RVWA Celebrates Successful 2022 at Holiday Happy Hour
The RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA) capped off an active and successful 2022 Thursday night (Dec. 1) during its Holiday Happy Hour, which was hosted inside the product showroom of the brand-new WAY Interglobal facility – which is now part of Lippert following the recent acquisition – along the toll road in Elkhart, Ind.
“It’s time to celebrate an awesome year for RVWA,” RVWA President Susan Carpenter, of B&B Molders, told RVBusiness. “We started off our year with a really strong strategic plan, where we sat down and strategized the direction for RVWA, and this past year we have launched many pilot programs and they all have been successful. So tonight we celebrate.”
Included among the year’s achievements was the inaugural Educational Symposium, held in October in Chicago. The conference featured an attendance of about 200 people, workshops presented by Purdue University, noted keynote speaker Mary Kelly, plenty of networking opportunities and an awards dinner including the Trailblazer Award of Lifetime Achievement, which was presented to Debbie Brunoforte, president of Little Dealer, Little Prices, a Campers Inn Company.
In addition, Carpenter highlighted the all-female Level 1 certification class at the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) in September.
“That was amazing. We had 12 spots and over 100 applicants, so we had to expand it to 24. The recipients of that class were excited and we learned a lot from it by lowering the barrier to entry,” she said, adding that RVWA is expanding on the program for 2023. “We’ll have five different all-female classes being launched next year across the nation – Elkhart, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Oregon.”
Also, Carpenter mentioned the RVWA Mentorship Program, which, after a pilot program in 2022, is currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees as the program expands in 2023. Participants in the pilot program met once per month to discuss goals that mentees set for themselves. Mentors worked with mentees to help them strategize and achieve their goals. RVWA is expanding the program to include five pairings of mentors and mentees every quarter in 2023 for a total of 20 partnerships for the year.
Lastly, Carpenter credited RVBusiness with helping spread awareness of women in the RV industry with its ongoing RVWA Spotlight series, which showcases an RVWA member about every other week on RVBusiness.com.
“That was really exciting, and the women who were chosen were really excited to see themselves out there and kind of showing what they do for the industry,” she said.