Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss., will succeed Ron Wheeler of Wheeler Advertising in Arlington, Texas, as chairman of the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Committee. The convention is sponsored by the national RV Dealers Association (RVDA) and RVDA of Canada.
“For six years, Ron Wheeler has done an outstanding job of working with RVDA volunteers and staff to create a rewarding experience for dealers and exhibitors participating in the convention,” said RVDA Chairman Debbie Brunoforte of Little Dealer, Little Prices in Mesa, Ariz., in a news release. “We are also extremely pleased that Peter Albano has agreed to build on Ron’s success by assuming Convention/Expo committee chairmanship. Peter brings an ideal combination of business and association experience to the position, which makes the convention even more valuable to RV dealers and the industry.”
Albano is a former member of the RVDA of board directors, most recently serving as the association’s secretary and currently serves as co-chairman of RVDA’s Government Relations Committee. He was key leader in the formation of the Mississippi RV Dealers Association and currently serves as the organization’s president.
RVDA and RVDA of Canada will hold the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo featuring the RV Learning Center in Las Vegas, Nev, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Oct. 5-8.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) contends that its hands are tied with regard to the issue of RV manufacturers being forced — under various circumstances — to buy back product from dealers.
So the national trade association, based in Fairfax, Va., isn’t taking a concrete stand one way or the other in what is becoming a major issues within the RV industry.
”We are a national dealers association made up of dealers from many states,” said RVDA Chairman Larry Troutt, owner of Toppers Camping Center in Waller, Texas, in a Q&A session with RVBusiness due for publication next month. ”It’s not our position to take a position on what the states do.”
In a March 9 letter to RVDA President Mike Molino, Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), asked RVDA to support amending or defeating ”buy back” legislation pending in 17 states, warning that RV manufacturers and dealers alike could be put out of business by the slew of legislation.
However, Molino immediately dismissed the request and has continued to do so as recently as a meeting held this week.
At issue are what RVIA characterizes as onerous provisions requiring inventory, in some cases regardless of age, to be repurchased by manufacturers ”with or without cause,” along with ”blue sky” requirements that would mandate manufacturers to compensate dealers for the value of their businesses and ”facilities assistance” for up to three years.
”The dealers in the different states will take initiatives (that) we will support, possibly reinforce, at their request,” Troutt told RVBusiness. ”But we do not think it is appropriate to take initiatives as a national dealer organization that would cause dealers in different states to have to abide by some ‘law’ that they didn’t initiate or address themselves within their states. It’s a state’s rights thing.
”I’m not aware of any (dealer) who disagrees with that.”
RVDA Treasurer Andy Heck, president of Alpin Haus, Amsterdam, N.Y., said coordinating state laws would be too large a task for RVDA to muster.
”Each state has different laws,” Heck said. ”(Buy back laws) just happen to be one of them. For RVDA to get involved at the state level would be a gigantic task.”
Debbie Brunoforte, RVDA 1st vice chairman and owner of Little Dealer, Little Prices in Mesa, Ariz., said dealers are ”reasonable (and) fair-minded” and that manufacturers should communicate directly with dealers about state laws that concern them.
”The difference between RVIA and RVDA is that most of the manufacturers are in Indiana and a couple of other places,” Brunoforte said. ”Yet, (RVs) are retailed throughout the entire country. So RVIA has to have a more political view and I understand that. At RVDA, we have dealers in every single state, and we’ve always felt that dealers in a particular state should choose how they want to do business.”