Affinity Group, Inc. (AGI) has announced the appointment of Mark T. Gilman, who has held significant positions with three leading international retail brands, as president of Camping World Inc.
AGI President and CEO Joe McAdams said Gilman was selected to lead Camping World through a major expansion and to enhance the company’s position as the world’s largest retailer of recreational vehicle accessories and supplies.
Gilman succeeds former President Tad Donnelly, who recently resigned as head of Bowling Green, Ky.-based Camping World, which has 30 retail supercenters in 18 states and distributes more than 12 million catalogs annually.
“Mark has helped three retail companies become even more successful by translating forward-looking strategy into operational excellence,” McAdams said. “Throughout his career, Mark has built a track record of improving return on investment. The companies he has worked for are all leaders in their respective industries, namely Blockbuster, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. It is this breadth of experience and retail knowledge that will take Camping World to the next level.
“Gilman has had success in both large and small format retail environments, and in both high growth and turnaround economic climates,” McAdams added.
Prior to accepting the presidency of Camping World, Gilman led Blockbuster’s move into the digital economy as president, New Media. His division was responsible for launching and managing Blockbuster’s online and new technologies businesses.
Gilman has held key positions in operations, merchandising, business development, strategic planning and has been successful in enhancing business performance, according to McAdams, noting that Gilman’s accomplishments include profitable brand expansion, leading to substantial incremental store openings annually.
“I’ve worked for three retail companies that define success,” Gilman said. “And from that perspective it’s clear to me that Camping World is successful by virtually every measure. The company has built a great brand and a strong customer base. It’s our intention to leverage that success and make it a great deal more. I’m honored that AGI has entrusted me with the growth of one of its premier companies.”
Gilman, who was also named to the AGI board of directors, will be relocating to Camping World’s corporate headquarters in Kentucky.
In addition to his professional career, Gilman is active in civic and charitable activities, including programs in Africa, Southeast Asia and Russia. He also has established care ministries in the communities in which he has lived.
AGI is headquartered in Ventura, Calif. TL Enterprises Inc., publisher of RV Business and RVBUSINESS.COM, is a subsidiary of AGI.