Harley-Davidson financial division will appear on MSNBC and Fox News

Harley-Davidson Financial Services will get its two minutes of fame on MSNBC and Fox News in coming days.

The two cable networks will present an employee interview video shot March 13 in Carson City at the main operating center for the motorcycle company's insurance, credit and loan divisions.

Air time will be between 10:30 and 11 a.m. this Tuesday on Fox News and between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. May 29 on MSNBC.

Harley-Davidson was selected as a "champion of industry" from a collection of 15 financial services companies. Pat Summerall Productions, which produced the video with Summerall introducing the segment, selected Harley for its dedication to customer service, charity work and employee relations.

"I'm very proud of the fact that our employees will be featured and all our hard work will be acknowledged," company President Donna Zarcone said.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services started in 1993 in Carson City with six employees and now has about 420 employees here. Zarcone said more than 100,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners have financed bikes through the Harley office off Arrowhead Drive.

The Pat Summerall crew compiled a video based on interviews with 23 managers and employees who deal directly with customers. The customer service employees all had won the company's quarterly commitment to excellence award.

Kristy Moser, a team leader in customer service, was nervous while rehearsing her company message from prompts given by Ellen Vallandingham, a Carson City native now working in Chicago as HDFS' director of corporate relations.

"It's exciting and terrifying and kind of fun," Moser said. "I'm just trying to stay calm and relaxed. I really believe the message so I'm letting it come naturally."

Vallandingham and Michele Beck, senior marketing communications associate at HDFS, molded the interview subjects on and off camera to speak fluently on why they believe HDFS is successful.

Moser rehearsed an anecdote of a Harley rider whose bike broke down but a credit card call to the Carson City office got him home.

"He said he's real proud to use the card," Moser said while rehearsing with Vallandingham. "He said, 'It's the chrome that gets you home.'"

Vallandingham reiterated the message on the printed sign on the door to the "Green Room," normally the conference room, that read "Remember, SHORT answers, 10-20 second sound bites."

"You have to remember these (video) people have a lot of messages to digest for a two-minute video," Vallandingham said. "Keep it short and concise."

Harley-Davidson Financial Services wants the video to portray company employees working as a family, that many employees ride Harley-Davidsons, and customers are encouraged to share their motorcycle stories while taking care of credit card or loan business.

"We invest in our employees and go above and beyond for customers and dealers," said Beck, who interviewed the employees while the video camera rolled. "Our first goal is raising awareness. While everybody knows Harley-Davidson motorcycles, not everybody knows Harley-Davidson Financial Services."

The motorcycle company's financial branch has its headquarters in Chicago, its largest office handling insurance, loans and credit cards in Carson City and a third office in Plano, Texas, issuing loans to Harley dealers.


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