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Don Walter, president and CEO of Starcraft RV Inc., and Tom Stinnett of Louisville, Ky.-area dealership Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center, were named co-chairmen of the Go RVing Coalition, which coordinates the industry-financed Go RVing national advertising campaign.
Walter and Stinnett replace Tom Faludy, former president of supplier firm Carefree of Colorado, who resigned recently after being promoted to a new position with Carefree’s parent, Scott Fetzer Co.
The appointment of Walter and Stinnett was praised by Dave Humphreys, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), and Mike Molino, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). Humphreys and Molino are officers of Go RVing Inc. by virtue of their positions as leaders of the groups representing RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers.
“Don Walter and Tom Stinnett each bring special insights and influence to the coalition as respected professionals in their segments of the RV industry,” Humphreys and Molino said in a joint statement. “They promise to be a highly effective team as Go RVing continues to reach out to new buyers through national advertising and local dealer tie-in programs.
“Tom Faludy has been a unifying force in the RV industry. Don Walter and Tom Stinnett are extremely well suited to continue to inspire and strengthen us.”
Walter, a 31-year RV industry veteran, has served on the Go RVing Coalition since it was formed in 1994. A champion of market expansion efforts for many years, Walter has served on the coalition’s Measurement and Goals Committee since 2002 and on the creative subcommittee responsible for finalizing the current “Pursue Your Passions” ad campaign.
Walter joined the RV industry in 1973 after graduating from Miami University of Ohio, worked in sales for Coachmen Industries Inc. and spent time as vice president of sales and marketing at Coachmen’s Shasta Division. Before becoming president and CEO of Topeka, Ind.-based Starcraft RV in 1991, Walter served as president of Holiday Rambler Corp.’s RV Division.
Meanwhile, Stinnett, who opened his dealership in Clarksville, Ind., in 1978, has played a leadership role in the development of Go RVing’s tie-in program for dealers, campgrounds, show promoters and their agencies, making consumer leads and advertising resources available to Go RVing participants nationwide.
Stinnett, who lives in Louisville, has been involved with the coalition since its beginning and, along with Walter and other coalition members, helped guide the ad agency selection process that resulted in the hiring of The Richard Group to create the “Pursue Your Passions” ads.
A former chairman of the RVDA Board, Stinnett is a current RVDA Board member and the 2003 recipient of its top honor, the James B. Summers Award.