The North American RV industry will again circle its wagons around the Northern Indiana Event Center and RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., for the 3rd Annual RV Industry Power Breakfast on May 14 at which representatives from many of the industry’s key manufacturers and suppliers will break bread and review a series of fast-paced presentations delivered by local civic leaders, industry spokesmen and state and federal lawmakers representing Northern Indiana’s RV-building hub.
Republican Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will deliver keynote remarks prior to teleconference briefings from Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly. Ellspermann established a career at Michelin and Frito-Lay and built a 20-year consulting practice before serving as founding director of the University of Southern Indiana’s Center for Applied Research and Economic Development.
Ellspermann, a Ferdinand, Ind., native, was elected in 2010 to the Indiana House of Representatives and in 2012 as lieutenant governor in the first-term administration of Gov. Mike Pence.
“I’m very pleased that Indiana Lt. Gov. Ellspermann has accepted our offer to speak at the Power Breakfast this year,” said event coordinator B.J. Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates and a veteran board member for the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “With a doctorate in industrial engineering and having established a business career in engineering and management, she can very well relate to the operational and business needs of the RV industry. I’m looking forward to her comments about the latest Indiana policies regarding taxes, regulation and workforce development. This presentation, coupled with the rest of our speaker lineup this year, should put our attendance at an all-time high.”
This year’s RV Industry Power Breakfast, facilitated by RVBusiness magazine, is expected to draw around 600 attendees to what is anticipated to be an upbeat event – coming as it does on the heels of a banner year in 2014 in which shipments reached an eight-year high of 356,735 units, representing a year-end gain of 11.1% over 2013. And it ended on a high note, with December’s shipments up 23.3% over the last month in 2013.
The breakfast kicks off at 6:45 a.m., with the program starting at 7:15 a.m., and is again being co-emceed by Dicor Corp. President Gregg Fore and Forest River Inc. General Manager Doug Gaeddert, both past chairmen of RVIA.
Also on the agenda for this year’s event, sponsored by Dicor, Dometic Corp., Forest River, GE Capital, Jayco Inc., Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), RVIA, Thor Industries Inc. and Spartan Motors Inc., are summary looks at industry trends from RVIA President Richard Coon and updates on the pan-industry Go RVing marketing campaign from RVIA Vice President of Communications and Marketing James Ashurst.
KOA Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers will come armed with a closeup review of the company’s newly released 2015 North American Camper Report, the camping industry’s first comprehensive and scientific look at the outdoor behaviors, attitudes, habits and intentions of the continent’s campers.
Although commissioned by KOA, the study looks at the entire camping public and includes data on the use of technology, demographics, various equipment and what essentially motivates campers to enjoy camping — North America’s most popular recreational activity.
Anchoring the second half, in addition to a review of dealer survey results from Tim Hyland, president, RV Group for GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), will be a manufacturers’ panel discussion spotlighting Forest River CEO Pete Liegl (or his designee), Thor President and CEO Bob Martin, Jayco President and COO Derald Bontrager, Winnebago Industries Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Randy Potts and Grand Design RV Co. President Don Clark.
“This third year of the Power Breakfast continues to bring real-time topical discussions to the largest single group of RV industry executives assembled anywhere,” said Fore. “The addition of Indiana’s lieutenant governor, along with the Washington views of Sen. Donnelly and Rep. Walorski and the latest updates from KOA’s North American Camper Study and the GO RVing campaign, make this event the most relevant since its inception.”
Tickets ($30 for singles or $225 for a table of 8) will be available soon online through RVBUSINESS.com, RV Daily Report and, first-hand, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and at RVB’s offices at 2901 E. Bristol St. in Elkhart.