Kat Nelson – The future may be unseen, but it’s full of possibilities.
Kat Nelson hasn’t been in the RV industry all that long.
But in her four years with Camping World, she has progressed to finance director while working her way up from the finance department at the company’s Ocala, Fla., location.
And she has been at it long enough to see what sets her current job apart from previous stops in the auto industry and working for a tech company.
“I love our customers,” she said. “Buying an RV is usually a fun ordeal. They want to make memories and take their kids and grandkids somewhere. So, the whole transaction of an RV purchase is just a lot of fun with the customers. I also happen to love my employees that I work with – my coworkers are like teammates…family. I have some of the best coworkers here.”
It’s not that Kat Nelson doesn’t have a lot of serious, important work to accomplish.
After all, she is in a position of financial responsibility for one of the largest RV dealership groups in the country. Not to mention the guy who owns the group – Marcus Lemonis – has a net worth of some $500 million and a TV show focused on investment called “The Profit.”
It’s just that with RVing, those in the sales process are helping people to achieve a dream and are helping them buy something they want rather than a necessity.
“It’s really good position to be in the finance department, it happens to be also my favorite dept, which is why I hope I’ll never leave,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun. You work really hard, but you also can make it a lot of fun – a lot of times we’re jamming to music while we are getting customers’ documents ready and having a good time with the group.”
The fun aspect and her positive outlook to the industry helps Kat Nelson keep a good grip on things from day to day.
It also helps her keep a focus on a potentially bright future.
“I’m most excited about how the future is unknown, but it’s also limitless,” she said. “I think that’s the most exciting part. When I got into the RV industry we had less of a customer base. Not a lot of people were camping yet. Now it has exploded. Everybody wants to go camping with how the world has kind of changed.
“I think the market is going to keep expanding as people are trading out, they watch their friend’s next door purchase a camper and now they’ve got the itch and want to get a camper,” she added. “The most exciting part of this industry is just how limitless it’s going to be and I can’t wait to see what comes of it in the following years.”
Kat Nelson said she grew up on a horse farm and spent a lot of time hunting and fishing in her youth. She and her husband are still active in both activities.
Her most cherished hunt bagged a caribou when her family took a trip to Alaska – a trip she says she will remember forever.
Just as she had to step up and take the shot on that hunt, Kat Nelson encourages anyone interested to get involved in the RV industry and explore the opportunities.
“I remember when I came from the auto industry and was going into the RV industry I was very nervous,” she said. “A lot of coworkers, people that I knew made the comment of, ‘Why would anybody go into the RV industry?’ That really scared me, but I took the jump and it’s been the best thing. You don’t hear of anybody going back into the car industry because everybody stays in the RV industry. It’s just that great.”
Similarly, she would like to see more women take a chance on the industry.
“I would tell them to jump in because it’s such a good industry and there are so many things and so many opportunities for women,” she said. “No matter what you want to do. If you want to work in service, you can work in service. If you want to work in finance, you can be in finance. There are just so many avenues about RVing in general that opportunities are there for every one of us.”