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Dec 16,2006


Good Sam Club Announces Formation Of Member Advisory Council

by RVing Online

Council Will Represent Members’ Interests on Legislative and Industry Issues

(Ventura, Calif.) - A new volunteer group, RV Owners' Advisory Council, was recently appointed by the Good Sam Club to consider, evaluate and make recommendations on issues of importance and concern to RV owners of the Good Sam Club. Tom Gonser, RVers Online, Good Sam Club Life Member and former executive director for the American Bar Association, chairs the council.

“The Advisory Council will not create policy,” said Gonser. “However, it’s a way for RV owners to have input into establishing legislative and Club policy. It’s also a new opportunity for Good Sam Club members to feel an even greater sense of ownership in the Club they belong to.”

The council evolved from a call earlier this year from Sue Bray, executive director of the Good Sam Club, asking if Gonser would be willing to offer comment on some proposed industry legislation. “I was aware of Tom’s background in corporate law, and as a reader of his Web site I also understood that they are, and intend to remain, independent in their online efforts,” said Bray. “I thought he was a good person to turn to for an analysis of this particular issue.”

Bray was highly sensitive to the fact that any position the Good Sam Club might take on an industry legislative proposal be consistent with the best interests of the members of the Good Sam Club. “It was in this context that I offered to provide my analysis of that particular issue,” said Gonser.

In the course of doing so, it occurred to Gonser that if seeking independent "RV owner input" on a specific issue was of value, there might be even greater value if the Good Sam Club had available to it some resource to gather member input, and provide analysis and recommendations to the Good Sam Club on an ongoing basis. “If getting the perspective of RV owners on one issue in reaction to a one-time industry request for Good Sam support was useful, might it not be even better for Good Sam to have available a continuing source of analysis and comment that represented the interests and concerns of its membership?” asked Gonser.

After further discussions with Bray, the Good Sam Club decided to proceed with the appointment of the new group, RV Owners' Advisory Council and Gonser has agreed to chair this new effort during its first year.

While the charter of the council is still evolving, its intended purpose is to help provide a constructive new avenue for dialogue between RV owners and other industry segments, including manufacturers, dealers, park owners and others with interests in the RV industry -- including those RVer membership organizations that represent them.

“One key image I'd like to help create here is that the new council will offer Good Sam Club members a new means of expression for their interests and concerns with the key players in the RV industry,” said Gonser. “The Club actually does quite a bit to promote member interests, but this will be the most tangible evidence of that yet. And to the extent we're planning on relying on member input via e-mail and surveys, we hope the members will feel more empowered.”

Over the years, the Good Sam Club has worked on such issues as special driver’s license requirements for drivers of large motorhomes and trailers, RV weight limitations, RV friendly highway signage, access to our public lands, gas rationing, not to mention the dozens of restrictive RV parking ordinances that RVers face on a daily basis.

“As more and more issues at the state and national levels develop, we want to more actively involve our members in the process,” said Bray. “We have always tried to do the right thing for the RV owner – acting as an advocate for those of us who participate in the RV lifestyle.”

About Good Sam Club
The Good Sam Club,
www.goodsamclub.com, is the world’s largest RV owners organization with one million member families. Founded in 1966, the Club offers its members a wide variety of services, including RV Insurance, Extended Warranty on RVs (the Continued Service Plan), Emergency Road Service, RV Financing, Good Sam Credit Card and Life & Health Insurance, as well as member discounts at parks, campgrounds, and RV events. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the Club’s popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the Club represents more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the Club is a founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway programs and Adopt-A-Park programs, to name a few. The Good Sam Club is headquartered in Ventura, California, and is a subsidiary of Affinity Group Inc.

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