Paul Bambei Named New ARVC President/CEO
Paul Bambei, a marketing and business development expert and entrepreneur with a track record of success at some of the nation’s best-known companies, including Time Inc. and Comcast Corp., will be introduced at the upcoming InSites Convention & Expo as the new president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC).
“I am extremely excited to have Paul coming on board as our new president and CEO,” David L. Berg, CPO, ARVC’s chairman, stated in a news release. “Paul is a proven leader, and his vast knowledge and experience working in senior management positions for Fortune 100 companies together with his recent experience as a business owner and operator made him the unanimous choice of ARVC’s Personnel Committee.”
Bambei’s hiring, in fact, was also endorsed by nearly the entire ARVC Board of Directors, with 17 voting in favor and three abstentions. And while other candidates included one individual with hospitality industry experience and another with an association management background, Bambei’s extensive business experience, self-confidence and personable nature made him an easy choice, according to ARVC Personnel Committee members.
“Paul is from the private business sector and for me that’s a plus,” said Personnel Committee member Deb Carter, who serves as executive director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds as well as a representative of Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP).
“I represented CAMP at the interview and his first comment to us was, ‘You’re the group I can learn from,’” Carter said. “He was just very open and I found him to be extremely intelligent and he has a gentle way about him. He’s the perfect person to come in and work with everyone with a completely blank slate. But he also knows a great deal about ARVC. He can quote our bylaws, our mission statement. He is very familiar with GoCampingAmerica.com and demonstrated that he really wants to build ARVC as a hospitality brand. He also has a pure love of camping and RVing, which he does with his family.”
Personnel Committee member Patrick O’Neill of Camping on the Gulf in Destin, Fla., said Bambei is “the right fit” for ARVC. “He’s incredibly organized and financially diligent,” O’Neill said, adding, “We were looking for someone who was not just a connected insider, but somebody who could look at the association from the outside” and make recommendations to strengthen the organization.
“We also need somebody who can take the marketing side of the GCA website and turn it into everything it should be,” he said.
Marcia Galvin, another Personnel Committee member who also serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners, is also convinced that Bambei is the right person to lead ARVC.
“Even though he doesn’t have the association background, he has more of the other qualifications that we feel ARVC needs at this time, including his diverse business experience, his managerial style, his adaptability to different situations, and really, his personality and demeanor. He is very self-assured and confident,” Galvin said, adding, “He clearly rose to the top of the crop.”
That viewpoint was also shared by ARVC Business Forum member Wade Elliott of Utility Supply Group, who joined the Personnel Committee in interviewing Bambei and other candidates for the position of ARVC President and CEO. “I was impressed by the caliber of the finalists interviewed,” Elliott said. “The finalists scored very closely with the exception of Paul Bambei, who outperformed the field. He was the clear choice.”
Bambei, for his part, said he is eager to get started in his new role. “I’m looking forward to applying my consumer marketing expertise to the private businesses that make up ARVC’s membership with the goal of making them more profitable,” he said, adding that he plans to make campground marketing a major area of focus.
Bambei has a demonstrated track record of marketing and business management expertise. He recently co-founded Jookt LLC, the nation’s first high school sports network, and served as its COO for the past four years, during which time the company produced programs for broadcast television, cable and Internet distribution.
From 2004 to 2006, he worked as a key advisor to Luxembourg-based Intelsat, Ltd., the world’s largest provider of fixed satellites, and helped develop a programming, distribution and financial strategy for the company’s new digital video transmission business in the U.S.
Bambei also spent 20 years in senior management positions in the cable television industry, including vice president of operations for Comcast Corp.’s Comcast Media Center in Denver from 1999 to 2003, during which time he nearly tripled his division’s revenue, from $30 million to $80 million, while improving profitability from 30% to 45%. He also managed and improved Comcast’s relationships with over 100 vendors and 300 affiliates.
From 1984 to 1999, Bambei was vice president of operations and marketing for Denver-based Rifkin and Associates, which under Bambei’s stewardship had grown to become the 20th largest cable company in the U.S., with 600 employees and operations in 13 states and 200 communities.
Bambei initially honed his marketing skills while working as director of marketing for Time, Inc. from 1977 to 1983, during which time he successfully launched new products that accounted for 40 percent of the company’s revenue.
Bambei holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southeast Missouri State University in addition to completing the Advanced Business Management Program at the Denver University Center for Management Development.
Bambei is also active with several community organizations, having served as a volunteer mentor for Save Our Youth and a coach for Arapahoe Youth League Baseball. He also served as a board member of the Colorado Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Berg said Bambei will start training for his new position Dec. 1 so that outgoing President and CEO Profaizer can have ample time to brief him on the details of her position before she retires at the end of December. He will also attend ARVC’s InSites Convention & Expo, which is slated for Dec. 1 to 3 in Las Vegas.
Profaizer has served as ARVC’s president and CEO for the past 10 years and has spent 40 years in the campground business. Prior to joining ARVC in 2001, Profaizer served nearly 30 years in management positions with Woodall’s Publications Corp., ultimately becoming the company’s president.