manufacturer’s commitment to wholesale distribution and the RV industry.”
Martin Street, CEO of Stag-Parkway, noted, “This company’s leadership has a reputation as consummate professionals, personable and excellent communicators. They work tirelessly training and supporting our field sales force and ardently defend their brand and its value proposition in the market.”
“We are honored to receive a third Peach Award,” said Rich Elliott, sales manager for Progress Manufacturing. “This is a result of an attitude of continual improvement. We are truly grateful and appreciate our partnership with Stag-Parkway. They have great employees and they are wonderful to do business with.”
Progress Manufacturing, makers of The Original Equal-i-zer Sway Control hitch, supplies sway control hitches and other trailer accessories to the RV industry through its Equal-i-zer and Fastway brands. For more information about the company call (800) 478-5578 or visit their websites, www.EqualizerHitch.com and www.FastwayTrailer.com.
Anchoring the general session during Stag Parkway Inc.’s Jan. 15-17 “Driving Success” dealer meeting, President and CEO Martin Street revealed details concerning the Atlanta-based company’s sale to a private equity firm last December while purporting the collective benefits for its dealer partners.
Addressing around 1,100 dealer personnel at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas – representing a record turnout – Street highlighted the strengths of its new parent, Linsalata Capital. Stag also reported that 150 exhibitors were on hand for the meeting, displaying product on the expansive show floor.
“As I’m sure you have all seen, in December last year we were acquired by Linsalata Capital – a private equity company – from our previous owners Ares Capital,” said Street, who joined the distributor five years ago. “Lin-Cap, as it is known, is a company that specializes in owning logistics and distribution companies and so I am looking forward to the help that they can provide us, to continue with our growth plans, and to advise us on best practices that we will be able to incorporate into our current business model.”
Street acknowledged the takeover was a protracted and involved process, noting tongue-in-cheek, “At one time or another during last year I think we heard rumors that just about everyone in this room was buying us.”
He added, “Bottom line is Lin-Cap accepted that the RV industry was a great industry to be in because it has potential for growth. And they bought Stag because they believe that we can grow beyond where we currently are. They believed we are financially sound and have the infrastructure to grow. They believe, because we talked to them about our competition and they independently confirmed our views, that we are stronger than the competition and have better marketing plans for the future.”
Street also spoke to Stag’s recent expansion into the Canadian aftermarket with the opening of a warehouse facility in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.
“We have more than 7,000 items available there, two dedicated salespeople serving that market and plans to bring the entire portfolio of STAG services to Canada in the coming year,” he related. “…Expanding our market presence to the north is a natural extension of our growth plans. We very much look forward to working more closely with our customers there and believe our service levels, marketing and merchandising programs will be a welcome addition to the services they currently have access to.”
During the general session, Stag announced that long-time executive Craig Mellor would be stepping down from his responsibilities as senior vice president of sales to assume the role of senior sales advisor. Bob Barra, who previously served as regional sales manager and Eastern divisional vice president of sales, was introduced as Mellor’s successor.
“I’m delighted that we are able to promote from within to replace Craig and take someone who has developed and grown with Stag for many years and allow him the scope to help to continue to drive our business forward,” said Street.
As part of the gathering, Stag also recognized its key business partners with the traditional Peach Award. Recipients included Stromberg Carlson Products Inc., Winegard Co., RV Designer Collection, Progress Manufacturing Inc., SHURflo and Carmanah Industries.
Stag-Parkway has expanded its market coverage into Canada by opening warehouse operations in Brampton, Ontario. According to a news release, the warehouse location will give STAG the ability to provide next day service to southern Ontario and Western Quebec. The Canadian warehouse will initially stock more than 7,000 items and can accommodate the same inventory profile as the largest STAG facility in the U.S.
“The move to Canada was a logical one for us,” states Martin Street, president and CEO of Atlanta-based STAG. “We have been servicing RV dealers in Canada for several years from our northern warehouse locations in the U.S. While we have been competitive doing so, we see an even bigger opportunity in Canada by being physically located there. We look forward to working with Canadian RV dealers and see this launch as a way to reinforce our commitment to serving them in the future.”
To support the sales effort in Canada, STAG has hired two salespeople. “Servicing the market effectively means having feet on the street,” commented Craig Mellor, senior vice president of sales. “We knew going in that we would need professional sales people from Canada spearheading our sales effort. We feel very fortunate to have found Christian Fauteux and Gordon Edgar to fill that role. They both have sales tenure in other markets which complements our approach to bringing a broader perspective of retailing to our customers.”
Fauteux and Edgar have completed their initial round of product and industry training with an extensive in-the-field program conducted by STAG’s U.S. sales team. According to Mellor, “Their experiences in Canada and working with retailers throughout the region will provide valuable insight and direction to ensure we treat the Canadian market and its dealers as unique with unique needs.”
Other plans for Canada include the introduction of a Canadian version of the BIG Book in 2013 as well as making available a variety of marketing and merchandising programs to Canadian dealers. “We want to be a full-service distributor in Canada,” says John Spaulding, senior vice president of marketing. “That includes making available our Complete Merchandising program, our direct mail and custom imprint programs as well as our B2B and B2C offerings. All of which will be rolled out over the next 12-18 months.”
Canadian dealers interested in learning more about STAG can call (800) 765-7824.
Linsalata Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, announced that it has acquired Stag-Parkway Inc. from Ares Capital Corp. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
According to a press release, Stag-Parkway’s senior management team invested alongside Linsalata Capital. Stag-Parkway CEO Martin Street noted, “Our team is excited to partner with LinCap and leverage their distribution expertise as we accelerate our strategic growth initiatives in 2013 and beyond.”
Headquartered in Atlanta, Stag-Parkway is the largest aftermarket distributor of recreational vehicle parts and accessories in North America serving as a link between a diverse base of 6,000 customers and over 600 suppliers. Stag-Parkway also offers next-day delivery to areas covering 95% of the U.S. population.
Stephen B. Perry, co-president and senior managing director at Linsalata Capital Partners, stated, “Stag-Parkway is an excellent opportunity for us to build on our previous experience investing with industry leading distribution companies. We are excited about the prospects for the business going forward.”
“Martin Street has developed a deep and talented management team building a company based on customer service and a dedication to helping their customers enhance performance”, added Michael J. Faremouth, principal at Linsalata Capital Partners. “We like niche aftermarket sectors and are excited about the opportunity to continue growing the business through internal initiatives and potential acquisitions.”
To support its sales effort in Canada, Stag-Parkway has hired Gordon Edgar and Christian Fauteux as outside sales consultants.
“Servicing the market effectively means having feet on the street,” said Craig Mellor, senior vice president of sales, in a press release. “We knew going in that we would need professional salespeople from Canada spearheading our sales effort. We feel very fortunate to have found Christian Fauteux and Gordon Edgar to fill that role.
“Their experiences in Canada and working with retailers throughout the region will provide valuable insight and direction to ensure we treat the Canadian market and its dealers as unique with unique needs.” Fauteux comes to Stag-Parkway with 10 years of sales and sales management experience in consumer electronics working for Cerwin-Vega, Polk Audio and Logitech. Fauteux will have primary responsibility for eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Edgar joins Stag-Parkway after 20 years of sales experience in consumer and industrial goods working for Home Depot, Home Hardware, Sears, PetSmart, Boeing, Timex and Wal-Mart. Edgar will have primary responsibility for western and northern Ontario.
Stag-Parkway’s Professional Retail Organization (PRO), a dealer continuing education program now in its third year, has seen a 75% increase in the number of certified dealerships.
In 2010, 56 dealerships became certified compared with over 225 certified dealerships as of Aug. 1, 2012, according to a press release. Registration in PRO has also increased significantly with over 1,200 dealer personnel now registered representing 743 dealerships.
Enrollment in PRO is free and dealers must successfully complete four online tests their first year to become certified and another two tests every year thereafter to retain their certification. Twelve webinars are offered every year via RV University along with quarterly webinars. All webinars and supporting materials are archived on www.stagparkway.com so that dealers can complete them at their own pace and convenience.
Stag-Parkway said that PRO curriculum is designed to “expand a dealership’s understanding of key areas in their business and give them practical tools to help them run successful dealerships.” Since it was introduced in 2010, PRO training has included modules on merchandising, marketing, customer experiences, social media, customer relationship management, retail technology, search engine optimization and consumer behavior.
Certified dealers receive a special PRO certificate and window decal, free RV University admission for the certified attendee valued at $149 and 10% off imprinted catalogs, flyers and the annual MagniFinder subscription.
To register for the PRO education program, contact your STAG sales consultant.
RV dealer principals, general managers and parts professional are invited to attend a special “super session panel” entitled “E-commerce Solutions–Taking Your Parts Store to the Next Level” on Oct. 4, during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at the Rio All-Suite Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.
According to a press release, the panel will discuss how the RV parts industry has changed through the power of the Internet. Discussions will include solutions to online parts stores ranging from third-party opportunities to self-managed revenue building and enhancement opportunities. Session attendees will learn how to use and implement the newest tools and strategies to build parts revenue. Tactics discussed on the panel will include product bundling, couponing, fulfillment, shipping, taxes and returns.
Panelists for the session include: Angela Cellucci, Robin Beebe-Moussaoui, and Doug McDonald from UVS Junction, Martin Street of Stag-Parkway, and Steve Swanson of Hilltop RV.
“Dealers will find out how to re-think sales by bringing parts to the front of their websites, how get to cash flow going by moving stale parts off the shelves, and creative marketing strategies get parts customers to return to their website,” Cellucci said.
UVS Junction has upgraded its sponsorship to level to Silver – making it the sole sponsor at that level at this time.
The session ties directly into curricula developed by the RV Learning Center and the Center on Education for Training for Employment at The Ohio State University. It is ideal for parts personnel interested in certification or seeking recertification continuing education credit.
The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct.1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center.
The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.
Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and complete information about all the continuing education opportunities available. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn® professional networking services, Twitter, and Facebook.
Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway Inc. has named Tony Diaz to the position of outside sales consultant for the southeastern region, effective May 15. According to a news release, Diaz will be responsible for calling on RV dealers in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Diaz has over 15 years experience in the RV industry. Prior to joining Stag-Parkway, Diaz worked for Blue Ox as their territory manager for the western United States where he was named Salesman of the Year in 2011. He also previously served in sales and management positions for La Mesa RV and Stag-Parkway.
“Stag-Parkway innovatively delivers the highest customer service and business solutions in the industry by helping their business partners grow their business through partnering with key suppliers and manufacturers,” Diaz said. “It became clear to me that I wanted to be a part of what Stag-Parkway has to offer, and wanted to grow within a company that truly cares about their customers.”