The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC) honored RV/MH Hall of Fame’s Darryl Searer, president, and Tom McNulty, vice president, with its “Citizen of the Year” award. The ceremonies took place at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel during the IMHA-RVIC Annual Christmas Party and Awards Banquet on Dec. 7.
According to a press release, the awards were based on Searer’s and McNulty’s successful efforts to bring the RV/MH Hall of Fame back from the brink of financial disaster to the doorway of a bright future and opportunity.
McNulty accepted the awards on behalf of himself and Searer, who was unable to attend the awards presentation.
McNulty said, “Both Darryl and I thank you for this award and this great recognition. One of the wonderful things about an award like this is that it was totally unexpected, and I believe that makes it even more meaningful.”
McNulty was quick to point out to the audience that much of the Hall’s success has been through the concerted effort of the board and a dedicated, professional team.
He said, “Initially, the team consisted of Al Hesselbart, Charlene McNulty, Susan Weaver, me and a great group of volunteers. We were joined in April by our new captain and president, Darryl Searer, whom you honor tonight, and our newest team member, Stacey Walworth.”
Earlier this year, the Hall faced a financial crisis that threatened to cause the board of directors to make the difficult decision that would have resulted in closing the Hall facility and selling off its assets, including the building. During this period, McNulty worked unceasingly to keep the Hall’s doors open.
But that all changed in April when Searer, semi-retired chairman of Ultra-Fab Products Inc., volunteered with no compensation to accept the position of president and COO.
“I know of no one other than Darryl who had the ability through his business experience, knowledge of the players involved and his love of the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum that could have made the team function so smoothly,” noted McNulty. “It was through his leadership and business sense that we have substantially lowered our debt and now hold our destiny in our own hands. It’s a marvelous feeling being able to sleep better with the knowledge that the future of the Hall, the gem of our industry, is finally secure.”
The Indiana Manufactured Housing Association – Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC), Indianapolis, Ind., has announced the date of its Second Annual Elkhart County Supplier Expo. The event will take place June 23, 2011, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
The one-day show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a reception from 5 – 7 p.m. sponsored by the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.
According to a news release, the show is an opportunity for suppliers to display their company, products and services to a variety of manufactured-housing and recreation-vehicle OEMs in the Elklhart County area. The association is promoting the event to purchasing agents, engineers and top-line officials in the RV, manufactured housing, auto, marine, bus, specialty vehicle and agricultural industries and more.
Last year’s inaugural event sold out with more than 60 exhibit booths and drew more than 150 attendees from a variety of industries.
The expo is free to attendees. Exhibit booths are just $275 for IMHA-RVIC members.
For additional information, call 317-247-6258 or visit www.imharvic.org.
The 55th Annual Midwest RV Supershow returns this weekend (Aug. 13-15) to a new downtown venue in Elkhart, Ind., after being canceled last year during the economic doldrums.
”We have 10 dealers and the total number of units will be about 140 when all is said and done,” said Mark Bowersox, director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council(IMHA/RVIC), which is sponsoring the event on Elkhart’s Civic Plaza.
”This is the first time we are having it downtown.”
Bowersox estimated that some 8,000 RV enthusiasts will attend the show for which IMHA/RVIC and the city of Elkhart committed more than $80,000 in advertising.
”We are feeling pretty good right now,” said Arvis Dawson, executive assistant to Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. ”We are getting calls from all over the U.S. from people who heard that the show has returned to Elkhart. There seems to be a lot of interest.”
The show was canceled last year for lack of support. ”Having a show 55 out of 56 years isn’t bad,” Bowersox said. ”The state of the industry and the retail body was down last year.”
Bowersox said the economy in Elkhart, the so-called ”RV Capital of the World,” is recovering. ”’The local dealers here have shown a rebound since last year and sales have been solid,” he added. ”And the city has been extraordinarily supportive of this event. There’s been some discussion the last couple of years about whether the state and the city appreciate what they have in the RV industry. This is an indication that the city does appreciate what it has in the RV industry.”
With a late-summer show, dealers have an opportunity, Bowersox noted, to clear out inventory before the 2011 model year begins. ”Everybody’s got an eye on the end of the selling season already,” he said. ”This is a chance for dealers to get rid of some of the 2010 product before the new model year.”
Watch a slide show from the expo in today’s featured video on the RVBUSINESS.com homepage.
Fifty northern Indiana suppliers to the RV, manufactured housing and related industries displayed their wares at the first-ever Elkhart County Supplier Expo today (July 27) at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on the northeast side of Elkhart, Ind.
And the general economic outlook among those in attendance was decidedly upbeat, if not overwhelmingly so, since so many individuals harbor concerns about the near-term economy.
The event, slated for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., was sponsored by the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC).
Along with RV and MH vendors, the expo was geared for the auto, marine, bus, specialty vehicle and agricultural industries and features diverse product offerings, educational seminars and networking reception and is designed for purchasing agents, engineers and executive-level personnel, plus a reception sponsored by the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
While attendance was spotty at this first-ever show, Mark Bowersox, executive director of the IMHARVIC, said the vendor attendance was double what he had expected.
Several vendors, by the same token, told RVBUSINESS.com that they were encouraged by the leads generated at the show. And one said the experience was worthwhile as it provided him a look at how he might stage a national trade show for his company at the Hall of Fame next year.
Meanwhile, those supplying the RV industry told RVBUSINESS.com they expect the industry to undergo a fairly normal downturn this fall.
For his part, Brent Clark, vice president of sales for the plumbing division of LaSalle Bristol, Elkhart, expects business to be flat the second half of this year. The fourth quarter won’t be as strong as a year ago because the industry was just beginning to rebound at that time, he noted. He expects the late-year downturn to be in the range of 10% to 15%.
Likewise, Merlin Yoder, president of Challenger Door, serving the mobile transportation market from his headquarters in Napppanee, Ind., said the seasonal slowdown “might be just a little worse than the normal slowdown” and forecast it to be in the range of 20%.
Encouraged by the number of requests for quotes his company has been receiving lately, Rod Miller, a sales rep for Nickell Moulding, an Elkhart-based architectural moulding supplier to the RV and MH markets, sees business steady into Christmas.
Sherman Hansen, representing TR Arnold & Associates, Elkhart, said the near-term looks good because TR Arnold continues to make inroads in getting RV companies “green certified.” Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC and Jayco Inc. are among the first to get certified by TRA, he said, while Forest River Inc. is presently undergoing the process. “A lot of suppliers want their products certified” as well, he added.
Mike Mohr, sales manager for the Indiana Division of Dave Carter & Associates Inc., said the RV industry has righted itself and he expects a relatively normal seasonal slowdown this fall.
And Scott Morrison, an account rep for Statewide Aluminum, a TAG Specialty Products company who was at the show to interest the RV industry in his firm’s sliding windows, is cautiously optimistic about the second half of this year.