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Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann addresses capacity crowd at Power Breakfast (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann addresses capacity crowd at Power Breakfast (Photo by Shawn Spence)

Another year of success for the recreation vehicle industry was celebrated Thursday (May 14) at the 3rd Annual RV Industry Power Breakfast.

The Goshen News reported that a parade of speakers talked about booming RV sales, the importance of the industry to Indiana, and Elkhart and LaGrange counties, and how the recent success has returned Elkhart County to almost full-employment status. The event was sponsored by RVBusiness.

 “The impact on Elkhart County has been amazing,” said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.

She cited the county’s rapid drop from double-digit unemployment during and after the recession to the growth of the industry.

“What a wonderful place to be at today, having hit the bottom, to be at the top and see such a bright future for this industry,” Ellspermann said referring to the high unemployment during the 2008-2009 recession. “… Much of the credit, if not all of the credit, goes to the RV industry itself. You were able to ride it out due to those tough times and now you are offering outstanding products that are leading the demands of all those in the market.”

More than 740 people with ties to the RV industry packed the huge conference room at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. There was a lot of good-natured ribbing and banter between industry executives, who were relaxed and confident in the midst of another very good year.

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Chairman Derald Bontrager, who is also the president of Jayco Inc. in Middlebury, pointed out the camaraderie and cooperation in the RV industry among competitors gets noticed nationwide.

“The RV industry is the envy of many when it comes to our self-regulation status that we have been able to maintain,” Bontrager said.

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