Campground Owners of New York (CONY), in a press release, announced that President and CEO Don Bennett Jr. will be stepping down from his role effective May 13.
Bennett has been with the association for 17 years and has been instrumental in modernizing and expanding its offerings to members.
During his tenure, Bennett helped refine CONY’s mission statement, upgraded its websites and digital marketing platforms, developed several member benefit programs, and worked with allied lobbyists to champion or defeat legislation affecting the outdoor hospitality industry in New York.
He also played a key role in ensuring that independently owned campgrounds in the state were defined as essential services during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
“I am so proud of everything that CONY has accomplished and become in the past 17 years. I’m thrilled that I was involved in the process of making it one of the leading associations in the outdoor hospitality industry,” Bennett said in the release.
“CONY is in a good place moving forward, and I am extremely excited to begin this new chapter in my professional life partnering with my wife Lisa to promote outdoor activities, services, and tourism to a larger audience.”
Bennett plans to focus his efforts on expanding Merchantry Tourism, LLC, a marketing and consulting business he co-owns with his wife.
As a former campground owner himself, Bennett brings a unique perspective on business development, association management, legislative affairs, and financial issues to Merchantry Tourism. He hopes to use his expertise to promote outdoor activities, services, and tourism to a larger audience.
CONY, established in 1963, represents independent campgrounds and RV parks in New York and provides education, government affairs, and marketing services, including hosting the travel planning website CampNewYork.com and publishing a printed magazine of New York campgrounds.
For private campground owners and operators in New York, Bennett’s departure from CONY is significant as he has been a strong advocate for the industry and has helped shape the future of camping in New York. With his departure, it will be important for the industry to continue to work together to ensure its growth and success in the coming years.
Still, with CONY in a good place moving forward, private campground owners can continue to rely on the organization for education, government affairs, and marketing services, including the CampNewYork travel planning website and a printed magazine of New York campgrounds.
Campground Owners of New York, established in 1963, is the trade association that represents independent campgrounds and RV parks in New York.
Based in Pittsford, CONY provides education, government affairs, and marketing services for campgrounds, including hosting www.CampNewYork.com, a travel planning website, and publishing a printed magazine of New York campgrounds.