b'KEY PEOPLE BY JEFF CRIDERCanadas Shane Devenish Leads Two AssociationsThat Continue to Grow Amid the Ongoing PandemicShane Devenish is in a position tohave an unusually comprehensive per-spectiveofwhatshappeningacrossNorthAmerica,bothintheRVandcampground sectors. Devenish is president of the Cana-dian RV Association (CRVA), the Cana- ting down at the same table together.dianversionoftheRVIndustry Devenish, for his part, has decades ofAssociation(RVIA), in addition to being experience in both the RV and camp-executivedirectoroftheCanadian ground arenas.CampingandRVCouncil(CCRVC), A native of Mississauga, Ontario, De-which is a national association repre- venish initially attended college withShane Devenish started out as an accountant and slowly focused more on the RV sector before sentingcampgroundsandRVparks the idea of becoming a public account-taking over the Canadian Camping and RV Council in 2016. throughout the country. ant. He landed his first job with ITTIts a unique combination of posts Commercial Finance in Toronto in 1985thatDevenishhasheldsince2016, as an inventory floorplan checker thatwhen Maryse Cattelier unexpectedly took him to RV, motorcycle, marine andresigned her position as head of the snowmobile dealers throughout easternCCRVC. It was at this time that CCRVCs and northern Ontario. When ITT CMFboard asked Devenish to fill in for Cat- specializeditsdivisions,hestartedtelier on an interim basis until a re- working exclusively in the RV industryplacement could be found.in 1989.The fact that the CCRVC asked De- I was driving 10,000 kilometers (overvenish to step into its top leadership po- 6,000 miles) a month. My furthest ac-sition not only highlights the depth of count was in Timmins, Ontario, whichDevenishs experience in both the RV was about an eight- to 10-hour driveand campground industries, but also his away from my home at the time. In thevery high levels of interaction between wintertime, it was not a real pleasantCanadas top RV and campground asso- drive with our winters, and in the sum-ciations on an ongoing basis. mertime,youhadtowatchoutforThe feeling is, we are better when moose on the road.we all get in the same canoe and row the But over the years, Devenish workedsame way, Devenish said. his way up the career ladder in RV fi-To help make that happen, represen- nanceatITTCommercialFinance,tativesfromCanadasfourRVand Deutsche Financial Services and thencampground industry associations at- other different financial institutions thattend each others meetings throughout included some of the biggest names inthe year. This amounts to a lot of meet- the RV wholesale finance business.ings between RV manufacturers, dealers His travels not only took him all overand campground industry officials, a Ontario, but to northern Indiana wheregreat deal of personal interaction as well he developed many friendships withasagreaterunderstandingofeach U.S.-based RV manufacturers. He hasothers goals, Devenish said. made countless drives to Elkhart, Ind.,which is only about a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. In 2000, I was promoted to AVP-Portfolio Manager for Recreational Ve-hicles at GE Distribution Finance whereour team managed $500 million in as-sets for Canadian dealers who sold RVsand mobile homes. Eventually, GE CDFwas sold to Wells Fargo, which is a majorfinance source for the industry today,Devenish noted. Devenishs work included opportuni-ties to meet with owners and operatorsConnections in both the RV and camping of campgrounds who were looking atworlds has allowed Devenish to continue to selling park model RVs at their parks. grow CCRVC and the industry at large.Our group would do the credit re-views for private campgrounds to ap-Consider this: The CCRVA and the prove them for a floor plan finance line,Real Log Park Model Cabins CCRVC each have at least two board Devenish said, noting that the experi-meetings a year while GoRVingCanada ence gave him a deep knowledge of theand the RVDA of Canada have at least financialchallengesfacingCanadianthree meetings a year. campground operators.I think its a tremendous advantage Canadian private campgrounds are Real Rustic Log Cabins to our industry up here, Devenish said. very asset rich, but cash poor, for the Turn-Key! At least 10 times a year we have the most part, he said. Generally, theirprime opportunity to share whats going cash flow is only during four or five Durable and Appealing on in our respective markets with each months due to our short season and Highly Profitable other and to see what is needed to make they must budget accordingly. Pays Off Within 1-3 Years it better for everybody individually and But the experience of working closelyPark Model Cabins collectively. As an industry, we are ex- withRVdealers,manufacturersandStarting at $29,900 tremely proud of the fact that we have campground operators has proven tosignificant input into each of the other be invaluable, Devenish said. My ca-Located in Lancaster, PA association mandates. It makes it a lot reer has allowed me to meet a lot of peo-easier to discuss our respective oppor- ple on both sides of the border over the717-445-5522www.LancasterLogCabins.com tunities and challenges when we are sit- years, he said, adding, We have all24 -April 2021Woodalls Campground Management'