Hans-Karl Sternberg

Hans-Karl Sternberg, 63, long-time head of Germany’s leading trade group, Caravanning Industry Association (CIVD), who was known for building trade bridges to the entire European marketplace, passed away Sept. 25 after suffering a heart attack.

Sternberg, who had been involved in a predecessor organization, the Association of German Caravan Manufacturers (VDWH), was the key driver in the restructuring of CIVD and the association’s outreach to the rest of the European market “bore his signature,” according to a release issued by CIVD.

“Those who knew him, especially appreciated his dynamics, ingenuity and his determination,” the release stated. “His tireless commitment to the needs of the caravanning industry were marked by a high level of expertise and his perseverance. His humanity and sense of humor were the characteristics that made him a special person.”

He will be remembered, according to the CIVD press release, for his perseverance in tying together and sustaining the German and European industries. “Above all,” it stated, ”the unity and strength of the association is to his credit.” In addition, as secretary general of the European Caravan Federation (ECF), he represented the interests of European manufacturers in Brussels.

“RVIA mourns the passing of our dear friend Hans-Karl Sternberg. He was a passionate advocate who promoted RV travel and camping globally and was a visionary who helped create the RV World Conference,” stated Craig Kirby, senior vice president, government relations, and general counsel for the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Kirby spearheads RVIA’s international efforts.