Craig Kirby
President & CEO

Craig Kirby is a 25-year veteran of the RV Industry Association and long-time senior leader within the organization. Kirby most recently served as senior vice president of government relations and general counsel. In this role, Kirby led several of the organization’s most prominent member service divisions including federal and state government relations, legal, industry standards, as well as the organization’s international business teams. Prior to joining the RV Industry Association in 1994, Kirby was in private practice with a law firm.

Craig spends his free time playing golf and enjoying outdoor activities with his family.

James Ashurst
Executive Vice President

Ashurst currently serves as the Executive Vice President at the RV Industry Association, where he leads membership, research, events, finance, operations and communications – including the RV industry’s popular Go RVing campaign.

Prior to joining the association, Ashurst served as vice president of communications for Travel Channel, the cable television network owned by Scripps Networks.  At Travel Channel, he served as the network’s prime media contact and oversaw all communications strategy, media relations, industry events, and campaign executions to support the key programming, brand, marketing, advertising, and affiliate sales and its aligned businesses. Earlier in his career, he held several communications positions in the broadcast satellite and travel industry.

When not busy touting the virtues of today’s RVs, James has a passion for cooking barbecue, and he loves to spend time being outdoors and camping with his wife and daughters.

Curtis Hemmeler
Executive Director, RV Technical Institute and SVP, Standards

Curtis Hemmeler is managing the establishment and launch of the RV Technical Institute’s new headquarters and training facility, as well as managing and executing the strategic business plan. He brings 20 years of professional experience in technical education and training to the RV Technical Institute. Prior to joining the institute, Curt was the vice president of operations and strategy for WyoTech, a division of Zenith Education that trains auto and diesel technicians. In that position, he led a team of over 300 across three locations. He has extensive experience with the sales, marketing, fundraising and developing community partnership. Curt is building a first-class technical and educational program that will ensure that the RV industry’s success continues for generations and generations to come.

Jay Landers
VP, Government Affairs

As Vice President of Government Affairs, Landers and his team are responsible for promoting and protecting the RV industry by influencing legislative and regulatory policies at the federal and state levels.  

Prior to joining the association as a director of government affairs, Landers was an issues manager for the Joseph E. Seagram Company, where he managed work on federal and state government relations issues as well as broad public policy issues. Before that he represented MCI Communications Corporation on Capitol Hill and in the states. He began his career in Washington as a policy analyst for the New England Congressional Institute on Capitol Hill focusing on international trade issues for the New England Congressional Caucus.

Landers received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, his Master’s degree from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, and is also a graduate of the State Government Affairs Program at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Landers is an avid biker, both mountain and motorized, and enjoys tailgating at football and lacrosse games.

Karen Redfern
VP, Brand Marketing & Communications

As Vice President of Brand Marketing and Communications, Redfern leads the team of marketing and communications professionals responsible for the industry’s brand marketing campaign, Go RVing, including strategic marketing, social and digital media, traditional advertising, video content creation, public relations, experiential marketing, partnerships, and consumer trends and research.

Prior to joining the RV Industry Association, Redfern was an executive with a national real estate franchise providing advertising and public relations programs for franchisees through a separately-funded advertising fund corporation operated much like Go RVing. Her public relations and marketing career spans over three decades with public agencies and private corporations.                                                              

Karen’s passion extends beyond the RV industry where she volunteers with several organizations dedicated to helping women, especially victims of domestic abuse. She is an avid DIYer at home, tackling reno projects big and small and enjoys relaxing time kayaking and biking.

Bob Schmitt
 & General Counsel

Bob has been in-house legal counsel with the RV Industry Association since 1998. He became the organization’s Vice President and General Counsel in 2019. Before joining the Association, he spent ten years in private legal practice focused primarily on corporate defense matters with the firms Davis, Graham & Stubbs and Devine & Nyquist, where he specialized in complex business litigation, insurance coverage disputes and environmental damage remediation. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989, where he earned a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellowship for Legal Writing. Prior to attending law school, Bob also served on the White House and U.S. Senate staffs, the White House Conference on Small Business, the National Spa & Pool Institute and the National Retail Federation in Washington, DC. He is a 1979 cum laude graduate of Georgetown University.

Outside of the RV Industry Association, Bob loves to travel with his wife, spending time at their getaway place in Florida and is overwhelmingly passionate about the Boston Red Sox.

Sharonne Lee
VP, Education & Operations, RV Technical Institute

Sharonne brings more than 30 years of RV industry experience to her new role with the RV Technical Institute. Her experience spans the spectrum and has acquainted her with all aspects of the RV industry ranging from standards inspections and standards development to education, dealer and technician outreach, curriculum development and training. Sharonne developed the first annual Top Tech Challenge in 2017 and looks forward to growing the event as part of the Institute. Sharonne’s new role at the Institute will allow her to pursue her goal of improving the end-user RV experience and professionalizing the field for RV technicians throughout the U.S.