Rodney Volk retired from the American Automobile Association (AAA) as a Tourism Editor, with over 27 years experience evaluating and rating hotels, restaurants and campgrounds – as well as points of interest for the traveling members.
Looking back, you might say Rodney began his career with AAA as a patrol boy in elementary school – wearing the belt with the AAA insignia – and helping other students at school crossings. The money wasn’t great, but perks like getting out of school early made a lasting impression.
In 1982, he came to AAA with a varied background. At that time they were looking for someone with administrative skills and some sales experience. Although he spent 4 years in the US Navy as a Machinist Mate – becoming a Second Class Petty Officer – most of his time was spent working in the office as an administrative assistant, because of his ability to type 80-85 words per minute. In the Navy he was also able to see much of the world and the accommodations offered in many different countries. After leaving the Navy, he went to work at the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company (3M), in their Business Products Division as a Branch Operations Supervisor. In this position, he coordinated the sales and service functions at a 3M retail outlet which marketed duplicating, microfilm and visual products. He was responsible for the day-to-day management of the operations department, including customer orders, customer service, accounts receivable, inventory control and support of the sales and service staff. He also worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica as a Promotions Manager and Division Field Trainer, and in charge of their promotional programs and responsible for hiring, training and supervising new sales representatives.
During his memorable career with AAA, he has traveled extensively from Isle Royale National Park on an island in Lake Superior (Michigan) to the Caribbean and from the islands of Hawaii to the shores of Newfoundland (Canada). Much of his focus has been in the Great Lakes region on both sides of the border as well as the southern United States. In his travels, he has been very fortunate in the number of positive people he’s meant in the industry, both at AAA and on the calls he’s made for the organization. During his long career, he also saw the development and was instrumental in the implementation of the AAA Diamond Ratings Guidelines for Accommodations and Restaurants, as well as the Guidelines for Campgrounds.