Toby O’Rourke is the President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, Inc., the world’s largest system of private campgrounds and leader in outdoor hospitality. In this capacity she oversees the programs, services and marketing that supports the brand’s 515+ franchised and company-owned locations across North America.
O’Rourke was promoted to the position of President in 2018, and was named President and CEO of KOA in March 2019. She first joined KOA in 2011 as the company’s digital marketing director where she was charged with progressing KOAs approach to online advertising, mobile delivery and social media. She advanced to Sr. Vice President of Marketing where she drove the launch of KOAs first integrated advertising and public relations campaign and was instrumental in the development of KOAs brand segmentation that has realigned their portfolio based on guest experience. Prior to becoming President, she served in the role of Chief Franchise Operations Officer overseeing franchise operations and technology.
Toby’s work at KOA is strengthened by a background in brand management, software development and consulting. She began her career as a programmer and then worked in business and technology consulting in Chicago for Deloitte and STA Group. She transitioned to a marketing career following graduate school and served in brand and digital marketing roles for Sara Lee Corporation in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Whitewave Foods in Broomfiled, Colorado.
Toby has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017 she was named to the Forty Under 40 marketer list by Advertising Age magazine.
A mother of two young children and native Montanan, Toby is passionate about engaging families in the outdoors. She and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, visiting national parks — and of course camping.
Over 20 speakers from across the outdoor industry have committed to present including the following:
Donna Bordeaux What happens when you send two CPAs out into the relaxing outdoors to camp? Well of course, a new business is born. You get CampgroundAccounting.com. Donna and Chad have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They camp and travel across the country every chance they get, so its just a natural fit that they focus their CPA skills on helping campground owners throughout the USA grow their businesses and minimize the impact of taxes. They understand the key performance indicators and specialized issued that face RV park owners every day.
Donna will present: Can pricing be your most powerful tool? What you need to know and do with your rates
Larry Brownfield Director of Franchise Development Kampgrounds of America has a long history in the camping industry. After a career spent in organizational management and leadership, he and his wife, Carla, became full time RVers and Work Kampers in 2005. One of their first Work Kamping positions was at the Branson, Missouri KOA Holiday. They later traveled the U.S., working at campgrounds from Bethel, Maine to Anaheim, California.
In his current role, Larry oversees the efforts of two regional KOA franchise development managers. He also works directly with independent campground owners throughout North America who are interested in joining the KOA system of 524 parks.
Larry will present: Creating your action plan for YOUR success
Michael Elliott has been running a CPA firm for 10+ years. He is the Owner & Managing Principal at Camp and Park Accounting – an accounting firm specialized in serving only Campgrounds and RV Parks. Michael is a licensed CPA in the state of Ohio and works with Campgrounds all over the USA. He currently serves as a member of the Governing Council of the American Institute of CPAs and is on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Society of CPAs. Michael has spoken at many state & national conferences across the USA.
Michael will present: How Campgrounds can Thrive Financially in the New Tomorrow
Wade Elliott is the founder and owner of Utility Supply Group headquartered in Kingston, WA. Wade has a B.S. in Business from the University of Nebraska and an MBA concentrating in Banking & Finance from the University of Nebraska.
Wade and the staff of Utility Supply Group collectively have many years of experience designing electrical layouts in RV parks to meet the needs of the customer and follow National Electric Code. Wade has presented many seminars and forums on topics as varied as Electrical Distribution, Electric Vehicle Service Equipment, Reducing Resource Usage, Electrical Metering and Power Outlet Panel maintenance.
Wade will present: Preparing for your Camping Season on a short timeline
Jon Gray serves as CEO at RVshare, the world’s largest RV rental marketplace. From 2004 to 2017, Jon worked for Austin-based HomeAway, the leading marketplace for vacation rentals. He started as a founding employee supporting merger and acquisition activities, led marketing and business intelligence, held various general management positions, and served as Chief Revenue Officer through the company’s sale to Expedia in 2015. During his tenure, the company grew from a start-up to a valuation of $3.9B at the time of Expedia’s purchase of HomeAway. Jon previously served on the Board of Directors for CanadaStays and currently acts as an advisor/board member to a handful of consumer internet companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Acton.
Jon will be on a panel discussing What is data showing NOW about your camping audience?
Heather Gere is co-owner of campersAPP. Along with her husband Travis the two have developed a camping network that connects campers with parks. Their mobile app enhances the camping experience utilizing a vast array of technology including Alexa integration and augmented reality.
Heather will present: Step by step guide for using virtual tools to engage guests safely
Kelley Halter is the owner of Resilience With Kelley, an agency supporting individuals and businesses to increase their productive movement through challenges. Kelley is skilled in applying scientifically based interventions to life and business to encourage amplification of resilience practices.
Kelley’s family operates Loon’s Haven Family Campground in Naples, ME. Kelley holds a BA in Psychology, MA in Counseling Psychology, and a decade+ as a therapist specializing in trauma and relational systems. Her mission is to support people to curate the life and business of their dreams.
Kelley will present: Discovering Resilience in You & Applying to Operations & Team. How You Can Overcome.
Patrick Hardy CEO of Hytropy and Disaster Hawk App, the unquestioned leading disaster management company in the RV and campground industry. A Certified Emergency Manager®, Certified Risk Manager® he has extensive experience working with properties from coast-to-coast in the public, private and non-profit sectors from micro-businesses to large multi-site conglomerates.
Mr. Hardy has worked in EMS first response and consulted to the Chief of Staff for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security in Louisiana. In the summer of 2012, he became the first small business owner ever to be selected as the National Private Sector Representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), spending three months in Washington D.C. helping develop a national small business framework.
Patrick will present: The Disaster is Ending: How do your recover and prepare for the next one?
Chris Hipple Chris Hipple has been an insurance agent serving the needs of the outdoor industry for 25 years. He is an avid archer, camper, hunter, angler, dog trainer, and overall outdoorsman who has spent time in the forests and fields of the US and Canada following his passions. Chris is licensed in all 50 states and focuses on recreational hospitality industries but spent 17 years as a generalist insurance agent so he’s seen quite the variety of clients.
He knows the outdoor industry and will help you navigate the tangled underbrush of the complicated insurance world like a trusted guide!
Irene Jones is an Associate in Risk Management and is a 25 year veteran of the insurance industry. She leads the Marshall & Sterling Insurance Program and holds licenses for Property & Casualty, Life and Health. Known for her “Press Play “ video series, Irene speaks nationally on insurance and risk management for campgrounds.
Irene will present: What Does Being Open Look Like? A Toolkit for Navigating Covid-19 Regulations for your Park
Mark Koep is the Founder and CEO of CampgroundViews.com He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from CSUN and a MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Mr. Koep is an early internet entrepreneur who developed and operated the largest boutique local SEO firm in the world. For the last 11 years along with his wife, Katarina, Mark has been a fulltime RVer who has consulted, served, visited and supported thousands of park owners and operators. His purpose is to Make Camping Amazing and the only way to do that is to make sure the Outdoor Industry survives and Thrives post COVID19.
Mark will present: Marketing for a changed consumer. What to ponder tonight and DO tomorrow
Marc and Julie Bennett of RVLove are full-time RVers, who have been living, working and traveling in a motorhome since 2014, and visited all 50 USA states, plus Canada and Mexico. They are co-authors of the bestselling book Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road and teach others how to buy an RV and hit the road, while sharing their experience and adventures on their blog, YouTube channel and social media. They regularly appear in the media, and at major RV shows, RV rallies. campground launches, and other events. Learn more at http://www.RVLove.com
They will join a panel peers to discuss what RVers are expecting when things open and how you can better serve them.
Joe Moore Joe is a RV park and campground industry speaker and ARVC campground school instructor. He is Outdoor Hospitality Industry Certified and an experienced campground manager of a national/state award winning campground. Joe is also affiliated with ARVC and the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
Joe will present: Getting a Grip on Operations and Management for Your Park
Ravi Parikh is co-founder and CEO of RoverPass, our industry’s premier provider of cloud-based software for accepting and managing reservations that simplify campground management for RV park and campground owners across the nation. Before co-founding RoverPass, he was a co-founder at MakerSquare, a school for software engineering, that was acquired by Hack Reactor, a board member at Euphoria Festival, and investor in long-distance ride-sharing company, Hitch. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Finance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ravi will present: Back in Business: Making Our Way Out of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Sarah Riley Internationally recognised as one of the leading experts in the unique holiday rental and glamping industry, Sarah helps owners set up their accommodation and attract bookings with techniques very few are using in this increasingly competitive industry. Based in the UK but operating all over the world, she has experience of what works well in this market no matter where it’s located. If you want to contact Sarah you can visit https://www.
Sarah will present: Can Glamping Trends in Europe tell us what will happen in the US?
Andy Robinowitz is the CEO of RV LIFE, a network of websites, apps and tools for RVers. Andy has grown RV LIFE from zero to over a million registered users. A native of Texas, Andy enjoys camping with his wife and two daughters in their restored 1959 Airstream.
Andy will be on a panel discussing What is data showing NOW about your camping audience?
Christine E. Taylor is an Associate at Towne, Ryan and Partners’ in the Albany, New York office, who focuses her practice in the areas of Hospitality Law, Business Law, Labor and Employment Law, Real Estate Law, Trusts, Estate Law, and Litigation.
As a child Ms. Taylor grew up within the camping industry as her parents have now owned three campgrounds. Having been both part of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and KOA franchises, her unique experience within the campground industry gives her insight from both the legal and camping perspectives.
Christine will present: A Lawyer’s Tale: The “Full Hook-up” to Legal Issues in a post COVID19 World
Erin Thiem is the owner of Inn Town Campground and Outside Inn in Nevada City, California. She is an expert at using social media to engage audiences and draw in guests. As an owner in California she is well aware of the impact of COVID19 closures and the impact it has had on business. Erin and her husband Dan built Inn Town Campground from the ground up and have operated it for 4 years as a successful private Glamping and camping destination.
Erin will present: Visual Storytelling in a Time of Crisis: How to get back guests using social media a step by step guide
Josh Weissenstein and Cody Sauer LLA Hospitality provides management services for owners and investors of campgrounds, RV parks and unique accommodations nationwide.
When we started this business, we set out on a mission to build the most hospitable company in the world. We chose campgrounds because camping is an industry rooted in tradition – one that brings families and friends together, in many instances turns neighbors into friends and one that provides connections to some of America’s most desired destinations. That sounded like an industry we’d enjoy being a part of. And boy were we right.
To learn more about us, please visit www.llahospitality.com.
The two will present: Immersive Hospitality: The Art of Enhancing Your Guests’ Experience
Mike and Jen Wendland RV Lifestyle The Wendland’s through their business RVLifestyle.com interact with over 1M RVers every month. The prolific duo are authors, podcasters, and video producers that have a hand on the heart of the industry. Frequent guests and speakers at the biggest RV Shows in the country the two live, breathe, and understand the camping audience.
They will join a panel peers to discuss what RVers are expecting when things open and how you can better serve them.
Drivin’ & Vibin’s Kyle Brady is a prolific content creator and influencer in the RV space. His content reaches hundreds of thousands of RVers every month discussing all the topics important to this audience. Kyle is also a professional musician and pre-COVID19 had schedule a spring concert series designed to bring attention to RV parks and campground throughout the southeastern US.
He will join a panel peers to discuss what RVers are expecting when things open and how you can better serve them.