Dometic Americas Senior Vice President of RV OEM Sales Dave Schutz, a familiar figure in industry affairs, stepped into semi-retirement in late March after 12 years with the publicly held Swedish firm’s Elkhart, Ind.-based operations.
However, Schutz (pronounced “Sheetz”) plans to continue doing consulting work for Dometic for the forseeable future.
An amiable Elkhart native who resides with his wife, Judy, in a riverside home on the northeast side of town, Schutz first went to work in the RV industry in 1969 for supplier D&D Sales and subsequently held positions with Fleming Sales, Unified Sales and Atwood Mobile Products before joining Dometic in 2007. An active member of the all-industry Go RVing Coalition, he also serves on the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) board of directors and chairs the trade association’s active Public & Legislative Affairs Committee (P&LA) and currently sits on RVIA’s market information, awards and China committees.
And while he plans to relinquish some of those duties, Schutz tells RVBusiness that his friends and associates should continue to see him in familiar places, not only around Dometic’s Main Street offices, but also in association circles, at the Caravan Salon Show in Dusseldorf this fall and around Elkhart, where he’s been known to frequent the butcher shop at Martin’s Super Market on Bristol Street.
“I’m retiring from full time Dometic employment,” said Schutz, who participated in November’s RVIA trade mission to China representing RVIA and Dometic, which operates 28 plants globally generating more than $2 billion in annual revenues from mobile markets like RV’s, marine, trucking and the hospitality (hotel) sectors. “It’s definitely my decision (to semi-retire at this point in time). I’ve been in the business 50 years. Dometic’s been a great company to work for. This is a plan we put into place two years ago. The two years went really fast, and at the end of March it was here. There was discussion about staying on maybe a little longer, and I didn’t want to, just simply because of how long I’ve been around and wanting to have some time to do some other things.
“Having said that, I’ll be consulting for Dometic for at least this year, and maybe after that in some of the areas that I had worked in so long and that should be of some benefit to both parties,” said Schutz. “And I’ll continue my role for Dometic on the RVIA board of directors as well as the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA). I plan to continue to chair RVIA’s P&LA Committee and to contribute to a handful of other committees. I will start handing off some of that responsibility to some of the other Dometic team members.”
Making this an even more poignant moment for Schutz is the fact that Judy, a 32-year industry veteran, is simultaneously stepping away from the industry and her own position as director of customer service for Dometic after which she plans to travel and relax more with Dave while pursuing an independent position with a Chicago-based firm.
Working with a global company like Dometic, Schutz says he and Judy have had the chance to see a lot of exotic places in Europe and elsewhere, but usually didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy them enough. “We’ve traveled all over North America, but so much of it was flying in an airport, a quick rental car to a conference center or a customer and then back home,” Schutz told RVBusiness. “We really haven’t had the chance to often stop and really experience the area. That’s really what we want to spend some of our time doing.”
Meanwhile, Schutz, who has been gradually turning over some of his duties to Director of Sales Mike Boyer, is handing off the bulk of his responsibilities to Stefan Brosick, who had previously worked for the Bobcat Co. with current Dometic President Scott Nelson before being hired eight months ago as vice president and general manager for Dometic’s RV OEM division.
“We’ve spent about eight months with him working in product development and a bit with marketing and my team, especially focusing on product development, which ties in so closely with the sales team,” said Schutz. “He took my team over, technically, about 30 days ago, so we could work closely together, and we’ll continue that over the next couple months.”