Ed Miller

Change is in the air in South Dakota, making it an exciting time to be a member of the South Dakota Campground Owners Association (SDCOA).

According to a press release, after serving on the board for four years, incoming President Edward Miller, owner of Rush No More RV Resort in Sturgis, said, “SDCOA is on a mission to add benefits, streamline operations and grow!”

Miller, who is a former lawyer and lobbyist from Washington D.C., said, “Having spent close to three decades in association work in D.C., I know that any association is only as effective as its members.”

To that end, Miller and other leaders sought ways to ignite SDCOA. For starters, Elaine Zobel, outgoing president, introduced the new Executive Director Mary Arlington.

I felt it was time SDCOA hired an executive director with Mary’s experience with tourism, campgrounds and our national association,” said Zobel. “I’ve been impressed with her knowledge and interest in our industry. I also visited with Mari Garland from Colorado at the ARVC Conference last year and learned how pleased Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association (CCLOA) was with the work Mary was doing there. So I called Mary. The rest, as we say, is now history. We look forward to a long relationship with her.”

She is ‘loaded for bear’ with ideas to help the association better manage its business, as well as to grow the association and increase membership,” said Miller.

“What an honor to have been called! Learning the fine details of each association can be a bit crazy, but working with SDCOA has already proven to be a pleasure,” added Arlington. “We laugh. We care about one another. We care about the outdoor hospitality industry and the members. It’s for the members that we do what we do! The more efficiently we manage business, the more focus we can then bring to enhancing the members themselves and their benefits package.

“Each state association is unique, and each association remains its own entity,” she added. “This isn’t a merging of state associations, but a sharing of the professional management company.”

The first change is that the office was relocated to the capital city, Pierre, where it will be more central for all South Dakota campgrounds.

Arlington and Miller announced, “Starting immediately, we’re adding more reasons for members to participate. We’re going to crank up the meetings, add a variety of educational tools, create a new marketing strategy, and build in some new networking opportunities. There will be more reasons to join!”

Miller added, “It’s an exciting time here in South Dakota!”

To learn more about SDCOA visit CampgroundSD.com, email CampgroundSD@gmail.com or call (605) 593-1557.