Stacy Bogart – Can you call it work when you love what you do?
Stacy Bogart has a passion for all things outdoors.
Not just the hiking and biking and beautiful vistas of our national parks, but the whole lifestyle of getting outdoors and having the freedom to go different places make her feel alive. It only seems right that Bogart would find herself in the RV industry, working as senior vice president and general counsel corporate secretary for corporate responsibility with Winnebago Industries.
“I love the outdoors. I love camping, getting out and just enjoying the great outdoors,” she said. “I spend a lot of time at national parks. I like traveling in RVs and I love manufacturing and products. It was a great fit for me to jump in and join Winnebago Industries.”
Finding a way to make her passion into a career choice isn’t just a way to earn a living for Bogart. Before landing at Winnebago Industries, she worked in the outdoor off-road vehicle industry. She said part of her enjoyment is knowing that her work with Winnebago Industries and the products the company creates help recruit other like-minded people to the RV lifestyle as well.
“We all know the industry got some tailwinds with the global pandemic; people have moved to the outdoors for safety reasons,” she said. “But I think a lot of people who weren’t involved in our industry have really embraced the lifestyle of being able to travel in a way that allows you to have the freedom to go to different places and not have to stay in a hotel or travel by air. I am thrilled that more people are embracing this lifestyle.”
Bogart said that in her younger days she used to ride a motorcycle and was the adventurous type who enjoyed the world and enjoyed taking a few risks along the way. Those who only know her professionally might even be surprised to find out she is a fan of 1980s hard rock and finds AC/DC “motivating.”
But the former rebel has found her own path in the RV industry.
“I love the camaraderie of the industry,” she said. “I think RVWA is a great example where it’s a great opportunity for the network – especially for the women, but it’s nice to have men participate as well. I found the industry very welcoming. Even though we have some fierce competition, we still have a lot of camaraderie and really support each other as an industry.”
Bogart said she also finds satisfaction in the new customers the industry is bringing in. Seeing not only different groups of people, but especially young people getting involved in the outdoors, she is encouraged that RVing’s place in society is on a good trajectory.
Even with some economic headwinds, she believes the current momentum the industry is seeing will continue to accelerate as a wide variety of Americans adopt the lifestyle.
As for the career, Bogart said networking is the best avenue for exploring all possibilities. She encourages anyone with an interest to do some research into the industry to find out the best locations and the best opportunities for launching a career.
“There’s a lot of competition, but if you’re passionate about the outdoors or manufacturing then it’s fun to have that passion be a part of your job,” she said.
And with the changing demographic of the customers, Bogart hopes to see something of a change in the people in the industry and encourages more women to get involved.
“Join RVWA. Get out and network,” she said. “I’m excited that the industry is embracing more women into the industry. We see the demographics of our customer base changing. More women are purchasing RVs. More African Americans, Latinos, people of color are purchasing our vehicles and I think it’s exciting. The growing acceleration of inclusiveness is super exciting. I would encourage everybody to embrace that and to seek mentors. And also seek mentees where we can help people – especially females – succeed in our industry.”