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News for January 17, 2022

KOA Announces New Chief Operating Officers

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Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) has hired Ann Emerson, former Good Sam vice president, as the chief operating officer of KOA franchise. Previously filling this role, KOA’s Darin Uselman will transition to oversee the company’s owned campground portfolio as chief operating officer of Owned and Operated Assets of KOA (OAK).

In her capacity as chief operating officer, KOA franchise, Emerson will oversee the staff, services, and programs that support the organization’s franchise operations. She and her staff will work directly with current and prospective franchisees to ensure their ongoing business success through industry-leading service and support. For the past year, Emerson has been working with KOA as a sales and partnership consultant.

Ann Emerson / Photo courtesy of Kampgrounds of America

KOA’s former COO of KOA franchise, Uselman, will transition into an executive position within OAK. As the chief operations officer of the OAK division, Uselman will oversee the operations and development of the company’s growing portfolio of owned locations. Currently, KOA owns more than 40 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

“Ann and Darin are the type of leaders that will bring continued success to KOA.” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “Both have made invaluable contributions to our organization and industry through their leadership, relationship building and strategic planning. Their work will be critical to our ongoing success in the outdoor and travel industries.”

With over 30 years of experience in the camping industry, Emerson was previously responsible for growing the Good Sam park network by directly supporting campground owners and operators. Since beginning work with KOA in 2021, Emerson made an immediate impact supporting the growth of the KOA system and its impressive portfolio of partners.

During her career, Emerson has been a crucial advocate for the camping and RV industries serving in various capacities, including as an ARVC Board of Director, ARVC Foundation Chairwoman and ARVC Business Forum Chairwoman. In 2018, she won the Stan Martin Award, recognizing industry involvement, leadership, creativity and dedication.

Darin Uselman / Photo courtesy of Kampgrounds of America

Uselman joined KOA in 2017 to lead franchise operations. Over the past five years, KOA’s franchise business has thrived under Uselman’s leadership with high franchise attraction and retention rates, an expansion of services and the development of KOA’s franchise value model. 

Prior to his time at KOA, Uselman amassed impressive operations experience at GE Capital as a strategic program manager and a collateral initiatives leader. Additionally, he is a PGA golf professional and spent several years in golf operations for a major homebuilder on the East Coast. 

About Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds with 525 locations across the U.S. and Canada united under the mission of “connecting people to the outdoors and each other.” The industry leader in outdoor hospitality, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – offer sites and amenities designed for every type of camping experience. In addition to unrivaled brand visibility, KOA offers campground owners unparalleled support, marketing, and technology. The company’s proprietary reservation software, K2, delivers campgrounds a completive advantage within the market. Founded in 1962 in Billings, Mont., KOA now serves more than a million camping families each year, who rely on the standards of excellence and unique outdoor adventures for which KOA is known. For more information, visit KOA.com.

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Modern Campground is the most innovative news source in the Outdoor Hospitality industry. We provide global news coverage for RV Park and Campground owners, operators, managers, and their team members.
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