Monday, July 30, 2012

Prepare To Meet Secret Millionaire Marcus Lemonis On August 5

On August 5, Marcus Lemonis will be featured on the ABC hit television show Secret Millionaire. Lemonis is the CEO of RV-related Good Sam Enterprises and Camping World so it is appropriate that he lived in a trailer during his time on the show. However, this trailer is rundown and he must live on welfare wages, not the high income he is accustomed to receiving. Lemonis spends his time in his hometown of Miami, volunteering at charitable organizations and looking for people and groups worthy of financial donation.

Since March 2011, Lemonis has been the CEO of Good Sam Enterprises. He has served as president and CEO of Camping World, Inc. since September 2006 and of FreedomRoads Holding Company, LLC, which he co-founded, since 2003. From 2001 to 2003, Lemonis held executive positions with Holiday RV Superstores Inc. Before that, he was director of regional operations and director of megastore operations for AutoNation USA. His travel-related career began after serving as assistant general manager for Anthony Abraham Chevrolet from 1995 to 1999.

This 38-year-old earned his six figure income through hard work and dedication. He has had more than his share of bumps in the road, with Holiday RV Superstores filing for bankruptcy in 2003 and AutoNation used car megastores shut down after he served as regional manager for 65 stores in 11 states. Now, he is the CEO of Affinity Group, which owns Camping World and Good Sam.

When Lemonis was just nine months old, he was rescued from an orphanage in war-torn Beirut. A businessperson who ran the largest Chevrolet dealerships in Tampa and Miami, Florida, raised him. Lemonis found a mentor in this man and close family friend Lee Iacocca, the well-known former head of Chrysler Corporation. Lemonis graduated from the business school at Marquette University, triple majoring in political science, accounting, and economics.

This young millionaire is shrewd and has a habit of turning around organizations in decline. As a leader, he confounds many, with his moves including firing all managers at FreedomRoads. Affinity Group , which dominates the recreational vehicle industry and is considered by many as too large to fail, may have found the leader it needs. To clear its approximately $330 million in debt, the company must generate over $3 million per month.

Crain included Lemonis in its “40 under 40” Chicago list in 2005. In 2007, RV Business magazine named the now-millionaire its “Newsmaker of the Year.” Lemonis received the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” honors from Ernst & Young in 2008. This man has a large heaping of charisma and a desire to give back to communities in which he is involved.

Lemonis is up for the Affinity Group challenge just as he was up for appearing on two seasons of Celebrity Apprentice and now, Secret Millionaire. Watch him volunteer for three Miami-area charity organizations and use his leadership skills to help improve life in Miami. Lemonis said his experience on the show was life-changing and is reflective of the philosophy of Good Sam, which includes giving back wherever needed.

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