CEO of KOA
Toby O’Rourke is the President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, Inc. which owns KOA, the world’s largest system of private campgrounds and leader in outdoor hospitality with more than 525 franchised and company owned locations across North America, as well as Terramor Outdoor Resort, a new glamping brand with a flagship property in Maine.
Toby first joined KOA in 2011 as the company’s digital marketing director and shortly thereafter began leading the marketing organization. In that position, she drove the launch of KOAs award-winning integrated advertising and public relations campaign “What’s Behind the Yellow Sign?” and advanced KOAs data-driven marketing approach. She was instrumental in the development of KOAs brand segmentation that has realigned their portfolio based on guest experience. Prior to being promoted to President and CEO, Toby served as the Chief Operations Officer for KOA overseeing franchise services, marketing, sales and technology.
Toby’s work at KOA is strengthened by a background in brand management, software development and consulting. She began her career in programming and then worked in business and technology consulting in Chicago for Deloitte and STA Group. She transitioned to a marketing career following graduate school and served in brand and digital marketing roles for Sara Lee Corporation and White Wave Foods (now Danone).
Toby has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, she was named to the Forty Under 40 marketer list by Advertising Age magazine. In addition to her role at KOA, she serves on the board of the RV Industry Association (RVIA) and Outdoorsy, a peer to peer sharing service for recreational vehicles.
Toby was born and raised in Sheridan, Montana, a small town in the heart of the Ruby Valley in the southwestern part of the state. She returned to Montana after time in Chicago and Denver to raise her children here near her parents and sister’s family, a decision she is thankful she made every day. She and her husband, DJ, live in Billings and have three children, ages 10, 7 and four months. As the head of KOA and a mother, she is passionate about engaging families in the outdoors. She and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, visiting national parks — and of course camping.
COVID-19 has rapidly changed the business environment and has caused many companies to re-evaluate their growth strategies. In this video, Toby O’Rourke and Lt. Governor Mike Cooney discuss how KOA’s strategy has evolved and continued to thrive through challenging times.