Learn how to manage employee leave and comply with the ADA, FMLA, Disability and COBRA Regulations during a free webinar presented by the RV Learning Center on April 11 at noon (Eastern).
According to a press release, the webinar is offered to dealers through a partnership with Internet marketing firm KPA. To register click here.
There are many laws and regulations governing employee leave, several of which overlap, and all of which can be confusing to employers. The dealer webinar will provide a clear overview of the regulations for a dealership’s HR staff along with expert advice on effectively managing employee leaves and reducing the risk of lawsuits and fines.
Nationally known employment law expert and labor attorney John Boggs will explain leave provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the way COBRA governs employee entitlement for the continuation of health care benefits during certain leave situations. He will also cover the finer points of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides leave for qualifying individuals for their own serious health condition or to care for a close relative.
If you are unable to attend the webinar at this time, register to receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides. If you have any questions or feedback, contact Becky Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at email@example.com (703) 591-7130.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) board elected Scott Krenek, owner of Krenek RV Center of Coloma, Mich., to chair the RV Rental Association (RVRA).
According to a press release, he will serve out the unexpired term of outgoing RVRA Chairman Bert Alanko of MBA Insurance and serve an additional year as the rental association’s representative on the RVDA board.
“I would like to thank the RVDA board on my election to RVRA Chairman,” Krenek said. “I look forward to working with the RVDA board to continue and build on the great work of former Chairman Bert Alanko. I encourage all RVRA/RVDA members to diversify, plus expand their RV rental fleets, and to take advantage of all the education opportunities RVRA/RVDA offers.”
Krenek brings to the position an extensive background in the RV rental business and a reputation as a leader in the field. An owner and operator for more than 35 years, he was instrumental in starting the industry’s first 20 Group focused exclusively on helping dealers improve their rental operations. Krenek has also served as an instructor at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo and the annual RV Rental School organized by MBA Insurance.
“Scott has a long history of serving RVRA and its members as an educator and mentor,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch of Campers Inn. “We are pleased he will be joining the RVDA Board of Directors.”
The action took place during the RVDA board meeting in Fairfax, Va., March 18-20. In other related action, the board:
• Approved recommendations by the Nominating Committee to institute a new policy that will include the RVRA chairman’s position in the association’s annual nomination and election process.
• Directed the RVRA board to recommend an organizational structure for the rental association in accordance with the RVDA bylaws.
RVRA is the national association of RV rental companies and a division of RVDA.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) is inviting young dealership executives to participate in an online survey to determine their preferences for training, communications and networking, according to a press release. To access the online survey click here.
At the invitation of RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch, a group of young RV executives began working with staff earlier this month to identify new and effective ways to engage younger members in RVDA activities, leadership and governance. The initiative is modeled after similar groups being formed in the marine and automotive industry for the same purposes.
“I am very excited at the prospect of tapping into the potential of our up-and-coming leaders,” said Hirsch. The group held its first conference call Feb. 14 to identify the first steps toward opening channels of communications, assessing education and training needs and preferences and discussing ideas to implement at the Convention/Expo in the fall.
In charging the newly formed advisory group, Hirsch said, “The RVDA leadership believes the only way the initiative can succeed and attract younger members is if it has strong ownership from within that same group.”
RVDA President Phil Ingrassia added, “Our main objective is to allow this initiative to be shaped by the younger members themselves so it meets their needs.”
Participants in the initial planning include: Ryan Horsey, Parkview RV; Jared Jensen, Sierra RV; Sara Miller, Fogdall RV; Jay Moran, Arlington RV Supercenter, Inc.; Chad Neff, American RV; Tyler Nelson, Nelsons RV; Mike Rone, Sonny’s RV; Adam Ruppel, Webster City RV; and Larry Troutt, Topper’s Camping Center.
To get things started, a survey of younger members is in the works to assess their preferences for a targeted education event during the Convention/Expo in the fall. The group is also exploring options for a social event during the convention and discussing ways to open informal channels of communications throughout the year.
To participate in the survey or for more information, contact Julianne Ryder by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RV Learning Center, through a strategic alliance with KPA, will present a webinar on Feb. 28 at noon Eastern focusing on the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is required for dealership employees.
According to a press release, the webinar will be led by Mike Rusak, an engineer for KPA, who will explain the reasons why employers have to purchase Personal Protective Equipment. Rusak has more than a decade of experience in the environmental, health and safety fields. He is also a World Safety Organization Certified Safety Specialist. To register click here.
Participants will also learn how to determine what an employer must provide and how often. In addition, Rusak will cover what PPE an employer should never purchase to keep their company safe from fines.
For those unable to attend, register here and receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides.
If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at email@example.com, (866) 356-1735, or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org,(703) 591-7130.
Editor’s Note: The following update was issued by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) Brett Richardson, director of legal and regulatory affairs, on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) used car rule and how it applies to RV dealers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently issued warnings to 11 car dealers the agency says violated its used car rule and did not display FTC Buyers Guides. This is a good time to remind motorized and towable RV dealers the rule may apply to your dealership in two limited circumstances.
First, there is the situation where an RV dealer sells a used motorized RV with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) less than 8,500 pound. It is safe to say that there are very few motorhomes with a GVWR of 8,500 lbs or less. If the RV has a GVWR greater than 8,500 lbs, then you do not have federal compliance obligations. However, if you sell a motorized RV less than 8,500 pounds GVWR, then you do have compliance obligations. The rule does not apply to travel trailers and fifth-wheels since they are not motorized.
A second situation where RV dealers may have FTC used car rule obligations, arises when an RV dealer accepts a used vehicle in trade and decides to display that vehicle for sale. Most automobile dealers who sell used vehicles at their dealership must comply with the FTC’s used car rule. RV dealers who accept used cars or trucks as trades on RVs also need to comply with the rule if they sell more than five used motor vehicles in a 12-month period with a GVWR of less than 8,500 pounds.
In general, RV dealers wholesale used motorized vehicles they receive in trade for an RV. But we all know situations where dealers may display tow vehicles they receive in trade for sale; or when dealers receive luxury vehicles they know will sell quickly in their market and decide to go ahead and display them on the lot. If this happens more than five times a year at your dealership, then you may be obligated to display an FTC Buyer’s Guide on the sixth used vehicle displayed.
The FTC used car rule applies in all states except Maine and Wisconsin. These two states are exempt because they have similar regulations that require dealers to post disclosures on used vehicles. If you are an RV dealer in those states – be sure to check your state requirements – they may be more stringent than the federal rules.
If your dealership displays qualifying used vehicles, you must post a Buyers Guide before “offering” a used vehicle for sale. A vehicle is offered for sale when you display it for sale or let a customer inspect it for the purpose of buying it, even if the car is not fully prepared for delivery.
If you display trade-in vehicles for sale, and would like more information, please review the FTC’s publication, A Dealer’s Guide to the Used Car Rule or send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) board elected Darrel Friesen of All Seasons RV Center in Yuba City, Calif., as secretary and Tim Wegge of Burlington RV Superstore in Sturtevant, Wisc., as a director.
According to a press release, in addition to serving on the RVDA board Friesen has held a seat on the Board of Delegates and is a past president of the California RV Dealers Association (CalRVDA). Beyond holding various volunteer leadership positions, he is also active in the association’s industry relations and advocacy efforts.
Wegge is a former member of the RVDA board and served previously as an officer. He was instrumental in organizing fact-to-face dealer-manufacturer meetings held during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, which are now known as Partners in Progress Brand Committee meetings.
The RVDA board, acting on the recommendation of its Nominating Committee, made the moves to fill a vacancy created when Amy Pennington resigned from her post as secretary after selling her interest in RV Outlet Mall.
“We are fortunate to have qualified and energetic volunteer leaders prepared and willing to step up to help their fellow dealers,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch of Campers Inn of Kingston, Kingston, N.H. “I expect both Darrel and Tim to bring their usual enthusiasm, expertise and dedication to these new roles. With their strong institutional knowledge they are ready to hit the ground running.”
The RVDA board is scheduled to hold its next meeting March 18-20 in Fairfax, Va.
Almost a full year after announcing he was stepping down as the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) president and CEO, Mike Molino has launched a new venture. According to a press release, his new position is president at Mike Molino LLC, a firm for association and business consulting.
“With over 40 years in the roles of CEO, COO, planner, instructor, facilitator and human resources staffer, I believe I have the breadth of experience and the communication skills to help executives and managers refine their own strategic planning, leadership and management skills,” said Molino. “My new mission is not very different from the mission I followed in military service and at RVDA – to use my broad range of success and experience to help CEOs, executives and managers shape their future, become better leaders, solve problems, improve teamwork and achieve their vision.”
Molino will assist clients from not-for-profit associations and government agencies along with for-profit small businesses, especially those blending family members into their staffs.
As a certified association executive, Molino is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and has extensive use with the DISC and the Caliper Assessment.
“It is exciting to offer my experience to other organizations, helping them gain new energy and ideas,” he said, noting he would continue in an advisory role for RVDA at least through June.
For more information visit www.MikeMolinoLLC.com.
Now we know why Congress passed the Patient Protection Affordability Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) without reading the document – it’s far too complex and mind-numbing for most everyone to understand.
That was clear after an hour-long webinar presentation Thursday (Dec. 13) by KPA LLC, a dealer services and Internet marketing provider based in Lafayette, Colo. Speakers outlined highlights of the new law and then answered a bevy of questions posed by some of the 613 registered listeners from RV, auto and truck dealerships across the U.S. The RV Learning Center and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) promoted the event within the RV industry.
Two major takeaways from the session:
• All employers are encouraged to contact their insurance broker for specific questions related to their businesses.
• Everyone should “keep their pencils sharpened” because new details of the controversial law are becoming public daily.
Failure to comply with the new law comes at a high price: the Internal Revenue Service is responsible for conducting audits to make sure employers are in compliance.
Thursday’s presenters were: Kristin Kahle, senior vice president and compliance officer for the Benefits Exchange Alliance; Kathryn Carlson, director of HR Management Products for KPA; and John Gregory, vice president at Benefit Exchange Alliance, a KPA partner.
Copies of the Power Point presentation were sent out to all participants later in the day. Carlson told RVBusiness that she expects upward of 1,000 downloads of that presentation in the coming weeks as listeners and others take advantage of the points raised during the program.
Highlights of their presentation and a fact sheet distributed before the webinar follow.
Definition of Large and Small Employers
Each employer will fall into one of two categories – either a small employer or a large employer. The “rule of 50” determines the dividing line and this is important because certain penalties for failure to comply with the new law will be applied only to larger companies
A large employer has 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees. A full-time employee is one who works 30 hours a week or more. The hours of part-time workers are also computed to determine a total employment number. Take the number of hours worked by all part time workers in a month and divide by 120 to determine the full-time equivalency.
For example, an employer that has 40 part time workers who average 21 hours per week would have the equivalent of 28 fulltime workers (40 X 21 X 4 weeks divided by 120 = 28).
2014 Coverage Mandates
Employers with 50 full-time or full time-equivalent employees or more that do not offer coverage to their employees will be subject to penalties if any employee receives a government subsidy for health coverage. The penalty amount is up to $2,000 annually for each full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employees. Employers who offer coverage, but whose employees receive tax credits, will be subject to a fine of $3,000 for each worker receiving a tax credit, up to an aggregate cap of $2,000 per full-time employee. Employers will be required to report to the federal government on health coverage they provide.
Grandfathered Plan Status
A grandfathered health plan is one that was in existence when health care reform was enacted on March 23, 2010. Grandfathered plans are exempt from some of the health care reform requirements. A plan’s grandfathered status will continue to affect its compliance obligations from year to year.
• Determine if you have a grandfathered plan. Contact your insurance broker or plan representative if you have questions about whether your plan is grandfathered.
• Determine whether your plan will maintain its grand- fathered status. If you make certain changes to your plan that go beyond permitted guidelines, your plan is no longer grandfathered. Contact an insurance broker or plan representative if you have questions about changes you have made, or are considering making, to your plan.
Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Plans and insurance issuers must provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) to participants and beneficiaries.
• The SBC is a concise document – no more than four double-sided pages – providing simple and consistent information about health plan benefits and coverage in plain language.
• A template for the SBC is available, along with instructions and examples for completing the template and a uniform glossary of terms.
The final SBC regulations provide that plans and issuers must start providing the SBC as follows:
• Issuers must provide the SBC to health plans effective Sept. 23, 2012.
• Plans and issuers must provide the SBC to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll during an open enrollment period beginning with the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after Sept. 23, 2012.
• For participants who enroll in coverage other than through an open enrollment period (for example, newly eligible individuals and special enrollees), plans and issuers must provide the SBC beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after Sept. 23, 2012.
For more information or to view the webinar click here.
Butch Thomas announced that he is retiring as the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s (RVDA) field representative, effective in December.
According to a press release, Thomas was a successful RV dealer for 30 years before working with RVDA and was awarded the organization’s highest honor at the Convention/Expo in October, the James B. Summers Award. Thomas punctuated his retirement notice with a $1,000 donation to the RV Learning Center, bringing his lifetime contribution to $16,000.
“There are some people, when you see them, or hear their name, you think R-V-D-A,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “Butch has touched so many people over the years through his work at both the national and state level. We appreciate his efforts to educate dealers about the value of RVDA membership, and his support of RV dealers and the industry during his long career.”
“Butch leaves such a strong legacy of achievement with RVDA,” said RV Learning Center Chairman Jeff Pastore of Hartville RV Center in Hartville, Ohio. “And could there be a more terrific way to cap off a significant and meaningful career than to make a gift for the future of our industry? I don’t think so. Butch, we are indebted to you for your amazing personal and financial commitment to a strong RV dealer community. Thank you and well done. ”
Throughout his career, Thomas always moved and thought beyond his role as just one RV dealer among many. He was a key advocate for dealers in legislative battles and a motivating force in the formation of the RV Rental Association and the Missouri RVDA. In the case of the latter, he was able to create enough financial stability to keep the statewide association in business during a particularly challenging year.
In retirement Thomas intends to spend more time with his family and to devote himself to volunteer projects about which he is passionate.
The RV Learning Center now has a dedicated, permanent display honoring legacy donors whose gifts were instrumental in starting the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA ) Education Foundation, now known as the RV Learning Center. According to a press release, the framed contributor listing located in the RV Learning Center at RVDA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., “salutes their trailblazing gifts and commitment to ongoing education in the industry.”
“It’s fitting to recognize the generosity and foresight of these legacy donors as we launch this year’s fund raising drive,” said RV Learning Center Chairman Jeff Pastore. “These original donors made the down payment on what is now the flagship educational institution for dealers and their staff. We owe a real debt of gratitude to these early supporters who believed in that vision.”
In addition to the display in the RV Learning Center, the listing of legacy donors appears online at the RV Learning Center website. A listing of active donors is also online, runs in each issue of RV Executive Today and is featured at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo along with other select industry events.
“We cannot just wish for prosperity in the coming year,” said Pastore. “We need to make it happen. RVDA is encouraging others to follow the example of those who paved the way and continue to support the important education and training of the RV Learning Center.
“Our goal is to offer more high-value training and educational opportunities for all dealership personnel as the market improves. And the plan to make it happen relies on even more industry leaders to step up and show their strong commitment to the RV Learning Center. By celebrating our legacy donors and active contributors and all they have given us, we hope to inspire more support for the RV Learning Center.”
The RV Learning Center focuses on:
• Offering high quality programs that are cost-effective and RV dealership-specific.
• Increasing certified dealership staff at all levels.
• Creating more opportunities for training.
• Increasing the use of web-based training and distance learning.
• Providing timely and effective education in response to changing regulations.
• Preparing dealers and their staff to run their businesses better and be more adaptable in a challenging economy.
• Building an RV dealer body that is ready to grow and prosper.
This year, giving has been simplified with an online donation form at http://www.rvlearningcenter.com/AM/Template.cfm?section=Dealer_GM&Template=/custom/rvlearning/rvlearning_gift.cfm in addition to a printable form at http://www.rvda.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Dealer_GM&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=16415 that allows for customized pledge and donation schedules. A donation is not only an investment in your business and your industry—it’s also a great way to get a year-end tax break for 2012.