February '18

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16 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com 16 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com Heather Leach Executive VP, PRVCA Heather Leach jokes she came to be in the RV industry by combining her two previous career paths. The executive vice president for the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) worked in marketing for Residential Warranty Corp., doing home warranty work, and before that she was a technical writer for AMCO Transmissions. "I did cars and homes and now I do homes on wheels," Leach laughs. Leach started with PRVCA in 2006 as the marketing and education director before being promoted to executive vice president in 2015. Her new responsibilities include managing America's Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa., and overseeing PRVCA's education initiatives and legislative work. Leach has embraced the increased roles she is now respon- sible for. "I always wanted to do communications, wherever that led me. It's always been amazing," she says. "Now, I take on the management of the staff and I work with our lobbyists on legislative issues. My role with the RV show has changed. I handle the manufacturer end of it now. Before I did all the advertising. Now, I deal with everything from show layout to where we stick the porta johns and everything in between." She credits mentors, such as her predecessor, Becky Lennington, for laying the groundwork for her success. "She helped me during the transition period of moving into this role. Our chairman, Tim Umstead, was super supportive and here every step of the way as well," she adds. As for being a woman in a predominantly male industry, Leach says she has never felt treated differently than anyone else, and adds she is excited to see even more women entering the industry. "There seems to be a little bit of change recently with more women coming into the industry. Even on our own board we're starting to get a little more diversity," Leach says. "I've received nothing but support from people in the industry, and I think that's a good sign." One thing she jokingly notes, "When we go to events I never have to stand in line for the bathroom." Her career plans include moving the association upward and forward. "Right now, I'm pretty content where I am," she says. "There are a lot of big plans for the association coming up in the next few years. There's a lot to look forward to in the next couple years." Leach currently serves on the Go RVing Coalition, the RV Service Training Council and the RVEC. She says she enjoys working in the RV industry because of the people. "I work with a lot of great people and the people I've met, particularly since taking on this position, have been very supportive," she says. "I've gotten a lot of, 'if you need anything, just give a call,' type of thing. That's something not all industries can say." On being a named an RVIA 40 Under 40 winner, Leach says she is flattered. "It really was quite an honor," says Leach, age 38. "It was nice to see that the efforts – not only by me, but the whole staff – were recognized on a national level and that people know that we're out here and doing something good for the industry." LEADERSHIP

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