The RVI Leadership Prayer Breakfast during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., was a successful and enlightening event, according to coordinator Carl Pletcher.

“We had a good turnout for the prayer breakfast, and everyone seemed to enjoy our guest speaker quite a bit,” Pletcher said in a press release.

Nathan Whitaker, co-author of motivational books with sports figures such as Tony Dungy and Tim Tebow, gave a talk about his life path and how it led to writing his latest book, The Mentor Leader, with Dungy about servant leadership.

The event began with a welcome from Bob Olson, chairman of Winnebago Industries Inc. and co-chairman of the industry’s Go RVing Coalition, and an invocation by Dutchmen Regional Sales Manager Jeremiah Grubert. After breakfast, Olson thanked the sponsors and introduced Kenneth Floyd, president of Floyd’s RVs in Norman, Okla., for a scripture reading. Atwood Mobile Products President Tim Stephens then gave a prayer before Olson returned for his introduction of Whitaker.

“We all understand the pursuit of profit and results. We’re hoping for plenty of both this week, so we can pay our debts and keep good people employed. And there’s nothing wrong with that,” Olson said. “The question is how we go about it, and at what cost. What do we hold most dear? Happy workers. A positive environment. The good of the team. And ultimately, a life we aren’t ashamed of when we see the one who gave it to us.”

Whitaker spoke of the evolution of events that brought him to Dungy during his time working for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dungy’s atypical approach to leadership that inspired him and eventually brought them to write together.

“One of the most important years of my life was 2001. The Bucs were 9-7 that year, but Tony’s message never changed: Do what’s in your core. He said leaving the game plan is a sign of panic and panic is not in the game plan,” Whitaker explained.

He also described the concept of servant leadership, reminding attendees that everyone is an example to someone nearby. “Leadership just means influence. You’re not always the boss, chairman of the board, president. But whether it’s 20,000 people or one person who’s watching you, the Lord calls us to be faithful,” he stated, adding, “This is not about Tony, or football, or being wealthy and successful; it’s about being spiritually significant.”

Pletcher said the event was a good one and he was glad to come back again after a hiatus in 2009 due to the recession and a lack of sponsor support. “The plain truth is, we can’t make this thing happen without our sponsors. They were so good to us this year and I can’t thank them enough,” he said.

Platinum sponsors for the 2011 prayer breakfast were Andy Baer, KZRV LP; Wilbur Bontrager, Jayco Inc.; Matthew Miller, Newmar Corp.; and James Huebner, Huebner Petersen. Gold sponsors were Jack Enfield, MOR/ryde International; BJ Thompson, BJ Thompson Associates; Kevin Phillips, Thetford and Norcold; Tim Stephens, Atwood Mobile Products; Thor Industries Inc.; and Fabric Services. Silver sponsors were Kenneth Floyd, Floyd’s RVs; Mike Keller, Keller Marine & RV; John Spader, Spader Business Management; and Carl Pletcher. Bronze sponsors were Bill and Sharon Koster; Chad Stoltzfus, Lake City Bank; Gary Shuder, Newmar; Gregg Fore, Dicor Corp.; Winnebago Industries; and RV-Info.net.

To be added to the mailing list for next year’s event, request literature on spiritual counsel or to make a contribution, contact Carl Pletcher at 574-215-7173 or [email protected], or the RVI Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee at 56771 Wedgewood S., Elkhart, Ind., 46516.