Donald R. Mossey, a longtime executive in the RV and manufactured housing industries., died Saturday (May 22) at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn. He was 84.
Mossey was an early manufacturer and promoter of manufactured housing in Elkhart, Ind. He was a longtime Mobile Home Manufacturers Association and Manufactured Housing Institute member. He founded and built five successful industry companies and developed numerous components and design features still in use for RV and housing units.
He has been a lifelong spokesman for housing industry causes. His companies, including Homette, Ventline, Leland Engineering and Imperial Stamping, have spanned a broad range of manufactured home component parts and homes.
A native of Elkhart, Mossey served aboard the USS Rowan DD782, a destroyer deployed in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, he entered Hillsdale College in Michigan. He returned to Elkhart upon his graduation from Hillsdale in 1951 to work as a commissioned salesman at Elkhart Richardson Homes, the first step in a remarkable career as an entrepreneur and civic leader. In 1957, he co-founded Homette Corp., a manufacturer of mobile homes and RVs.
Upon Homette’s merger with Skyline Corp., he was named executive vice president of Skyline and appointed to its board of directors.
In 1965 he became president and chairman of Ventline Inc., a manufacturer of metal products, a company he sold to Fortune 500 company Philips Industries, the board of which Mossey soon joined.
Over the next 40 years he served as chairman of numerous companies, including Custom Wood Products of Roanoke, Va., and Leland Engineering of White Pigeon, Mich.
In addition to his efforts for the industry, Mossey has served as chairman of the board of Hillsdale College for 28 years.
He was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 2004.
Mossey helped establish Elkhart as a wellspring of entrepreneurial activity. He provided counsel, encouragement and backing to countless executives and community leaders. An astute judge of character, he made his friends carefully and kept them long. For him Elkhart was a barometer for the nation. He judged the national mood by the friends with whom he worked in his home town.
Mossey is survived by his widow, Jane Hill Mossey, his wife of 56 years; his three children, Merril (Dennis) McCarthy, Mark (Kathy) Mossey and Melanie (Charles) Mossey-Warren; six grandchildren; and one sister, June Verhagen. One son, Michael Alex Mossey, preceded him in death.
Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home in Elkhart is in charge of arrangements.
Nine recreational park trailer manufacturers will be displaying their latest units for the RV park and campground industry in the Park Model Pavilion at the annual InSites Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo Nov. 11-12 in Orlando, Fla.
The show is sponsored by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and will be held at The Rosen Centre.
The displaying companies are: Airstream Inc., Athens Park Homes, Breckenridge Park Trailers, Cavco Industries Inc., Chariot Eagle Inc., CrossRoads RV, Keystone RV Co., Skyline Corp. and Stone Canyon Lodges & Park Models LLC.
Meanwhile, in a related development, ARVC and Thor Industries Inc. announced in October that they have formed a strategic alliance to provide private park operators with exclusive prices on park models and travel trailer units specifically designed for use as rental accommodations at campgrounds.
“Three of Thor’s companies, Airstream, Breckenridge and Keystone, now offer unique lines of park model cabin and travel trailer units that have been specially designed to meet the durability needs of private park operators who are anxious to expand their offering of rental accommodations,” said Shane Ott, Thor’s director of campground relations.
Ott, who was previously president and COO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), joined Thor last summer and developed the company’s rental accommodations initiative with ARVC.
“We welcome this exciting Thor program and feel that the favorable pricing and unique designs of these units will be very enticing for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts as they continue to diversify their business base with rental accommodations,” said Linda Profaizer, ARVC president and CEO.
About one-third of the nation’s commercially owned campgrounds, RV parks and RV resorts offer rental units to accommodate families and other travelers who don’t have an RV, but want to enjoy the Great Outdoors – and the numbers are growing.
“Private parks have long seen the merits of investing in park model cabins for use as rental accommodations, and now they have a chance to invest in both park models and travel trailers for on-site rental use at special prices that are exclusive to ARVC members,” Profaizer said. “Many travel trailer owners already leave their units at campgrounds and RV parks and use them as getaway cottages.”
Ott said this strategic partnership, the first of its kind involving ARVC and RV manufacturers, has enabled Thor to develop unique units using the input and experience of campground owners across North America.
The ruggedized features along with a variety of floorplans and cozy design elements offer campground owners durable units built to withstand the rigors of high occupancy usage. The lodging units featured in the promotion include four Breckenridge park models ranging from 22- to 36-feet; two Keystone travel trailers, including one 29- and one 37-foot model; and one 25-foot Airstream travel trailer.
Ott added that while the initial promotion involves Airstream, Breckenridge, and Keystone, additional Thor companies could become involved in the promotion in the future, depending on the level of private park interest.
The Skyline Homes Inc. plant in Halstead, Kan., is closing Nov. 18, with 82 workers to be laid off, according to the Associated Press.
Skyline Homes Inc., which builds manufactured homes, is a division of Skyline Corp., based in Elkhart, Ind.
Tom McGillicuddy, vice president of human resources, referred to a statement saying the company notified employees Wednesday (Sept. 16) and has filed the appropriate paperwork under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. McGillicuddy said the company was “working with employees” to notify them but would not elaborate, according to The Kansan, Newton, Kan.
Under the WARN Act, an employer must give notice if an employment site or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site will be shut down, and the shutdown will result in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period, according to the Department of Labor Web site. This does not count employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer.
Skyline Corp., which also manufactures RVs, has 15 operating divisions in 10 states across the country, according to its website.
Newport Boats & RV, one of the largest boating and yacht dealerships on the West Coast, has been appointed the exclusive dealer for Skyline Corp.’s Nomad travel trailer.
The Corona, Calif.-based dealership has 30 years of experience in the boating and RV industries and has the largest mobile service department of any dealer in the country, according to a news release.
The firm also has locations in Newport Beach and Marina del Rey.
Sales for the fourth quarter of Skyline Corp.’s 2009 fiscal year ending May 31 were $32.5 million, compared to $70.9 million last year, the company reported in a news release.
Sales for fiscal 2009 were $166.68 million, compared to $301.77 million a year earlier.
Net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 was $2.36 million, compared to net earnings of $191,000 for the same period a year ago. Net loss for fiscal 2009 was $15.4 million, compared to a net loss of $5.56 million for fiscal 2008. Net loss per share for fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2008 includes a gain on the sale of idle property, plant and equipment.
For Skyline’s RV group, sales for fiscal 2009 were $42.7 million compared to $86.97 million of fiscal 2008. The RV group’s sales for fiscal 2009′s fourth quarter were $9.9 million compared to $25.4 million inthe fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
The company also has filed its Form 10-K for the 2009 Fiscal Year. During the fiscal year, Skyline shipped 2,564 travel trailers, which represented 2.9% of the travel trailer market, while shipping 188 fifth-wheels for a 0.5% market share.
During the year, Skyline consolidated RV operations in Hemet, Calif., and Elkhart, Ind.
Skyline Corp. reported fiscal 2009 third quarter sales were $24.4 million, compared to $57.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. For the first nine months of fiscal 2009, sales were $134,.2 million vs. $230.9 million for fiscal 2008.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based RV and manufactured housing builder reported a net loss for the third quarter of $4.8 million compared to a net loss of $4.6 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. For the first nine months of fiscal 2009, net loss was $13.1 million, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million a year ago.
For the recreational vehicle group, sales amounted to $6.6 million for fiscal 2009′s third quarter compared to $18.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. For the first nine months of fiscal 2009, sales by the RV group were $32.8 million vs. $61.6 million for the same period a year ago.
Wall Street is soaring, propelling the Dow Jones industrials up nearly 500 points, as investors get the good news they want on the economy’s biggest problems: banks and housing.
Investors have reignited a two-week rally, cheering the government’s plan to help banks remove bad assets from their books. They’re also pleased with a report showing a surprising increase in existing home sales last month, according to Associated Press.
The stocks of public companies engaged in the RV industry that are traded on major markets rode the rally, enjoying their best day in months.
Winnebago Industries Inc. rose 15.9%, Thor Industries Inc. rose 13.5%, Drew Industries Inc. rose 16.9%, Skyline Corp. rose 10%, Patrick Industries Inc. rose 5.5%, Spartan Motors Inc. rose 8.3% and Flexsteel Industries Inc. rose 1.4%.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust that serves the campground industry, rose a whopping $5.50 a share to close up 14.9%.
The Dow closed up more than 497 points, its best day in more than four months.
The Treasury Department’s bad asset cleanup program would tap money from the government’s $700 billion financial rescue fund and also involve help from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the participation of private investors. The housing report, meanwhile, is overwhelmingly positive because it’s a sign that the glut in homes for sale may be easing.