Many know him as the "business turnaround king" and star of CNBC's prime time reality series The Profit, but his
rise to stardom is no Hollywood construction.
biggest success is as the chairman and CEO of Camping World
and Good Sam
, the nation's largest RV/outdoor retailer and owner organization, respectively.
While at the helm of America's one-stop shop for all-things RV, Lemonis' unique vision and large ambition keep him looking forward.
Lemonis was born in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon in 1973; and, at nine months old, was adopted by a Lebanese couple living in Miami, FL. As a young child, he was exposed to positive and prosperous business values at his family-owned Anthony Abraham Chevrolet, the largest Chevrolet dealership in Florida.
entrepreneurial spirit bloomed at age 12, when he
started a lawn mowing service in order to generate money to open a candy business.
Upon graduating from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Lemonis moved to Milwaukee, WI to attend Marquette University to study Political Science, Criminology and Economics.
returned to Florida after graduation and ran for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives
At 22, with no political experience, he
gained the endorsement of the Miami Herald
lost the campaign, Lemonis
refocused and held several automotive sales and managerial roles.
It was a conversation with family friend and former Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacocca, who advised Lemonis to get into the camping and RV business, which put him on the path to eventual chairmanship.
streamlined the RV industry, buying more than 100 RV companies from dealerships across the country and turning them into Camping World
After combining Camping World
with Good Sam Enterprises
in 2010, Lemonis
now leads nearly 6,000 employees in over 100 US cities, and recorded close to $3 billion in sales in 2013.
In 2014, Lemonis
teamed up with NASCAR to renew Camping World
's sponsorship of the Truck Series through 2022.
The extension affirms the RV
and camping company's commitment, continuing a relationship as title sponsor that dates back to 2009.
Marcus Lemonis standing in front of racecar.
With the growing success of Camping World
and Good Sam
, business publications started taking notice.
landed on Crain's
Chicago Business' "40 under 40" list in 2005 and just two years later, was named RV Business Magazine's
"Newsmaker of the Year" in 2007.
In 2008, Ernst and Young
"Entrepreneur of the Year."
While determined to achieve his
own success, Lemonis
consistently looks for ways to help those around him.
These philanthropic habits started in college, where he served as the president of Marquette's Student Athletic Committee and planned a citywide clothing drive to help the homeless of Milwaukee.
Over the years, he
has also contributed time and money to various organizations including: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
, NVEEE (National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment), New Journey's Transitional Home, Neat Stuff, Ravinia Festival Association, RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Photocharity and the Joffrey
Ballet Bridge Program.
As a result of successful partnerships on CNBC's The Profit, Lemonis
has acquired 1-800-Car-Cash, an automobile buying service, and developed AutoMatch USA, which specializes in selling pre-owned automobiles and accessories for every lifestyle and budget.
ever-growing business portfolio remains concentrated on efficient, creative and relevant practice of his
"Three P" principle: "People/Process/Product.
employees, business partners and himself to strive for the absolute best in all three arenas.
drives results through collaborations and continuous improvement.
His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs mirrors that for his Camping World and Good Sam employees; it's simple: stay focused, work hard, know your numbers, and be disciplined.
Both a growing employee population and television viewership means Lemonis'
business acumen now reaches more than ever before.
With tire tracks firmly planted in the RV industry and an extensive automotive background to draw upon, Marcus Lemonis
is challenging himself and those he
works with to consistently raise the bar and stand out as employees and businesses of choice!