May '19

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rv-pro.com May 2019 • RV PRO • 77 – senior vice president of operations, vice president of sales – but predomi- nantly spent the past decade-and-a-half in senior executive operational roles over- seeing multiple schools and in everything from nursing to health care associate degree programs. And in the last four years, I worked for WyoTech. I was vice president of operations for them, overseeing three campuses where we recruited, trained and placed technicians, primarily in the auto diesel, marine and motorcycle industries. And through these 25 years I also was a vice president of operations startup for Kaplan University, where I constructed, built, supervised and ran 20 locations in brand new organic growth for them. So, in a summary of my life in this industry, I've either built it or fixed it. RV PRO: What was it about the position with RVTI that appealed to you? Hemmeler: What really intrigued me about this opportunity was the fact that an industry – and in this case specifically the RV industry – had recognized their shortage of trained technicians and their need to fill that shortage and so the busi- ness side of the house had recognized and they were taking action. While at WyoTech I also carried the title of the vice president of strategy, and the strategy was really wrapped around getting business and industry to under- stand that they have to get much more involved in this national skills gap of talent that's out there. And so, when I was contacted by RVIA and started talking about what they want to do – they want to stand up a technical institute and begin to train their technicians and such – I was immediately excited about that because here was an industry that was willing to put the time, money, resources behind fixing their problem that both exists today and is coming. And so that's what attracted me to it, and I was very, very excited and very fortunate that they've given me the opportunity. RV PRO: As you know, RVIA Pres- ident Frank Hugelmeyer pushed this initiative forward. How has his sup- port helped you so far? Hemmeler: In the end the hiring process I got to meet Frank and spend time with him and we spent some time in South Bend together. And you know, what initially got me excited was rein- forced and supported by the excitement of working for him as well. He is definitely a visionary. He defi- nitely is an individual that's going to support you. And I think we hit it off immediately because by design and DNA we're very similar people. I've spent the last decade trying from the education side to get the business side to buy into this, and it was chal- lenging because on the education side of the house we're still operating with the RVTI Executive Director Curt Hemmeler (front) is pictured with other members of the RVIA team based in Elkhart. Shown at the front desk with Hemmeler are (left to right): RVIA Standards Vice President Bruce Hopkins, Technical Trainer Mike Anderson, Assistant Roxane Tharpe and Senior Director Sharone Lee.

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