Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article authored by Fred Thompson, editor and publisher of “Roughing It Smoothly,” detailing the installment by Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. of Andy Baer as national sales manager, taking over for long-time Tiffin employee Jerry Williamson who took a position as COO of National Indoor RV Centers. “Roughing It Smoothly” is a publication of Book Production Resources, which is distributed to Tiffin motorhome owners. To view the entire article, which starts on page 32, click here.
After serving for nearly 15 years as the national sales manager for Red Bay Ala.-based Tiffin Motorhomes Inc., Jerry Williamson recently made the decision to move into a new phase of his career. He accepted an offer to become the COO of National Indoor RV Centers, which currently has facilities in Dallas and Atlanta. The company offers motorhome owners full concierge service, RV sales, maintenance, repairs, and storage, plus pickup and delivery to any location.
Williamson fulfilled a two-month notice of resignation and assisted Tiffin in making the transition flow smoothly for his replacement. During the notice period, Tim Tiffin recruited Andy Baer to become the company’s new national sales manager. Baer had joined Tiffin during the summer as the manufacturer’s rep to the company’s Florida dealers. However, his earlier experience, first at Foretravel Motorhomes as director of sales and marketing and later at K-Z RVs as vice president of sales and marketing, qualified him to follow Williamson as Tiffin’s new national sales manager.
Williamson’s career at Tiffin Motorhomes began in 1998. Although he was enjoying a successful career with Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Williamson during the mid-’90’s was watching the growing position of Tiffin Motorhomes in the Class A market. With characteristic persistence, he called the then-national sales manager, Kelly Moore, seeking a position with Tiffin. Persistence paid off in 1998 when Moore opened a new position for him in the Texas region. When Moore retired in 2000, Williamson was offered to take over as national sales manager.
“The experience at Tiffin Motorhomes for which I am most thankful was the opportunity to have (President and CEO) Bob Tiffin as a mentor,” Williamson said. “His integrity and fairness in dealing with both employees and customers has given me an example to follow for the rest of my life. While I am moving on to a great opportunity, I regret losing my daily association with Bob, Tim, Van and Lex and the sales team, and all of the management organization, staff, and employees at Tiffin. Tiffin has a great dealer organization, all of whom have been a pleasure to work with.
“Andy Baer, my successor, is a perfect fit and will bring new perspectives to the position of national sales manager,” Williamson continued. “I wish him well and the greatest success at Tiffin.”
After 10 years with Foretravel, eventually being promoted to director of sales and marketing, Baer joined K-Z, logging 10 years as manager of the fifth-wheel division and later serving as the company’s vice president for sales and marketing. Baer in 2013 accepted a position with Entegra Coach, a division of Jayco Inc., as vice president of sales. “After I was able to evaluate the organizational structure of the company, I realized the job was not a good fit for me,” he said.
Last August, he accepted an offer from Tim Tiffin as manufacturer’s representative for the company’s Florida accounts. Baer’s experience in sales and marketing management with Foretravel and K-Z quickly put him in line to become the national sales manager at Tiffin.
“Tim and I had served four years together on RVIA’s board of directors. It was just a matter of a few weeks before we began discussing the national sales manager position,” Andy said. “Through my position at Foretravel, I already knew many of Tiffin’s dealers.
“I am still in a learning curve evaluating our relationships,” he explained. “My job with our dealers and owners is a slow evolution of listening and learning what they want. Every coach we build is different. It’s the human element that is so important in this business. We don’t use robotics to build a motorhome. We will make mistakes, but it’s how we live up to and learn from those mistakes that makes us a respected company.”