During the March 5 Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Annual Membership Meeting at the Loews Portofino Bay Resort in Orlando, Fla., industry leaders were honored for their outstanding contributions to the association and the RV industry.
“RVIA’s awards program recognizes individuals in a variety of areas who work selflessly and diligently for the betterment of the RV industry,” said RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert in a press release. “It is an honor to acknowledge the success they have achieved.”
Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award – Recognized as the industry’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual within the RV industry who sets themselves apart through outstanding service. This year’s recipient was Bob Olson of Winnebago Industries Inc.
Olson has served on the RVIA board and on the Executive Committee, holding the offices of first vice chairman, second vice chairman, treasurer and secretary. He also has served as Go RVing co-chairman with Tom Stinnett for the last three years, helping to re-energize the national industry advertising campaign’s consumer appeal and industry response.
“Bob joined the RVIA board in 2008, just as the RV market experienced one of its most severe downturns and RVIA faced daunting economic challenges,” said Gaeddert. “Through his leadership with RVIA and Go RVing, we have overcome difficult challenges and remained unified in the process. It is entirely fitting that we honor Bob for his career-long commitment to advancing the RV industry.”
Special Award – Norm Jacobson (second from right) of Lance Camper Manufacturing was honored with the Special Award for his extraordinary contributions to the RV industry’s overall success. As a board member of the Trailer Coach Association in the early 1970s Jacobson played a key role in the merger with Recreation Vehicle Institute that created RVIA.
“After helping found RVIA, Norm’s leadership and service continued full bore for the next 29 years. As RVIA’s longest serving board member and in his service as chairman in 1983 and 1984, he has helped the association grow and thrive in representing the industry,” said Gaeddert. “As Norm enters retirement, it is a special honor to recognize him for his illustrious career and for his exemplary service to the association and the industry.”
David J. Humphreys Industry Unity Award – Recognizing those individuals who continuously strive to encourage the multiple constituencies of the RV industry to work collectively for the growth and betterment of the industry, the award was presented to Mel Adams (left) of Airxcel and Rick Horsey (right) of Parkview RV Center. The two created the award in 2005 to honor Dave Humphreys as he retired from RVIA.
Adams and Horsey have worked individually and in tandem at their respective companies and in their leadership positions at RVIA and RVDA for more than a decade to forge greater industry unity among RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers. Specifically, they have worked hand-in-hand as strong advocates of the industry’s training and education efforts, working tirelessly to bring all parties together on this import topic.
“They are passionate advocates on the need to work together and to find common ground,” said Gaeddert. “Our industry has benefited greatly from their work on industry education. They are very deserving recipients who embody the spirit of this award.”
Other award recipients announced at the Annual Meeting were:
Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards – Tom Ryan, D & R Agency
National Education Service Award – Garett Carolus, Keystone RV Co.
Distinguished Achievement in RV Journalism – Bob Ashley, RV Business
National Legislative Award – The Honorable Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Roy Dockum, Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission