June '17

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46 • RV PRO • June 2017 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S RV PRO: How did you get involved with NERVDA? Zagami: When I started attending the Board meetings for NERVDA, I saw the organization from the inside. The Association had challenges. In October 2012, the Association discovered that their exec- utive director had started a new event management company, had secured the space where the Association held the Boston RV & Camping Expo, and then started collecting money from unsuspecting campgrounds and dealers to fund his new venture – all done while he was still on their payroll. … Jeff and Marty knew me as an RV owner and a writer/ consultant in the industry. When Jeff asked me to help save the show, we only had two months to find a new venue (in a major city), sell space to the dealers and campgrounds … and we did it all. … Soon after, Jeff asked me to take over the Association and use my business, association and RV experience to re-establish NERVDA and bring real value to the dealers. Working with our great dealers in New England, we have been successful in carrying out that mission. RV PRO: What is NERVDA like today? Zagami: We started with no members, no money and no show. Today, we have 35 dealers and several associate mem- bers, a six-figure bank account and one of the most respected RV shows in the country. We have a successful technician training program and sev- eral consumer initiatives that will allow us to brand NERVDA throughout the six New England states so that consumers under- stand we have a professional association of dealers ready to help them find the right RV and enjoy it once they hit the road. We also work closely with our five state campground associa- tions (Rhode Island does not have one) to make sure we are all talking to each other and supporting the RV enthusiasts that support our dealers. RV PRO: What are your primary responsibilities as the head of NERVDA? Besides you, are there other staff members? Zagami: I am the entire staff of NERVDA. We run lean up here in New England. I focus a lot of my time on member engagement, mar- keting, consumer promotions, training and show management and our social media platforms. I report to a very supportive Board of Directors that includes Linda Mailhot, president One of Zagami's key roles at NERVDA is to spearhead the Association's Boston RV & Camping Expo, which this year attracted a record-breaking 17,500 attendees. Zagami is pictured at right giving a talk about RVing to attendees at the show.

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