Mel Adams, Jim Sheldon, Wilbur Bontrager and Gregg Fore

Doug Gaeddert (third from left) with (L-R) Wilbur Bontrager, Gregg Fore, Derald Bontrager, Jim Sheldon, and Mel Adams

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) members celebrated Forest River Inc.’s Doug Gaeddert for his service as the association’s chairman from 2012 – 2014 at the Chairman’s Dinner and Gala that took place on March 11 at RVIA’s Annual Meeting in Sarasota, Fla.

RVIA Chairman Derald Bontrager said that Gaeddert led the association in a remarkable and prosperous time that saw the RV industry flourish. “Under Doug’s leadership, RVIA worked aggressively to implement programs and initiatives to help the industry continue on a path of growth,” he said.

Bontrager also detailed key accomplishments under Gaeddert’s leadership. This included fully integrating park model RV manufacturers as association members; working to address the shortage of RV transportation drivers through recruitment and legislative solutions; revamping industry education efforts with the Technicians in Training (TNT) program; extending Go RVing advertising to year-round; opening RVIA’s regional office in Elkhart, Ind.; and harmonizing U.S. and Canadian RV standards.

“These are great achievements that should be a tremendous point of pride for RVIA’s Board and committee members, the association staff, and especially you,” Bontrager told Gaeddert. “Reaching this level of success required bold, optimistic, decisive and visionary leadership, and that is exactly what you provided during your time in office.”

Bontrager invited past RVIA chairs Mel Adams, Jim Sheldon, Wilbur Bontrager and Gregg Fore to join him in presenting Gaeddert with several gifts in recognition of his service, including the Chairman’s Award plaque and the RVIA Chairman’s ring. Gaeddert’s wife Lisa was also recognized for her support and presented a crystal vase. On behalf of the RVIA staff, RVIA President Richard Coon gave Gaeddert a scrapbook commemorating his term as chairman that included photos, press clippings, and letters of congratulations from association colleagues.

“It was a tremendous honor to serve as RVIA chairman. The experience was rewarding and meaningful to me based on the work that was done and especially in the relationships and friendships that were formed.” Gaeddert said. “I want to thank our members for their support of the association, the many volunteers who serve on committees and the board for their hard work on so many issues, and the association staff for their efforts conducted on our behalf.  It was pleasure working with all of you.”