Editor’s Note: The 2020 RV/MH Hall of Fame’s Annual Induction Dinner has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Hall of Fame’s Northern Indiana Events Center in Elkhart, Ind. RV PRO is celebrating this year’s class and today we feature Dave Schutz, the former senior vice president of OEM sales for Dometic Americas.
Dave Schutz, senior vice president of OEM sales, Dometic Americas
Dave Schutz says it came down to three choices when he was looking for a job in high school: pharmaceuticals, band instruments or RVs.
“Elkhart had three major industries when I was in high school. One summer job I had was working in a warehouse for the RV industry. I was 17 and it turned out to be a challenging and rewarding job. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of great people. When you’re in an industry where you’re providing a home away from home, it should be fun,” Schutz says.
Schutz moved from warehouse worker to warehouse manager, inside sales to purchasing, sales and then operations. He spent the rest of his career in sales, marketing and operations.
The first company he worked for was D&D Sales. In 1969, he started a business of his own, then went to Fleming Sales, Atwood Mobile Products and eventually landed at Dometic as senior vice president of sales.
Throughout his work travels he had the chance to meet with members of the Canadian RV Association (CRVA).
“I got to meet a lot of the Canadian industry leaders and eventually was nominated as membership chairman, then later voted on the board of directors, where I’ve served for well over 34 years. What’s odd is that I’m the only American that’s ever been on the board,” Schutz says.
The CRVA wasn’t the only industry group Schutz was involved with. Back in the late 1990s, he got involved with the RV Industry Association, chairing several committees and serving on the board of directors.
“I was able to do a lot of industry work and it’s probably one of the things that, if there was a balancing point that put me over the top, it was all the industry work I did,” says Schutz. “I really enjoyed it, too. I got to work with suppliers, manufacturers and bankers while still managing my role in my own career.”
Schutz devoted much of his energy to working with industry associations with the belief that, “It’s a real easy answer and is probably true in most areas of life, is that the more people rowing the same direction helps the boat go faster and for longer,” he says.
“The fact is we’re all coming at it from different angles of free enterprise, but we’re still looking at our own business, employing people, staying profitable and supporting families. But, when we all work together to promote the industry we can do it better together than any one single industry, segment or person.”
To read the profiles of the previously featured 2020 Hall of Fame inductees, click the link below:
(Editor’s note: This year’s Hall of Fame Induction Dinner has been postponed until Thursday, Dec. 3. Please click here for more information.)