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It may take a bit of convincing for Dave Humphreys’ wife, Peggy, to believe that he actually plans to retire Jan. 31 after 35 years as president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Humphreys leaves his RVIA office in Reston, Va., where he has been bestowed the title of president emeritus, on the last day of the month – his 70th birthday. “I’m not sure what the title means,’’ Humphreys told RV Business this week, chuckling at the idea. “It makes me sound old.’’
The Pennsylvania native turned the reins of the association on Jan. 1 over to former Onan executive Richard A. Coon. Yet, relaxation doesn’t seem to be a priority at this point. Over the past two weeks, Humphreys has attended an RVIA Show Committee meeting in Tampa, Fla., and introduced Coon to members of the American Recreation Coalition’s (ARC) Partners Outdoors group in Phoenix, Ariz.
After his formal retirement, he’ll have “a very loose consulting arrangement’’ with RVIA while he continues barnstorming in his WACO bi-wing airplane and giving flight lessons.
In addition, Humphreys has joined the West Virginia Bar Association – having already been a member of the Virginia and Washington, D.C. bars – and thus far has booked four non-RV-related clients. He’s operating his law office – at least temporarily – from his home 75 miles northeast of Washington, D.C. in Shepherdstown, W.Va., Peggy Humphreys’ home town.
At the same time, he’s also been hired by the Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (ASHTO) to serve as a media spokesman for a spring cross-country caravan that will start in San Francisco and end in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower creating the interstate highway system.
“They are going to take this opportunity to impress upon Americans how important the interstate system is,’’ he said. “I and Bob Lee (founder of Country Coach Inc.) will be with them, and I’ll be their spokesman when they stop in cities along the way.”
Humphreys also expects to receive an appointment to a presidential commission being formed to study the future of the federal highway system. That commission will hold hearings in several locations around the country.