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RVIA Participates in Inaugural Events

RVIA members had a significant presence during last week’s Indiana Inaugural festivities in Washington, DC. Members were on the move throughout the day on Jan 19th, meeting with Indiana’s own, Vice President Mike Pence, Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, members from the Indiana Congressional Delegation, and political insiders Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean. The highlight of the day was the Indiana Inaugural Ball where RVIA was a table sponsor.

The afternoon began with RVIA members meeting with former Speaker—and Trump advisor—Newt Gingrich. During the meeting, arranged by RVIA’s federal lobbying firm, Gingrich advised RVIA members to picture where the industry would like to be in ten years and what steps need to be taken to get there, starting with identifying the most burdensome regulations hampering the RV industry. Once identified, RVIA’s federal affairs staff will work with its federal lobbying firm and the new administration to attempt to roll back these regulations. RV industry executives were also able to reconnect with 2016 Committee Week speakers, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and former Representative Bill McCollum (R-FL-8).

Following the meeting with Gingrich, RVIA members headed to Capitol Hill to a reception hosted by Indiana Senator and RV Caucus Co-Chair, Joe Donnelly. The Senator spoke to RVIA members about the private meeting he had with new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson in which the pending HUD RV exemption rule was discussed. Despite the new administration’s push for fewer regulations, RVIA’s federal affairs team is confident that they will be able to work with Carson and HUD to finalize the rule.

The night was topped off with the Indiana Inaugural Ball where RVIA members were treated to a VIP reception with Vice President Mike Pence. The ball, hosted by Mrs. Karen Pence and Mrs. Jill Donnelly, attracted nearly a thousand Hoosiers, including U.S. senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, Gov. Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Crouch, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, and nearly the entire Indiana Congressional delegation. There were a number of state legislators in attendance as well. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway was also there for a short period of time.

“It was extremely important to have the RV industry represented at these events, particularly the Indiana Inaugural Ball,” said Jay Landers, RVIA’s vice president for government affairs. “By having a table full of RV industry executives, we didn’t have to split up to talk to key legislators. Instead RVIA was able to bring legislators who had helped with past industry issues right to our table.”

“Having the chance to speak personally with so many people who have helped with RV industry initiatives in the past was a priceless opportunity,” said Doug Gaeddert, Forest River General Manager and past RVIA Chairman. “The amount of legislative power in the one room, not to mention Vice President Mike Pence, was remarkable. The RV industry is really positioning itself well to take full advantage of every opportunity to move our agenda forward in the new administration.”

“It was an incredible event,” said Dave Schutz, Dometic Corporation’s Vice President RV-OEM Sales and RVIA board member. “Having the former governor of Indiana now as vice president is very good for the RV industry. Pence understands our business and our state and he will be a great ally for the industry in the White House.” 

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