RESTON, Va. — The RV Industry Association’s Committee Week wrapped up with last week with record-breaking attendance at committee meetings and on Capitol Hill.
More than 200 RV industry leaders joined forces in Washington, D.C., at the iconic Mayflower Hotel, June 4 to 8, to continue mapping out the future of RVIA as the leading voice in the RV industry, the release explained.
The highlights of the week were numerous and included a presentation from Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke; a presentation from Charlie Cook, of The Cook Report, and a record-breaking Capitol Hill Advocacy Day.
Monday kicked off with RVIA Chairman Bob Parish presenting an award to Richard Coon, former RVIA president, for his distinguished service to the RV Industry.
RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer highlighted the strong RV shipment projections that are set to hit a record level of more than 472,000 units in 2017 and 487,200 units in 2018. He also highlighted the continued transformation of RVIA over the next three years and how the efforts of the past year are aligning with the RVIA strategic plan.
“Committee Week is a fundamental cornerstone in planning and executing RVIA’s mission and defining our vision for the association and industry over the next several years. We depend on the wisdom and experience of our members as we all come together and prioritize the strategic direction of the industry,” said Hugelmeyer.
“The record-breaking participation this year in both Committee Week and Advocacy Day is indicative of the energy and enthusiasm in the membership and the RV industry,” he added. “We have an opportunity to come together and make a significant impact on the industry and for RV consumers.”
RV industry champion, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, addressed the membership as the keynote speaker at a luncheon on Tuesday. He stressed the vital role that public-private-partnerships will play in modernizing the National Park System and increasing access to them over the next several years. He went on to explain the Department of the Interior has not been a great partner to the private sector and that he wants to change that.
“A lot of our parks and campgrounds, as you know, were almost Eisenhower in design,” said Zinke. “They were made for small little campers and an experience of a previous period. The world is moving at a different pace. The expectations are different in our public lands and we have to put the infrastructure in.
“As secretary, I don’t want to be in the business of running campgrounds,” he added. “We will never be as good as you are on it.”
He went on to discuss the new administration’s vision of achieving a five-star tourist experience as well as an affordable one for our visitors who utilize the NPS.
“Anything that makes visiting our national parks more expensive is not good for America and the American people. Camping on national public lands is and must continue to be an affordable family vacation,” Zinke said.
Tuesday was capped off with A Capitol Evening, an event where RVIA members and guests took in the stunning view of the Capitol Building while mingling and networking with fellow RV industry executives.
Following dinner, renowned columnist Charlie Cook shared his insightful political analysis with attendees. Cook, best known as the publisher and editor of the Cook Political Report, is one of the best political handicappers in the nation, the release noted.
During his speech, Cook broke down the likelihood of Republicans holding the Senate in 2018 as well as speculation on who will run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
On Wednesday, nearly 100 industry advocates participated in more than 150 congressional meetings including 59 with sitting members of Congress, to share the message that RVs Move America. Advocates requested support for the bipartisan National Park Service Legacy Act of 2017 (H.R. 2584 and S. 751), the soon to be introduced Recreation Not Red-Tape Act and for members to join the growing RV Caucuses.
An RV Caucus Reception concluded the day with 12 caucus members in attendance. As of today, five new congressmen have signed on to join the RV Caucuses: Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rodney Blum (R-Iowa). Six other representatives have expressed interest in joining.
Thursday morning wrapped up the week with an RVIA Board of Directors meeting. The RVIA Board welcomed Eldin Wood, vice president sales, service and marketing of Carefree of Colorado, as the member to replace Scott Thompson, president of the company. He will fulfill the term of the company seat being vacated.
During the board meeting:
Hugelmeyer updated the board on the work that has been achieved toward accomplishing the RVIA’s three-year strategic plan.
Hugelmeyer presented potions of the association’s first-ever annual report and included printed and digital copies of the report for the board. The report is public and is available on the rvia.org website and was distributed to members and the press for public consumption.
The board voted to modify the board structure to allow for a greater pool of qualified board candidates for the nominations process. There are 23 director seats to include representatives of the following membership classifications:
- The 10 RV manufacturer seats will increase to 11
- Two park model RV manufacturers will remain at two
- Five suppliers will shift to six seats
- Six members-at-large will be reduced to four
SOURCE: RV Industry Association press release