CEO of Camping World
CEO. Visionary. Mentor.
Husband. Leader. Servant.
Marcus Lemonis is known for breathing life back into struggling small businesses on CNBC’s The Profit. He has also appeared on several other television shows and today is a household name. In his upcoming new series, The Renovator, Marcus will help frustrated homeowners transform their homes into ideal spaces. The show is slated to premiere on HGTV in 2022. While his fame comes from his TV personality, his influence is far beyond television. He is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America, as well as an advocate and philanthropist.
Whereas most high-level business leaders are known for being cutthroat, Marcus has a different approach with Camping World. He seeks to build and foster businesses and relationships that are positive, inspirational, compassionate, and at their most basic, loving.
Getting to the top of the massive outdoor and recreation industry was not an easy task. As with many success stories, Marcus has had to overcome some major challenges along the way. His story is a true American success story—a boy who came to American and rose to the top of the business world and the head of an impressive company.
No Silver Spoons
Marcus’s birth mother left him on the steps of a Lebanese orphanage when he was just four days old. He lived there until he was nine months old. At that point, Sophia and Leo Lemonis adopted Marcus and took him to Miami, Florida. They raised him in a loving and encouraging household. Their influence had a major impact on how Marcus conducts himself in business and life in general.
At the early age of 12, he started a lawn service business. He then rolled that success into a candy-selling business. It was clear from an early age, that Marcus had a knack for business and entrepreneurial tendencies. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami. After graduating he attended Marquette University in Wisconsin where he studied Political Science, Criminology, and Economics.
After college, he worked at Anthony Abraham Chevrolet—a family-owned automotive dealership. He displayed a natural talent for deal-making and an entrepreneurial spirit while working there. A shift happened at the urging of former Chrysler CEO and family friend Lee Iacocca, who told Marcus he should focus his efforts on the recreational vehicle industry.
The shift allowed Marcus to focus on an industry that needed someone with his skills. He quickly rose to the top of Camping World and became the CEO. In 2010, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises joined together, creating the largest force in the industry. In 2017, the company added the failing Gander Mountain to its portfolio, renaming the businesses Gander RV. Good Sam continues to be the lynchpin of the company with over 2 million members and a wide array of services it offers customers across the country.
Communities & People
Despite the success of the business, Marcus still focuses on what he believes are the most important aspects of any organization: the people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a high-level executive, a low-level associate, or a customer, Marcus treats each and every person with respect. His goal is to provide both employees and customers with unforgettable experiences and unlimited opportunities. Good Sam is here to help facilitate that mission.
Marcus’s story is about as American as it gets—an immigrant orphan comes to America, works hard, and makes it to the top. Marcus has lived the American Dream, and his work doesn’t stop with his work with Good Sam. He donates millions of dollars annually to organizations and small businesses across the country. As an advocate for the underdog, he strives to be a good businessman and a mentor to all.