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Interview – Shawn Palmer Schumacher US Sales Manager | RCNews.net - RC Car News Interview – Shawn Palmer Schumacher US Sales Manager – RCNews.net – RC Car News

Interview – Shawn Palmer Schumacher US Sales Manager

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palmer.jpg 

rc-area has been extremely lucky and has managed to complete this great interview with Shawn Palmer who is Schumacher’s US Sales Manager! Click the read more link below to read the interview!
 

Where do you call home –

I’ve lived in Arizona, Texas, Kansas, and now Tampa Florida. I was born in Arizona, and that’s really “home” for me, but Florida is close enough.

Occupation –

I run the US Distribution office for Schumacher. Technically, my job title is US Sales Manager.

Years involved in RC –

As an enthusiast, more than twenty years now. Racing, bashing, building and flying airplanes and helicopters, just about everything in RC has captured my attention at one time or another. As an occupation, I’ve been involved in the RC industry for six years now.

What classes have you raced –

When I grew up, my dad sponsored a local sprint car driver, so my Saturday nights were spent at the dirt oval track. It must have got into my blood, because my favourite racing classes are still dirt oval.

Dirt Oval:
4WD 10th scale late model
2WD 10th scale late model
2WD 10th scale buggy
4WD 18th scale late model
2WD 18th scale modified

Off Road:
2WD 10th scale buggy
4WD 10th scale monster truck
2WD 10th scale truck
4WD 18th scale buggy
4WD 18th scale truck
2WD 18th scale truck

On Road:
Touring car
12th scale
18th scale pan car

rc-area: Before we start I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for spending the time to complete this interview!

The pleasure is all mine!

rc-area: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in RC?

I’ve always been fascinated by flight since I can remember. My favorite toys were always airplanes or airplane related even as a small child. I started building (static) plastic models at an early age, and was building balsa free flight airplanes soon after. I always wanted to control them though, but had no idea of how to actually do it at that age. My dad bought us both beginner RC race cars at some point, and I found the joys of RC at a local RC dirt oval and offroad track. I’ve enjoyed racing since then, but a pivotal moment came at that first track. I can’t remember what I traded exactly, but I traded something for a 4 channel airplane RC system that a guy had at the track. I then had the means to control the planes I loved to build, and the joys of RC flight followed soon after. From then on, all forms of RC have been a comfort, joy, financial drain, obsession, and eventually my occupation. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

rc-area: When you first started off in RC did you ever imagine yourself one day working in the industry?

That was the last thing on my mind at that age! I did everything back then that kids still do today – I read the magazines, I drooled over the catalogs, and I got jealous of the guys at the track that had all the newest coolest stuff. I dreamed of all the cars and radios and motors I wanted, but I never dreamed I’d be operating at this level within the industry.

rc-area: What are your day to day duties and responsibilities at Schumacher USA?

Just like any other position within the industry, all of us here at Schumacher USA wear a great many hats. I take phone orders from dealers and consumers, make sales calls to dealers, support our whole product line on the phone, email, and online forums as well. I do all the inventory purchasing, book on incoming orders, and evaluate new product lines with Robin for their suitability to either office. I do the marketing and promotions for the US office including press releases, magazine placements and etc., and with the increasing success of the US office I’ve also been assisting Robin with the marketing planning and execution for Scumacher as a whole. I also offer my opinions and guidance with new vehicle projects and product concepts. I also manage the Schumacher USA sponsored driver team. But my main responsibility is to ensure our dealers and the people using our products are happy with them and happy with their experiences with this office directly. Great products are nothing without great people developing them and then standing behind them with superior customer service. When you put the customer first and give him what he wants, financial success is sure to follow.

rc-area: What is your favourite class and car to race and why?

If I had my choice of anything to race, it would be 4WD 18th scale. I’ve raced with all the cars in that category and almost 100% of them are very good racing platforms. With Lipo batteries and brushless power in them they can be a real challenge to drive, but at the same time everything is simplified in 18th scale and it makes high level competition easier for the average driver to jump right into. The main reason I like 18th scale racing though is that it’s actually very hard to take it seriously! At tracks that race 18th and 10th, the 10th drivers are all scrambling about working on their cars feverishly and the racing can be intense and stressful at times. The 18th races are usually far more relaxed, and it’s common to actually see people smiling and laughing on the drivers stand. I think 18th scale has made a HUGE impact on RC in general, as well as racing. The size allows you to race in a great many more places than you could a 10th scale car, it’s a bit cheaper to run, and almost everyone I know that runs it has told me they like it because it’s brought the FUN back into RC and racing for them. Getting together with your mates and having a go on the track is what this is all about isn’t it? It’s a shame that all racers can’t get back to that simple joy that RC once brought them when they first started. I always have fun when I race 18th scale, and I think the majority of the 18th racers can say the same. It’s no wonder it became so popular so fast, and still continues to grow!

rc-area: Have you got a favourites track, if so which one?

My favorite track goes right in line with my favorite class. When I worked at Castle Creations, we had many 18th scale cars for brushless testing, and soon I was getting the itch to get back into racing again for my own personal enjoyment. I found a dirt oval track in town, and called the owner to talk about some “brushless system race testing time” on his track. I was immediately invited to not only come race with the club at his track, but to come over anytime I’d like for testing. I studied the rules, got a car together and showed up one raceday. I was instantly “one of the guys” and welcomed very warmly by everyone. From that day, Checkered Flag Raceway (www.checkeredflagrcraceway.com) in Bonner Springs Kansas became my favorite track. I made and still have a great many friends who race there, and even though I live more than a thousand miles away now, I return every year to support the track and participate in their trophy race – the Kansas Dirt Oval Championship. The owner of the track is Tim McDowell, and in addition to being one of my closest personal friends, he also puts on a brilliant season of some of the best dirt oval racing you’ll ever see. He’s also a great driver, as my string of second and third place trophys will tell you! The Kansas Dirt Oval Championship race is covered every year in RC Driver magazine, and I’m sure Tim would love to hear from anyone looking to promote their products to a great many racers from all over the midwest as well as a nationwide magazine audience.

rc-area: Apart from RC what other hobbies do you enjoy?

I’m recently married, and got an “instant family” of my Wife Mary, and my two kids Caleb and Ryley. I don’t know what I did for so long before all of them came into my life! Therefore, my free time is mostly our free time all together. We enjoy the beaches nearby, snorkling, fishing, looking for seashells and hiking trails. I like to surf, and occasionally indulge in computer gaming after everyone goes to bed, and I’m a very big Steven King fan. I’ve read all his books at least twice, and can never wait for the next one to come out. I also have an odd fascination for turning kids Power Wheels electric ride-on vehicles into oversized RC cars. My dream is to one day form a racing league for them and be crowned “RC Power Wheels World Champion”! I’m not sure why exactly, but I derive more satisfaction and fun out of that than almost anything else I do just for me. I almost forget it’s RC related and has something to do with my job when I’m working on them.

rc-area: What would you consider your biggest racing achievement so far?

 I have to separate personal and professional here. Personally, I have no racing ego at all. I race to have fun, and I enjoy the personal challenge of working with the car and working on my driving more than the competitive spirit that most racers have. I have a huge professional ego, and the competitive instinct really shows through in my work ethic and drive to be the best in the industry and make the company I’m working with the best at everything it does. I don’t let that permeate into my personal enjoyment of the hobby. I’m deadly serious and focused at work, but I just want to have fun and run my car when I’m out at the track. So on a personal level, I’d have to say my biggest achievement so far is a string of podium finishes in 18th scale at the Kansas Dirt Oval Championships. When you’re racing against a field of very talented home track drivers, sponsored drivers from all over, and the track owner himself – I guess it’s pretty good to get out of there with a second or third place trophy isn’t it?

On the professional side, when I look back at where 18th scale was in 2003 just before we introduced the Mamba brushless system at Castle, and where it is now, I can’t help but think “my baby” had quite a lot to do with the popularity of the class. Bringing ultimate power to such small cars, and making a whole new genre within racing fluent in brushless and lipo power YEARS before it caught on in 10th scale is something I’ll always be very proud of. I write a column in an American trade magazine, and my tag line at the end of each column is: “Enjoy being a merchant of happiness”. Working in the RC industry doesn’t pay well, it’s often frustrating, but at least there are the long hours right? Those of us who are quite mad enough to pour ourselves into RC as an occupation can often lose sight of the fact that we do what we do to bring a great deal of happiness and leisure to a great many people all over the world. I feel my biggest achievement is continuing to be exactly that; a merchant of happiness.

rc-area: Any other comments?

I’d encourage everyone to remember why you got into RC in the first place – to have fun. Whether your driving for leisure, or racing the top talent at a big race, keep in mind that it all started as a fun thing to do and it always should continue to be fun. And thank you rc-area for the interview! This has been a pleasure, and I’m already looking forward to the next time!

Shawn Palmer