The RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA), a group dedicated to elevating the roles and contributions women make to the RV industry, held a launch event Wednesday night (March 13) at Squatter’s Pub in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Held in conjunction with RVX: The RV Experience trade-only event taking place a couple of blocks away at the Salt Palace Convention Center, the RVWA gathering featured networking in a social atmosphere as well as guest speaker Deborah Gardner, author of “How to Sell to Men Without Wearing a Low-Cut Dress.”

As part of the launch event activities, RVWA Chair Susan Carpenter, the director of market development at Creative Products Group, addressed the audience along with RVWA Chair Elect Jordyn Foos, an account executive with RV PRO magazine.

Looking out at the 200 people in attendance, Carpenter noted that 30 years ago the number of women in the RV industry could “fill a large dinner table.” She urged RVWA members to continue “supporting each other and empowering each other,” and suggested that networking is such a powerful tool it ought to be “everyone’s No. 1 goal.”

“You never know that the people you might meet now you’ll come across years later when you’re at the right place at the right time and they’ll be the ones who’ll open a path for you,” Carpenter said.

RVWA was founded last fall as a professional group for women in the RV industry, as well as men, who will work toward a grassroots but formal organization dedicated to mentoring women in the industry. The stated vision of the alliance is “to elevate the roles and contributions women make to the RV industry by promoting diversity and providing programs, resources and a collaborative environment.”

In addition to Carpenter and Foos, founding members included:

• Secretary/Treasurer: Chris Fanning, RV Industry Association

• Marketing: Monika Geraci, RV Industry Association

• Judy Schutz, Dometic

• Liz Crawford, RV Industry Association

• Jennifer Brauns, RV News

• Sherry Shields, Pan Pacific RV

• Debbie Brunoforte, Little Dealer, Little Prices

• Heather Leach, PRVCA

• Kim Gregory, Coach Net

• Karen Redfern, RV Industry Association

• Sharonne Lee, RV Industry Association

• Ally Kollat, RVBusiness

Sponsors for RVWA include: (Gold Level) Coach-Net and American Guardian Warranty Services; (Silver) Creative Products Group, Global Link, TOGO and Samlex; (Bronze) RV PRO, Dometic, Go Power, Winnebago, Girl Camper and CWRV Transport; and (Honorable Mention) Stromberg Carlson Products and RV Designer.