Pat Hittmeier, a 29-year veteran of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), has been promoted to the position of president of the 48-year-old family camping company, according to a news release.
Hittmeier has served as chief operating officer of KOA for the past eight months. The promotion was announced Feb. 26 by KOA CEO Jim Rogers.
“The depth of knowledge about our industry that Pat brought to his new job eight months ago allowed him to lead KOA at a very critical time,” said Rogers. “Pat’s leadership helped turn what could have been a very difficult year for KOA into a very positive one.”
Rogers said while the new title won’t necessarily lead to new responsibilities for Hittmeier, it will put him on “equal footing” with his peers in the camping, RVing and outdoors sectors.
“Pat Hittmeier has done nearly everything there is to do at KOA, so he brings a depth of knowledge to this position that just can’t be matched,” Rogers said. “Early in his career, he worked in our Company Operated Properties Division, learning the nuts and bolts of campground management. He later was in the field building new KOAs like the beautiful park we have in Polson, Mont. He’s also been at the helm of our Franchisee Services Department, a very complex operation that is at the very heart of the value KOA brings to its franchisee partners. He intimately understands the needs of our staff, our campground owners and our guests.”
Before being named chief operating officer, Hittmeier was vice president of sales and development, where he spearheaded the successful effort to add 50 campgrounds to KOA in just two years.
Hittmeier, a native of Litchfield, Ill., is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He moved to Texas after graduation and worked with youth outdoor education programs in Houston and Waco. In 1977 he moved to Montana and became a forester for the state of Montana. In 1979, he came to Billings to be sales coordinator for the Mossmain Industrial Park before joining KOA in June 1981.
Kampgrounds of America, founded in Billings in 1962 by Billings entrepreneur Dave Drum, currently has more than 475 locations in North America. It is the world’s premiere family camping organization, hosting nearly 6 million camping families each year.