The National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) bestowed three Champion Awards on Sunday night at the Texas RV Association’s (TRVA) 47th annual convention.
The awards were presented by Stephanie Henson, director of administration at the National RV Inspector’s Association (NRVIA), and her husband, Todd Henson, lead master certified instructor at NRVTA, to:
Front, from left, Beth Elam and Phil Elam. Back, from left, Todd Henson, Fred Petrivelli, Ron Hoover, Chris Hoover and Stephanie Henson.
Fred Petrivelli, vice president of sales at NTP-STAG, which has contributed a variety of RV appliances and other equipment for use in hands-on training at the academy.
Chris Hoover, president of Ron Hoover RV & Marine, which donated two towable RVs to the academy and sent many technicians through training programs at NRVTA.
Phil Elam, Texas RV Association executive director, who kept the association running smoothly despite the loss of revenue from the cancellation of all RV shows in the state, and loss of staff just prior to enduring painful back surgery. He was instrumental in helping NRVTA secure endorsement from TRVA.
“We call this the Champion Award for several reasons,” said Terry “Cooper” Cooper, NRVTA president. “The recipients are champions of our mission at NRVTA, and they have championed the RV industry in general by making significant contributions to its long-term success.
“We could not have trained nearly 700 inspectors or technicians over the past two years without the support of NTP-STAG, Ron Hoover RV and Phil Elam,” he added. “The graduates of our programs have gone on to provide vital services to RV dealers or started businesses as mobile RV technicians and inspectors.”
Kevin White, TRVA president, commended NRVTA for the work it does on behalf of all Texas RV dealerships.
“We are so blessed to have this trendsetting school in Texas,” he said. “We learned today how much the RV industry is thriving in Texas. We have turned a corner, and NRVTA helped make it happen.”
In accepting the award on behalf of NTP-STAG, Petrivelli recalled his first conversation with Cooper, when he outlined his vision for creating the training center in Texas.
“Cooper came to me several years ago and we immediately embraced the idea that would address a need for trained technicians at dealerships around the country,” Petrivelli explained. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to repurpose damaged inventory and put it directly into the hands of future technicians for training.
“The academy gets to use modern equipment to train students and it’s a great fit that makes solid business sense,” said Petrivelli. “Everyone wins – NTP-STAG, NRVTA, its students, RV users and the entire industry.”
Hoover strongly encouraged Texas RV dealers to send technicians to NRVTA for training.
“If you’re a dealer and haven’t done any training with these folks, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity because they are very good at what they do,” he said.
“We support NRVTA because of the people involved in running the school and providing the instruction,” Hoover added. “Everything they do is for our customers who are the ones to suffer if they can’t get their RVs fixed right the first time they’re brought in for service.”
Elam was surprised by the award and humbled to be a recipient.
“There are no bigger supporters of TRVA than Terry Cooper and his staff at NRVTA. They helped keep our association afloat during this challenging year,” Elam said. “They work tirelessly to help improve the level of service in the Texas RV industry. We could never be the largest state for RV sales if we couldn’t take care of customers after they make a purchase.”
Each recipient received an engraved award depicting the lone star of Texas.
“It is our honor to be able to recognize companies and individuals, like these three, each year at the TRVA annual convention,” said Henson. “We are grateful to the many supporters we have had over the years and look forward to much success in coming years.”
More than 110 dealers, suppliers, finance and insurance professionals attended the four-day event, which included training sessions as well as social activities.