For the majority of my life I have been involved in one business pursuit or another, and through persistence, reliability, availability, and good old-fashioned hard work I’ve created opportunities that allowed me to discover a great passion as an RV Park owner.
My road to RV Park Ownership and business development started in High school where I bought, fixed and sold cars. This led to me receiving notice from the State of Alabama that I must register as an auto dealer because I was selling more cars than allowed by an individual. Problem was, I was too young to legally sign contracts in Alabama at the time. This was the first time I had come up against governmental regulations and experienced first-hand how government can stifle business growth. This started a long process of gaining an understanding of business, negotiations and governmental interactions.
While in college at Auburn University I expanded into other business ventures including a stadium seating rental company (which has since grown to provide hydration, mobile device charging, bag check and seating services to multiple Division 1A collegiate sports programs across several states), property management, and website development. In 1999 I started Commerce Networks which now provides custom content management and inventory control software for many large companies, as well as website development, management, and SEO services. This experience has provided me with a unique understanding of how businesses of all sizes and structures work, including those of larger corporate America.
So how did I get into the RV Park business? During all of this, the property management company that I had worked for in college began to sell some of their portfolio, and I acquired as much as I could of those interests. In 2011, in keeping with the theme of being reliable and available, someone approached me about purchasing an RV Park. The fit was right and I purchased Auburn RV Park in December 2011. I can honestly say, without hesitation, that I have enjoyed the RV Park more than any other business that I operate and have enjoyed the expansion process as well. I’ve learned through trial and error, through the guidance and friendship of other campground owners and operators, and most importantly through my involvement with ARVC.
My first step as a park owner was to soak-up all the information I could on the industry and park operations. I heard about ARVC and immediately joined Alabama ARVC and National ARVC, and attended the 2011 ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo in Savannah, GA about a month before I closed on the park property. My first experience with ARVC was amazing and it has fueled me ever since. It’s the ARVC members, their strong values, their willingness to share that make this a special industry. I’ve made it a point to attend every state and National ARVC meeting and conference I can, and have served on the Florida/Alabama ARVC board of Directors since 2012. I am currently serving as the Chair of the Florida/Alabama ARVC Board of Directors and sit on the National ARVC board as an appointed Representative of Region 4.
I strongly believe in the association and promote the RVing and camping lifestyle and ARVC to everyone I meet.
I’ve made it a point to become intricately involved with State and National Legislation and the elected officials who serve us on all levels of government. Government and regulations should not be a hindrance to our industry or to business owners. It is vital that we educate our elected officials on the importance of the RV Park Industry and show them how valuable our industry is.
I’ve spent many days at the State Capital in Alabama and at our Nation’s Capital making sure our values and industry impact are fiercely advocated for and continue to do so in the capacity of being a board member for Florida and Alabama ARVC and National ARVC. I’ve spent many hours hosting political fund raisers, helping candidates develop their message and traveling with both major national level candidates down to city council and mayoral candidates and feel it has made a positive impact overall for the RV park industry.
The main message I hope to convey and want to emphasize to other ARVC members is about getting involved politically in their local elections or at least making sure their elected leaders know of the significant impact of our industry. And just as importantly, to not take passing new regulations on us lightly and to unburden our industry from current regulations whenever feasible. I’m not afraid to stand up for our industry and advocate on behalf of our ARVC and I would encourage others to do the same.