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New, Old RVDA Chairmen: Cooperation Can Fix the Industry

LAS VEGAS – Texas and Oklahoma may be bitter rivals on the football field, but when a Texan handed the reins of the RV Dealers Association over to an Oklahoman on Wednesday at Caesar’s Palace, there were more hugs and friendly banter than blocks and tackles.

And as Mike Regan of Crestview RV Center in Buda, Texas, handed the gavel over to new Chairman Ron Shepherd of Camperland of Oklahoma in Tulsa, it was evident the current track of RVDA would remain on its stable course.

Both men spoke of reducing Repair Event Cycle Time, improving parts availability and working together with manufacturers to improve the industry.

Before handing over duties, Regan wanted to encourage fellow dealers by assuring them that times aren’t as dark as the current trends may indicate.

“We keep hearing that 2019 will be a Top 5 year for the RV industry in terms of wholesale shipments,” he said. “But according to Stat Surveys, 2019 will likely be a Top 4 year for retail sales. This is a story that need to be told. RVDA is working with Statistical Surveys regarding a pilot program to provide dealers and the industry with a new ‘early’ RV retail report.”

For his part, Shepherd pledged to continue efforts to make the industry’s public image one of service and family fun.

“Over the past several years RVDA has been working diligently with our industry friends at RVIA and RVAA to improve our customer’s experience,” he said. “My pledge is to continue to do all I can to assist in moving the needle a little further on our RECT initiative. Our future depends on it. Tomorrow’s customers are not going to continue to buy our products if they have too many problems or it takes too long to fix when an issue arises. Pointing fingers is easy but working together to fix this issue benefits all of us, and we all have culpability here.”

Other officers and board members for 2020 are:

  • First Vice Chairman Chris Andro, Hemlock Hill RV Sales, Southington, Conn.
  • Second Vice Chairman Mike Pearo, Hilltop Camper and RV, Fridley, Minn.
  • Treasurer Nathan Hart, Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales, New Castle, Ind.
  • Secretary Scott Silva, Cold Springs RV, Weare, N.H.
  • RVAC Chairman Jeff Hirsh, Campers Inn
  • RV Rental Association Chairman Scott Krenek, Krenek RV Center,  Coloma, Mich.
  • RV Learning Center Chairman Jeff Pastore, Hartville RV Center,  Hartville, Ohio

Board members are Ryan Horsey of Parkview RV Center, David Tenney of Manteca Trailer & Motorhome, Mike Rone of Sonny’s RV Sales and Bob Cox of Stoltzfus RV’s and Marine.

Sherry Shields of Pan Pacific RV Centers was honored as a retiring director.

Honoring Leaders

RVDA also honored some of its members and past leaders.

The James B. Summers award went to Andy Heck of Alpin House.

The Titan Award was given to Duane Spader of Spader Business Management.

Chairman’s Service Awards were given to Ed Wilkins of Diversified Insurance Management, Harold Oehler of Lazydays, Ron Shepherd of Camperland of Oklahoma and Tim Wegge of Burlington RV Superstore.

Working in Washington

President Phil Ingrassia gave an update on the Association’s work on behalf of the industry in Washington, D.C.

He said it is a hyperpolitical time in the capital city and difficult to get buy-in on legislation, but he said the organization of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable showing the economic impact of the variety of related industries on the nation has been a benefit to all.

Legislative acts the Association is lobbying for include Restore Our Parks Act, Travel Trailer and Camper Tax Parity Act and working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the use of RVs as emergency housing during national disasters.

Travis O. Pryor

Travis Pryor is the former managing editor of RV PRO.

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