Bucars Blog — September 30 2013

Industry Profile: RV designers from KZ RV

Two RV designers from KZ-RV Inc., what they do and how they do it. 

Picture your perfect job. Pilot? Engineer? Entrepreneur? UPS Driver? How about RV designer? Now doesn’t that sound like an awesome line of work? Well for Marlene Snyder and Sonya Schmucker that’s exactly what it is. And in an industry where men typically line the production floors and run the operations, these two ladies stand out from the crowd with pride.

We asked each a few questions to get to know them better and learn about their roles with KZ, one of Bucars RV Centre’s most popular brands.

Marlene Snyder – Production Manager, KZ Inc.

1) Tell us a little about yourself

I am the Product Manager here at KZ. I’ve been at KZ for 18 years. I have 2 children. A 9 yr old son (Brady) and a 6 year old daughter (Kennedy) and my husband Dave, also works at KZ as a Purchasing Agent.

2) What does a Product Manager do?

My job is to provide an RV that appeals to a broad range of buyers with quality and price playing important roles. I strive to build the best product with the best value in the market today.

3) What got you into the RV business?

I guess you can say I grew up around it. Both my parents worked for KZ. Actually my mom still does. She’s been here since Columbus sailed the earth. I’m just kidding! Don’t print that J. She’s worked at KZ for 34 years. I think it’s safe to say the KZ is a great place to work and they treat their employees with fairness. KZ is reputable company with good morals and makes for a wonderful work environment. Plus we sell fun – what could be better!

4) What’s the best part about your job?

Dreaming up a floor plan and actually having it built and getting to see the final product is very satisfying and rewarding. I love what I do. I always try to put a spin on the unit to make it different from others in the marketplace. There’s a lot of competition out there and you always need to stay competitive. Whether it’s making sure you have a place for your silverware, or making sure there is plenty of counter top space to making sure the unit is comfortable. My job is never done. I feel there is always room for improvement. I listen to our dealers and the retail customer to get ideas on how to make our units better.

5) Hobbies? What do you do for fun?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Specifically enjoy the summer months. Love the warm weather and heading to the lake, watching my kids ski and tube. My son plays a lot of baseball so we have lots of fun spending weekends at the ballpark as well.

6) Do you RV? Where do you love to go? Where haven’t you been that you’d like to visit?

We try to go camping once or twice a year. With the kids being so active in sports it’s hard to find a free weekend to do so. It’s definitely important to camp because it lets you use the product and find ways to improve, so we try to as much as we can.

 

Sonya Schmucker – Interior Designer, KZ Inc.

1) Tell us a little about yourself

Born and raised in the Middlebury, IN area, still reside there with my husband of 23 years, Ron and our 2 daughters. I have been in the design job at KZ for 9 years.

2) What does an RV Interior Designer do?

I am responsible for choosing and implementing the interior design elements in an RV. Such as the fabrics, floor coverings, wall board, window treatments, ect. The items that make an RV feel like a home.

3) What got you into the RV business?

When you live in Elkhart County, the “RV Capital of the world”, you either work in RV or know someone that does. When I was ready to change jobs I mentioned it to Marlene, my friend and fellow interviewee, and now we work together.

4) What’s the best part about your job?

I enjoy the process of putting all the design elements together to make new decors. Spreading out all my options, choosing what I think looks the best together, working with production to implement the different items, then seeing the finished product roll off line. Our production people are absolutely the best around! They always partner with me to keep things fresh and current.

5) Hobbies? What do you do for fun?

Our family and friends enjoy spending time together at our lake cottage during the summer months. My husband and I both enjoy riding Harley’s. My favorite hobby is hanging out and playing with my 2 year old grand-daughter.

6) Do you RV? Where do you love to go? Where haven’t you been that you’d like to visit?

Since the above-mentioned hobbies keep us very busy during the summer months, and our summer months are unfortunately limited, we don’t get to camp as much as I would like to. When our kids were younger we did go out more and it was always a treat. We made some great family memories at the local campgrounds. Once Ron and I retire we would love to load up the dogs and motorcycles and hit the road in an RV. I would like to see the beautiful scenery out west and spend the cold months somewhere warm.

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