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RV Learning Center Honoring Legacy Donors

December 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

List of legacy donors to the RV Learning Center

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.

 

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RVDA Announces Quality Circle Award Winners

October 31, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will honor RV brands built by 13 manufacturers with its Quality Circle Award Nov. 26, prior to opening of the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

According to a press release, these brands/manufacturers received at least 15 dealer responses and scored 80% or above for overall dealer satisfaction in the association’s 19th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.

“The DSI Quality Circle Award recognizes the high level of success these manufacturers have had in working with their dealer business partners,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch of Kingston, N.H.-based Campers Inn. “Their commitment to continuously improving products and services ultimately helps dealers serve customers better and preserves our industry’s share of consumers’ discretionary dollars.”

The towable RV manufacturers/brands receiving awards are (in alphabetical order by manufacturer): Airstream Inc.; CrossRoads RV (Zinger/Z-1/SE/Hampton); Forest River Inc. (Flagstaff travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Palomino RV travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Rockwood/Roo expandables, Sierra/Sandpiper, Indiana-built Surveyor/r-pod); Heartland RV LLC (Big Country/Elk Ridge, Bighorn/Landmark, Cyclone/Road Warrior/Torque, North Trail/Wilderness, Prowler); Jayco Inc. (Eagle/Super Lite/HT, camping trailers, Jay Feather/Select, Jay Flight/Swift/SLX, Pinnacle, White Hawk); Keystone RV Co. (Bullet/Premier, Cougar/X-lite, Passport, Raptor); KZRV LP (Durango, Sportsmen/Sportsmen Classic, Spree/Spree Escape); Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. (truck campers); and Prime Time Manufacturing Inc. (LaCrosse/Trace, Crusader/Sanibel).

The six motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Forest River; Jayco/Entegra; Leisure Travel Vans/Triple E RV; Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.; Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.; and Winnebago/Itasca/ERA.

When rating the brands/manufacturers, RVDA asks dealers to express, confidentially, their level of satisfaction on eight core issues: Sales support; sales territory; vehicle design; vehicle reliability/quality; competitive price/value; parts support; dealership warranty support; overall dealer communications

The 19th Annual DSI survey was conducted between April and July 2012. Four hundred and sixty-one dealers responded to the DSI this year and provided 2,709 brand ratings, an average of nearly six per dealer. A summary of the DSI survey aggregate results will appear in the November issue of RV Executive Today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RVDA Confab Reports Slight Dip in Attendance

October 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, reported a slight dip in attendance with 1,015 industry representatives registered compared to 1,078 in 2011.

According to a press release, a total of 456 dealers attended compared to 462 in 2011.

The event wrapped up Friday with two sessions on topics covering regulations and customer sales agreements. A follow-up webinar on Evanne Schmarder’s video marketing workshop is already planned for Oct. 31.

“More Video Marketing Mojo” will continue the discussion on the power of video marketing and why YouTube is only one of the many ways dealers can use and distribute video content. For more details on this free webinar, visit www.rvlearningcenter.com.

The convention is sponsored by the Recration Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

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Rand McNally Debuts New App at RVDA Expo

October 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Rand McNally and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) announced the release of the “RVDA Dealer Locator” app, providing RVers “a simple way to find RV dealers and service providers across a variety of platforms.” According to a press release, the new app is being showcased this week at RVDA’s Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 1-4.

The information, compatible for Android and iOS platforms, is also available via Rand McNally’s online maps and directions, as well as on board Rand McNally’s RVND GPS.

The app, powered by Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” online platform, enables RVers to quickly access a listing of nearby RVDA member dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Each listing includes critical information such as location, contact information and RVDA service certifications. In the future, the app also will provide up-to-the-minute deals and specials available at dealer and service locations.

The service will be marketed by RVDA to its membership. The information will be available on Rand McNally’s RVND GPS units shipping next month, and as a download for current owners of the product.

RVDA member dealers will be able to easily update their entries via a password-protected online administrative tool specifically designed for the program. Updates flow on a regular basis to all products and applications.

“This app will be extremely beneficial to our members and allow RVers to quickly find a quality dealership and service provider at the touch of their fingertips on their smart phone, Rand McNally RV GPS device, or online,” stated RVDA Chairman Andy Heck of Alpin Haus, in Amsterdam, N.Y. “Our members will find it easy to update information about their dealerships by using a new password-protected online portal.”

In addition, RVDA dealer information will be integrated into Rand McNally’s Best of the Road “Best of RVing” microsite, and into maps and directions on randmcnally.com.

“Now RVers will have quick access to RVDA members’ top-tier service locations whether they are planning their trip or on the road in an emergency situation,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “Our Rand McNally RV GPS users as well as RVers using the mobile app or online maps will be able to access dealer data easily.”

 

 

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RVDA Confab to Examine ‘Away’ Ad Campaign

August 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of the major consumer outreach strategies behind Go RVing’s new “Away” national advertising campaign will be examined during an all-attendee session at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 1-5, in Las Vegas.

According to a press release, dealers will learn about the consumer research behind “Away” and its sophisticated methods for reaching consumers based on what people say they’re looking for right now in leisure, vacation and personal travel.

“Go RVing: Research-based Strategies to Motivate Today’s RV Buyers,” is a special General Session scheduled for Oct. 4 from 8-9:30 a.m.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for dealers to get a detailed look at some consumer outreach initiatives that are included in the new Go RVing “Away” campaign and how some of these ideas can help reach new customers in local markets,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia, one of the speakers on the panel.

In addition to reviewing some of the latest consumer research, panelists will discuss how public relations, mobile apps and social media fit into this multi-media consumer outreach program. The Richards Group developed the campaign in collaboration with industry representatives on the Go RVing Coalition.

Along with Ingrassia, the session also features Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada; James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA); and Chad Strohl, account manager for The Richards Group.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo is being held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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’12 RVDA Expo Schedule Now Available Online

August 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A schedule of the full program for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, to be held Oct. 1-5 in Las Vegas, is now available online. According to a press release, The matrix of all events, a neat one-page document, is available in a large single document format or as two pages for easier viewing. To access click here.

On the same page are links to all the information currently available about each session, the keynote speaker Peter Ricchiuti, and how to register by the Aug. 31 deadline.

Dealers viewing the matrix will appreciate the way the Convention/Expo has been reformatted to be more user-friendly and responsive to the needs of attendees. Popular sessions will be repeated so no one misses important educational opportunities, schedule conflicts have been minimized, and nearly half the sessions feature speakers new to this event. This year more than ever, the Convention/Expo is a customized event, created especially for dealers and by dealers.

The 2012 convention, sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center, will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Expo to Offer Roster of Track Workshops

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers and GMs attending the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, running Oct. 1-5 in Las Vegas, can choose among a host of skill-building track workshops. According to a press release, the sessions are designed to “empower attendees to determine what drives their sales force, how to put accountability front and center in the dealership and ways to hire only the best employees.”

This year’s theme is “The Road to Opportunity,” and the Dealer/GM Track boasts expert speakers, relevant topics and a focus on the unique role and goals of dealers and general managers in our industry.

Programs include:

• “Unique Personality Drivers Your Salespeople Should Have” will have far-reaching impacts on a dealership’s future sales and the strength of its sales force. A new face at this year’s RVDA Convention/Expo, Ricardo Roman of Caliper will help dealers and GMs learn to identify, retain and hire top performers in the field of sales, based on proven indicators. Participants will take home a new skill set and outlook with the tools to make the most of their sales team. This session is set for Oct. 4.

• “A Brave New World: Strategies for Moving Your Business Forward” will look at shifting demographics and improvements in the housing and financial markets. Immediately following the Wednesday’s opening general session, economist Peter Ricchiuti will offer attendees a look at the likely economic landscape and how best to position themselves for both the potholes and opportunities facing the industry.

• “How to Install and Maintain Accountability to Get the Best Out of Your Team” will show why accountability at all levels is the key to upholding standards and roles within an organization, and how you can put it to work for your team. This session will be held on Oct. 3-4, and will take on the roots of accountability — what it is and why it’s important. Presenter Michael Rees from A World of Learning will guide dealers and general managers through the reasons to hold people accountable and, importantly, what to hold them accountable to.

• “A Proven Method for Successful Hiring,” a session featuring David Spader of Spader Business Management, will demonstrate how the right skills and tools can transform a dealership’s hiring process and the dealership itself. Set for Oct. 3, this workshop will guide attendees through proven methods of interviewing, including ‘the dirty dozen’ of interviewing errors. Spader will talk habout companies that have increased their hiring success rate fourfold. Participants will leave with relevant information, newly learned skills and the motivation necessary to fundamentally revamp hiring practices and build successful teams.

• Post-recession look at the “10 Secrets to Dealership Financial Success” will cover the fallout from the last few years and demonstrate how some of the best business practices are developed in the toughest of times. Stephan King of Stephan King PC will share expertise gained through years in the business world and revisit the “10 Secrets to Dealership Financial Success” that were introduced to RVDA in 2006. Do the secrets still ring as true today as they did in 2006? Find out what your business has in common with some of the best in the industry. This session will take place on Oct. 4.

• “Mirror, Mirror On My Wall, Who Will Run My Dealership After All?” will show how effective leadership was instrumental in navigating the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, but still left dealers unsure about the future of their companies. Somehow other dealers are taking 1-2 week vacations several times a year and have strong-performing businesses. John Spader of Spader Business Management will offer a self-assessment and a look at your team to help determine how to take a well-deserved vacation without headaches and worries and come back to a business that is humming along. This session will take place on Oct. 4.

For more information on the convention contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Expo Panel to Assess Risk Management

August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Straight Talk on Risk Management,” a panel discussion scheduled for Oct. 3 at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, will give dealers and general managers insights and strategies into staying abreast and understanding the ever-changing regulations on businesses, particularly laws related to dealer financing.

Finance experts Glynn Cooper of Marine One Acceptance Corp. and Richard Lewis from Bank of the West, two leading industry lenders, will share the latest developments faced by dealership employees, with special attention to recent FTC investigations into motor vehicle financing.

Also on the panel, Rob Cohen, founder of Auto Advisory Services and senior automotive counsel in Arent Fox’s Automotive Industry Group, will point out common pitfalls, explain how to stay out of trouble in the first place and offer common sense solutions to risk management challenges faced by RV dealers.

Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Brett Richardson will moderate the panel, which will offer participants a chance to ask questions of leading professionals in the field.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visitwww.rvda.org.

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Walworth to Head Towing Panel at RVDA Expo

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Walworth, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., will moderate a Dealer/GM Track panel that will explore “What the Future Holds for Tow Vehicles” during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.

Slated for Oct. 4, the workshop will cover the impact of more stringent fuel efficiency standards on towing capacity and look at changing demographics and what that means for the future of pick-ups and SUVs. Towables currently account for 90% of unit sales in the RV industry, according to Walworth.

Expert panelists Todd Kaufman of Ford Motor Co., Les Roeber of Blue Ox, and Lenny Sims of NADA Guides will lead participants through the “maze of government standards, industry directions and consumer trends.” The role of hitches and safety of trailering, two key issues particular to towables, will also be on the agenda. Participants will get the latest information, expert analysis and even get a look at what they can expect down the road.

“Tow vehicles play such an important role in our industry,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss. “I am especially pleased that Ford Motor Co. is providing their expert on the F-Series truck, given its popularity with RVers. We are delighted that this distinguished panel of experts will offer their guidance on the current status of tow vehicles and the outlook for the future, given their critical role in our industry.”

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

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RVDA Appoints Ryder as Marketing Specialist

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has named Julianne Ryder as  marketing communications specialist, a position that will assume some of the day-to-day duties that Phil Ingrassia performed as vice president of communications before becoming president.

According to a press release, Ryder will support the development and distribution of marketing messages for RVDA and RV Learning Center programs, Go RVing and other member benefits. She will also contribute to the RVDA website, social media sites and publications.

Ryder brings marketing expertise as well as a strong background in association publishing. Most recently a freelance writer and editor, Ryder ran primary member communications for the National League of Cities and the American Society for Public Administration, both located in Washington, D.C.

Ryder can be contacted at jryder@rvda.org.

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