Westenberger Retiring as Tennessee ARVC Exec
After serving as executive director of 10 associations over a period of 40 years, John Westenberger is retiring and passing the mantle on Dec. 31 as executive director of the Tennessee Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (TNARVC) following 14 years of service, according to a news release.
He will be 70 years old in May. His wife of 43 years has also been an integral part of his association work.
Suzanne Mark will succeed him.
A certified association executive (CAE), Westenberger served as vice chairman and board member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He was named State Executive of the Year by both the Tennessee and Georgia associations of executive directors. He also received the “Thousand Points of Light” Award from President George H.W. Bush for organizing and managing the first free health care clinic for the homeless in the country.
Mark, a former college professor and a 20-year veteran in the industry, first specialized in the camping industry as the corporate coordinator of recreation and recruitment for Outdoor World where she was known as “the Queen of Fun.” Outdoor World is a chain of 15 membership parks then owned by the Rank Organisation and now part of the Equity Lifestyles/Thousand Trails family.
She also served as the education director for National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). Leaving ARVC, she became vice president for education, training and professional development for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), returning to the RV and camping industry a few years later to resume her consulting and training business, MARK of Excellence.
Mark is a contributor to Woodall’s Campground Management as well as several of the trade publications and a frequent presenter at state, national and international conventions and forums. She is particularly looking forward to working with the Tennessee parks as “their state conventions are some of the most fun in the industry,” she said.
She also is thrilled to be in the state where one of her all-time favorite recreation programs takes place, “March of the Peabody Duck” at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. “It is an outstanding example of taking a very simple activity and making it a world famous and free attraction. Recreation should be a banquet, not fast food,” she said.
The TNARVC board will be honoring Westenberger and welcoming Mark at a dinner to be held in Crossville, Tenn., on Jan. 7.