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Ann Emerson

Ann Emerson

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) has hired Ann Emerson, former Good Sam vice president, as the chief operating officer of KOA franchise. Previously filling this role, KOA’s Darin Uselman will transition to oversee the company’s owned campground portfolio as chief operating officer of Owned and Operated Assets of KOA (OAK), according to a press release.

In her capacity as COO, KOA franchise, Emerson will oversee the staff, services and programs that support the organization’s franchise operations. She and her staff will work directly with current and prospective franchisees to ensure their ongoing business success through industry-leading service and support. For the past year, Emerson has been working with KOA as a sales and partnership consultant.

KOA’s former COO of KOA franchise, Uselman, will transition into an executive position within OAK. As the COO of the OAK division, Uselman will oversee the operations and development of the company’s growing portfolio of owned locations. Currently, KOA owns more than 40 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

“Ann and Darin are the type of leaders that will bring continued success to KOA,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA. “Both have made invaluable contributions to our organization and industry through their leadership, relationship building and strategic planning. Their work will be critical to our ongoing success in the outdoor and travel industries.”

Darin Uselman

With over 30 years of experience in the camping industry, Emerson was previously responsible for growing the Good Sam park network by directly supporting campground owners and operators. Since beginning work with KOA in 2021, Emerson made an immediate impact supporting the growth of the KOA system and its impressive portfolio of partners, noted the release.

During her career, Emerson has been a crucial advocate for the camping and RV industries serving in various capacities, including on the ARVC Board of Directors, as ARVC Foundation Chairwoman and ARVC Business Forum Chairwoman. In 2018, she won the Stan Martin Award, recognizing industry involvement, leadership, creativity and dedication.

Uselman joined KOA in 2017 to lead franchise operations. Over the past five years, KOA’s franchise business has thrived under Uselman’s leadership with high franchise attraction and retention rates, an expansion of services and the development of KOA’s franchise value model.

Prior to his time at KOA, Uselman amassed impressive operations experience at GE Capital as a strategic program manager and a collateral initiatives leader. Additionally, he is a PGA golf professional and spent several years in golf operations for a major homebuilder on the East Coast.