Editor’s Note: The following is a letter from Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Chairman Gregg Fore that appeared in the latest issue of RVIA Today.
As I write this I realize that this will be my last article to our membership as RVIA Chairman of the Board. The past 12 years as a member of the board of directors, including serving that last two years as the association’s chairman, have been especially rewarding and meaningful to me in many, many ways.
I cannot tell you enough how much I think of my fellow board members, as well as those of you in the industry who support our efforts to tackle the sometimes difficult issues and to take actions that we feel are in the best interest of the entire industry – actions that are sometimes not well understood by and sometimes not popular with all members.
The RV industry and RVIA are fortunate to have many great thinkers who volunteer their time and wisdom in an effort to make our industry stronger, more efficient, more customer-focused and more enjoyable, not only for our retail customers, but for all of us who earn our living in the industry. My deep-hearted thanks to all for their efforts and support.
During my two-year tenure as chairman, I believe we have positively impacted many areas of our industry: we continued to make progress with our dealer partners in implementing RV-specific franchise legislation; we teamed with our partners in the Canadian RV industry to strengthen Go RVing Canada and work together toward a future with synergized standards; we welcomed the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) companies back into the association and begun to focus more on the ”destination camping” use of our products; we have taken very productive steps to capitalize on the potential of the emerging China RV market; we enhanced our industry education and training initiative with the introduction of the RV service technician training ladder; we continued to promote the RV industry through Go RVing’s tremendous new “AWAY” national advertising campaign and RVIA’s very effective public relations activities; and we have strengthened our staff and added depth to many areas of our association.
As is the case with our manufacturer and supplier member companies, there never is really any “down time” for the association and its staff. As you read this, RVIA’s California RV Show in Pomona is readying to kick off next month with a show that will be larger than in 2011. Final preparations are also being made for the 50th National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. These are two very important events for the association and our industry.
Meanwhile, planning continues for the 2nd World RV Conference taking place from Jan. 17–20, 2013, in Tampa, Fla., hosted by RVIA in conjunction with FRVTA’s Florida RV SuperShow. What a great opportunity to showcase the North American RV Industry to the entire world!
Looking a little further into the future, RVIA’s Annual Meeting is coming up this spring, and I would like all of you to start thinking about attending this event.
Talk to anyone who has attended the event in the past and they will tell you how much it means to be able to spend time with customers, peers, and associates. It is a tremendous way to be introduced to all that the association does. Many of our current board members will tell you that it was attending the Annual Meeting that got them started in their participation in RVIA.
As we move into 2013 and beyond I remain extremely optimistic about our industry and association.
Most industries need an active, involved association to represent their collective needs, to work toward goals that would be more difficult for an individual company or two to accomplish individually.
Each of RVIA’s departments is continually hard at work on behalf of every association member in the critical areas of government relations, industry standards and education, advertising and public relations, industry events, and market data and research. All of this is done with an eye on creating a positive environment for our members to do business.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to lead this effort for the past two years. I know you will provide the same level of support, guidance, and cooperation with the new chairman and the new board members who were recently elected. I look forward to continuing my service to RVIA as a Past Chairman and know that RVIA rests in very good hands in the days ahead.