At the urging of association’s board, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Dave Humphreys agreed to delay his retirement two more years, Humphreys announced during the RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting in Orlando Saturday (March 9).
Humphreys’ decision means his last official day as RVIA president will be Jan. 30, 2006, his 70th birthday.
During a conversation today (March 11), Humphreys said he does not plan to work beyond his 70th birthday. “I’ll wander off to do something else three years from next January,” he said.
Humphreys, who a few years ago agreed to postpone his retirement until Jan. 30, 2004, said he was flattered to be asked to serve an additional two years. “It’s certainly an honor to work for you (RVIA members) for one day let alone 33 years so far, 10 years as an outside lawyers and 23 years in this job,” Humphreys said on Saturday. “But 70 years old is old enough.
“My goal is to use the remaining 3 1/2 years to be sure that this association not only remains strong, but is strong through and after the transition to a new president,” he added.
RVIA Board Chairman Walt Bennett, the senior vice president and CFO of Thor Industries Inc., and Board Vice Chairman Claire Skinner, chairman, president and CEO of Coachmen Industries Inc., asked Humphreys to stay on the job two more years because this is “an uncertain time for the country and our industry, even though things look good,” Humphreys said today.
However, the main reason they asked him to stay is because the RVIA’s strategic plan, which was adopted last June, has not been fully implemented and it may need to be refined, Humphreys said. “We’re looking at whether current (RVIA) activities fit the plan and to see if there’s any gaps.”
The RVIA board and its Executive Committee will be responsible for orchestrating the search for Humphreys’ successor. And Humphreys added that his career move from Capitol Hill lawyer to industry association president “was a fluke.” As a result, he does not believe it would be practical to hunt for a new RVIA president with the same background.
As a result of his experience as an attorney, Humphreys believes his strengths include National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards and other federal issues. Because his successor, most likely, will not possess the same strengths, Humphreys believes the RVIA’s Government Affairs and Standards departments will need to be “geared up to handle these activities” once he retires.
Most likely, the person hired to be the next RVIA president will be someone “who has a job and is not looking for another,” Humphreys said. Consequently, that person, particularly if he or she comes from outside of the RVIA, would need time to tie-up loose ends at the position they will leave to become the head of the RVIA staff, he said.
Humphreys believes he will spend some time, possibly as long as three months, working with his successor. “The executive committee feels there should be some overlap.”