b'INDUSTRY NEWSRVB & Woodalls Magazines Undergo Major TransitionELKHART, Ind.G&G Media Grouptake too long for us to go public with LLC, the Elkhart, Ind.-based publisher ofsome of those plans as well. RVBusiness (RVB) and Woodalls Camp- Stropkai, too, supports widening the groundMagazine(WCM),changedscope of RVB and WCM as G&Gs staff hands on Feb. 17 when co-owners Shermalso works to maintain its event-planning Goldenberg and Gregg Fore sold their re- edge with continued oversight of the an-spective interests in the industry-leadingnual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards trade journals to Executive Editor Rickand RV Industry Power Breakfastthe Kessler and former Statistical Surveyslatest round of which is planned for the Inc. General Manager Scott Stropkai.morningof Thursday,May11,atthe As a result, Kessler, a former minorityRV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart. owner and nine-year employee of G&G,RVBusiness has been the information has assumed from Goldenberg the pub- staple of our industry for over 50 years lishers title while Stropkai, whos workedand,likewise,WoodallsCampground with the RV and manufactured housingMagazine for many years as well, said industries for 16 years as part of Grandeditor, who will maintain a role in edito- and campground markets while devel- Stropkai, a graduate of West Virginia Uni-Rapids, Mich.-based Stat Surveysnowrial, event planning and Capitol Talkoping a new focus on cutting edge digi- versity. I am thrilled to be able to add to a unit of Trader Interactivesucceedsvideos with Kessler among other things.tal formats, a goal in which theyll bewhat Sherman, Beverly, Rick, Gregg and Fores business-side duties as chief oper- Fore, for his part, plans to expand hisenlisting the support of RVB Editor Garythe rest of the team at RVB and WCM have ating officer.charitable endeavors and pursue digitalGerard and WCM Editor Ben Quigglebuilt. Rick has shared his vision with me Some things just take their own nat- consulting initiatives.along with national ad sales executiveson the next steps for the company and it ural course, and thats exactly whats hap- Its a thing that happens in every busi- Ally Kollat, Wendy Thorne and Jenniferblew me away. It will be something that pening here, said Goldenberg, who firstness and industry where a companysRose, Art Director Trina Nissley andboosts the potential media reach of the worked for RVBusiness in 1985 before ac- management and ownership looks to theDigital Media Coordinator Alex Burkett.entire RV and campground industries. quiring both titles in partnership with thenext generation, said Fore, whos alsoCFO Karen Goldenberg, in turn, isKessler, likewise, hopes to enhance his late Beverly Gardner in 2011 from Affin- well known for his previous career stopsstepping away during the transition.role within the RV and outdoor hospitality ity Group Inc. (AGI)the former owneratCoachmenIndustriesInc.,DicorOur core skill sets are evident in thearenas at every level while continuing to of Camping World Inc.and movingCorp. and, since 2018, G&G Media. I seedepth and quality of our daily onlinepursue his own personal interest as a third-them from Southern California to thethis as just that, having built a really solidnews feeds for both publications, saidgeneration RVer and to expand G&Gs hori-Midwest RV-building hub of Elkhart.base at G&G in preparation for a transferKessler,aMichiganStateUniversityzons beyond a standard trade audience. Its been a great ride, all things consid- to people with high integrity and high en- graduate and Detroit-area newspaperWithout ignoring what weve built so far ered, for a magazine title thats alwaysergy who have a strong interest in seeingveteran. And well be working to stay asbecause it is the core of what we do and will seemed to have a commercial and socialthe business survive and thrive.relevant and timely as possible going for- remain so, he added, we are very much life of its own and an impeccable reputa- Meanwhile,KesslerandStropkaiward. But you can plan on us bringinglooking forward to paving new ground in-tion within the North American RV indus- plan to retain RVB and WCMs core na- some authentically new ideas and op- cluding more digital opportunities in both try, added Goldenberg, now RVBs seniortional print coverage in mainstream RVportunities to the table and it shouldntmarketing and editorial formats. WCMKOAs Feb. Report Highlights Continued GrowthCARVC HostsEducation Sessions,The Kampgrounds of America Inc. Takeaway Tours at(KOA) Monthly Research ReportFebru-ary 2023 Edition continues to predict a strongcampingseason.InJanuary Successful Confabalone, active camping households in-The Carolinas Association of RV Parkscreased by more than two million year and Campgrounds (CARVC)s annual con- over yearan increase of 43%. ferenceheld Feb. 5- Feb. 7was busyCombined with 26% of campers hav-as attendees representing 52 campgroundsing booked some or all of their camping and 45 vendors took part.trips and 86% who are deliberating or The conference kicked off on Feb. 4 withhave chosen their 2023 destinations, the Take Away Tours. The tours attracted 54 at- latesteditionofthemonthlyreportyettoplananycampingtrips.AsCampersarealsointerestedinin-tendees and featured five area campgrounds:points to most campers eagerly antici- campers plan, new experiences are fu- creasing their travel. In the February sur-Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtlepating new adventures this year.elingtheirupcomingtravels.Nearlyvey, 36% indicate they want to venture Beach KOA, Myrtle Beach Travel Park, NorthAccordingtothereport,mostfour in ten campers want to try some- fartherfromhomeandexplorenew Myrtle Beach RV Resort & Dry Dock Marina,campers are well into the planning orthing truly unique that they have neverareas on camping trips this year. Looking and Yogi Bears Jellystone Park at Daddybooking phases, with only 16% havingdone before.KOAcontinued on page 44Joes. Attendees enjoyed lunch together at Myrtle Beach Travel Park and ice cream at YogiCONY CEO Don Bennett to Leave Position in May Bears Jellystone Park at Daddy Joes. Those who took part in the takeaway tours also had the chance to take in someEffective May 13, Don Bennett Jr. willto CONYs websites and inte-history. Dee Witting, the executive directorbe leaving his position as president andgration of digital marketing of the association, told Woodalls Camp- CEOoftheCampground Owners ofplatformssuchassocial ground Magazine (WCM) that attendees ofNew York (CONY). Bennett made themedia and a mobile app. the Takeaway Tours had a great view of mil- announcementtoCONYsexecutiveBennett,inpartnership itary jets circling a nearby Chinese spy bal- committee and board of directors at itswith various providers, devel-loon as they prepared to shoot it down overregularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 13.oped several member benefitpion or defeat legisla-the Atlantic Ocean. Attendees of the Take- During Bennetts 17-year tenure atprograms for the association includingtionimpactingthe away Tours momentarily pulled away fromCONY, the association refined its mis- the creation of the innovative CONYoutdoor hospitality in-looking at cabins during their stop at Myrtlesion statement, modernized its annualLegal Hotline, access to group healthdustry. Most notably,Don BennettBeach Travel Park to take in the spectacle.printed camping directory, developedinsurance and mental health resources,duringhisleadership,theNew York On Feb. 5, while the Chinese spy balloonand registered the CAMP NEW YORKand discounted brochure racking/dis- State government has signed into law was the talk of the show as more vendorsconsumerbrandandexpandeditstributionathigh-volumeNewYorklegislation affecting ejections and aban-andattendeesarrived,theconferencescope of marketing programs throughroadside information centers.donedproperty.Hehasauthoredor CARVCcontinued on page 41 the acquisition of several Market NYWith assistance from allied lobbyists,signed numerous letters of opposition grants. He also spearheaded upgradesBennett lead CONY in efforts to cham- Bennettcontinued on page 41WOODALLSCM.com April 2023 3'