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Karl Etshied, 39, the program coordinator for the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA), recently was named the new executive director and CEO of the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA).
Etshied was hired last week by the RVAA, which was known as the Warehouse Distributors Association (WDA), until a year ago. He made his first visit with RVAA members as the association’s future leader during the RVAA’s 29th Annual Executive Conference in San Antonio last weekend (Oct. 11-14).
Etshied will replace Jim Stanley, who will retire next month.
Stanley works for the Center for Association Growth (TCGA) and, until his retirement, is responsible for the administration of several industry and professional associations, including the RVAA.
However, the RVAA Board decided during the past year that it needs a full-time executive director, said George Cargo, president of Tekonsha, Mich.-based Dana Towing Group and chairman of the RVAA Board.
“We felt we could get more out of a full-time individual dedicated to our association,” Cargo said. “We’re looking to give Karl (Etshied) the control so that he can be the go-to guy when there are questions, concerns or attitudes to be expressed.
“We want an executive director who runs our association and who also deals with the heads of the other (RV industry) associations,” Cargo added.
The RVAA’s headquarters will be moved from the TCGA’s offices in Glenview, Ill., to Harrisburg, Pa. The new RVAA office in Harrisburg will open on Nov. 11, Etshied said.
Etshied and Stanley “will be transitioning through the end of October,” and Etshied said he will drive a delivery van to the Chicago suburbs early in November to bring the RVAA’s records to Harrisburg.
Stanley said attendance at RVAA’s San antonio gathering was up 10% over last year to 215 people. Among the attendees were 88% of the RVAA’s distributor members, 90% of its supplier members and 78% of the membes of its manufacturer’s representative firms.
Prior to joining the PRVCA, Etshied worked for the Pennsylvania franchise auto dealers’ association.