It’s Grant Kernan’s job to shadow Karl Blade (Newell Coach’s President and CEO for 30 years) and Pat Dwyer (Newell’s Executive V.P. of Sales and Karl’s son-in-law). He’s also working with Karl and Pat to define the company’s strategic direction.
That’s because in August of 2012, Grant joined Newell Coach as its Executive V.P. of Administration. He and Pat represent the future of Newell Coach; they will be Newell’s executive team when Karl retires.
Here’s a bit of information about Grant and what he brings to Newell Coach.
• Born in Edmond, OK. At age 10, moved to Weatherford, TX.
• Attended Dartmouth College. Played football. Received a B.A. in Sociology.
• After college, moved back to Texas and became a project manager.
• Took graduate courses in business at Texas Christian University.
• Moved to Miami, OK, in 2005.
• Joined Newell in 2012
• Currently lives in Grand Lake, OK, with wife Amber and two children, Jack, 8 and Ella, 5.
A passion for customer-driven innovation
Throughout his career, Grant has served in upper-management and marketing roles. He has worked at automotive and luxury cookware companies, Internet service providers and publishing houses. More recently and prior to joining Newell Coach, Grant was the CEO at F3 Brands, an automotive accessories manufacturer in Miami, Oklahoma.
Although Grant’s work has focused on consumer products and product development, he’s most inspired by people and customer-driven innovation.
“I like hearing what customers have to say, then using that information to get results,” he says. “There’s no better place to get ideas on how to improve a product than from those who use it.”
Focus at Newell
In the short term, Grant is working closely with Karl and Pat to learn the Newell business, inside and out. But his longer-term goals are to “… develop strategic improvements in our operations so we continue to deliver the highest-quality products and services. That includes working on our Quality Assurance Program to optimize production efficiency. I’m learning as much as I can from everyone at Newell about what it takes to make the best motorcoach available. And I’m looking for ways to make our processes, products and services even better.”
“Newell is the best in the business and has a tremendous track record to show for it,” Grant continues. “Even during the recent economic downturn, Newell Coach survived, thanks to the support of our loyal customers and dedicated employees. I’m excited to get to know both of these groups better, and to build on the strong foundation that already exists at Newell.”
‘Spoiled for life’
Grant is optimistic about Newell’s future, and he’s looking forward to being a part of it. So is his family. “We’re excited about the adventure the motorcoach lifestyle offers,” he says. “And after taking my first weekend trip in a Newell Coach, I’m spoiled for life!”