Charlotte, North Carolina – It was 2008. The recession was in full effect and markets everywhere were in peril.
Lonnie Campbell, who had joined Biesse as an employee the year before, was suddenly laid off but decided to double down with the company despite all the uncertainty surrounding him.
“I ended up going to Biesse as an employee for seven months right before the recession,” Campbell recalled. “But I knew and (Biesse America & Canada President/CEO) Federico (Broccoli) knew it was a steppingstone for me and not a permanent position. He was the key guy that helped me get to that point.
“The first thing out of my mouth was ‘I want to be a dealer’ as the market was freefalling. They were a little bit shocked and concerned for me but they immediately and without hesitation said, ‘Whatever you need.’ They backed it up and were behind me 100 percent the whole time.”
Fast forward to today and Campbell’s Vision Machinery, based in Sacramento, California, is one of Biesse’s best dealers in North America.
Campbell carries some important lessons with him from the recession era. The key to his survival then came in having a diverse portfolio of product offerings and today he sells the entire Biesse line as well as Intermac.
“In ‘08, I really had to diversify,” he said. “Being able to offer the entire line is what kept me alive. Being able to get a little bit here and a little bit there was just enough for long enough to get me through.”
Today, operating in a vibrant market and still working with the industry leader in Biesse, Campbell calls it a “complete privilege” to sell the company’s products. In an industry where allegiance can often be fleeting, Campbell is steadfast in his commitment as a dealer for Biesse.
“Biesse has been amazing to me from the start even when I was a green dealer employee,” Campbell said. “Their educational system, their dealer training is phenomenal. They really show passion in their products in a team and family environment. They put a lot of faith in their dealers and really did everything they could to develop their dealers to be their eyes and ears. The biggest reason why I am so loyal to them is because of their overall passion not just for their own products but for the people that they’re developing on their team. I am a loyal guy where I want to reward that.”