Stephen Morris and Vermont Castings
Shortly after Stephen Morris was hired as Customer Service Manager at Vermont Castings, the second Arab Oil Embargo took place. Within months, his department of 5 grew to 65, and Vermont Castings's sales grew proportionately. Morris was continually promoted and eventually became the company's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, supervising a budget of up to $13 million dollars. Initially the company sold its products direct to the consumer. The company's fanatical dedication to quality and customer satisfaction resulted in customer loyalty that received widespread publicity including features in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Among the programs for which Stephen Morris became best-known was the Owners Outing, an annual party to celebrate the company's relationship with its customers. This event later became a model for Ben & Jerry's One World One Heart Festival and Saturn Motor Company's annual convocation of Saturn Owners. Morris also orchestrated "The Last of the Defiants" celebration, commemorated by a specially brewed beer and ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry's, in which a final Defiant
stove was built by company founder, Duncan Syme
, and later donated to the Smithsonian.
As demand for woodstoves decreased in the early 1980s, Morris was responsible for establishing a national network of independent retailers. By the end of the decade, Vermont Castings enjoyed the highest market share of any woodstove/fireplace company in the world. In the early 1990s he participated in the acquistion of its largest competitor, Consolidated Dutchwest. He left after the company changed hands several times and the company's independent sales and marketing staff was eliminated.
Stephen Morris is an author, publisher and many other things.....as of this writing his current efforts can be found at: http://www.thepublicpress.com/people/SM/
Stephen Morris is one of MANY Vermont Castings originals who have entered related fields after leaving the company. Others will be detailed in the articles here.;Stephen_Morris