FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson (L) and Gerzeny’s RV World VP Matt Gerzeny

The 38th Annual Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) State Convention, themed “RVs: The New Frontier,” drew over 225 people to the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Fla. The event runs through Saturday (Sept. 8) with members departing on Sunday.

FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson told RVBUSINESS.com that even though the conference is known for its lively social atmosphere, the “first order of business is business.”

“We want to make sure that we present opportunities for everybody to get together and network, and to provide the education to the membership – and then, of course, we have figured out the formula for fun. You can’t just bore them to death with all that stuff. You’ve got to put some fun in it, and we do have fun,” Wilson said.

With a full slate of presentations, seminars and other activities on tap today and tomorrow, the conference began last night with “The Launch Pad” welcome reception. Today’s events include a keynote presentation by Jason Hewlett who will provide Florida RV dealer and industry personnel with “a new perspective on goal setting and the engagement experience.”

Following Hewlett will be presentations by Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association (RVIA), and Phil Ingrassia, president of the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA). Also on tap are Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, delivering a report on the state’s legislative activities. This afternoon, attendees have the option of a “Black Hole” golf outing, “First Frontier Sip & Paint” activity or relaxing in the “Area 51” hospitality room. Opening day concludes tonight with the conference’s “Space Odyssey” Costume/Dinner Party.

Saturday’s events will feature six breakout sessions in the morning:

• “Dealer Compliance & Knowledgebase” by Allen Monello of the Automotive Industry Center for Excellence LLC.

• “RV Sales Data” by Scott Stropkai of Statistical Surveys Inc.

• “Reducing the Risk of Identity Theft” by Carrie Kerskie of the Kerskie Group.

• “Small Business & Personal Safety Awareness” by Sara Ryan of Athena’s Armory Inc.

• “LP Gas Licensing” by Rick Kimsey of the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service.

• “OSHA Regulations” by Dale Blackburn of A1HR.

Saturday afternoon is set aside for the “Houston We Have A Problem” Game Show Luncheon & Regional Awards, followed by the conclusion of the Silent Auction – proceeds benefit FRVTA’s Political Action Committee – as well as the “To Infinity & Beyond” Awards Banquet that evening.